Changes to the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme eligibility

Release of new Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme eligibility information – replacement panels

The industry received an email broadcast from the Office of the Clean Energy Regulator this week pointing to a tightening of a loophole, specifically related to replacement panels. As I have posted and blogged about previously, the industry in Australia has had a less than well-managed quality regimen. That is why, I was proud to serve on the Australia Solar Council, during the instigation of the “Positive Quality Program“.

What is the PQ Program?

As the saying goes ‘Panels ain’t panels’.

The Positive Quality (PQ) program has the goal of providing a vital role in protecting consumers and the reputation of the solar power industry.

Now, the Clean Energy Regulator has developed a new framework to help current and potential solar PV participants to determine their eligibility to participate in the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).

Junk Solar Panels

It has been the experience of some customers, that the “Solar Salesman” has misrepresented either the quality, origin or output of the solar panels that are now installed on their property. – Lucas Sadler

This activity has lead to a burgeoning solar panel replacement market, and up until now, those replacement panels could be discounted by a new “Small Scales Solar Certificate – STC”, saving the owner thousands.

Have a look at an article I wrote a few years ago now, here on Linkedin.

So whats Happening?

Systems for which one, some or all panels have been replaced, and have previously received small-scale technology certificates for the entitlement period, will not be eligible to receive additional small-scale technology certificates. In some instances, small-scale technology certificates were previously issued for replacement panels. As some participants may have scheduled or quoted work before this guidance was released, applications for replacement panels will still be considered for small-scale technology certificates for installations up to 31 January 2018, subject to all other requirements being satisfied.

It is important that current and potential solar PV participants be clear on the eligibility requirements, particularly for expanded systems. If you are developing a system, you may need to replace or upgrade a number of the components of your system to participate in the SRES.

You should carefully consider your options, and compare the benefits and total costs of installing a new or expanded system, including factors like electrical wiring upgrades, compliance with current standards, and operating efficiency. Make sure you ask about any hidden costs associated with any changes or upgrades to an existing system.

You should also consider potential impacts on feed-in tariffs for any changes to solar installations on your dwelling. You should contact your electricity retailer, and State or Territory Government, to provide you with further information on the impacts of feed-in tariff eligibility for your system.

For more information about eligibility to participate in the SRES visit the Small-scale systems eligible for certificates page on the Clean Energy Regulator website.

Contact the Clean Energy Regulator for more.

For any enquiries relating to your eligibility to participate in the SRES, please email

Posted on 30 Sep 2017

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