What are STCs?
Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) are tradable certificates, created under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). They are created according to the amount of electricity a system produces or displaces. Generally, one STC is equivalent to I MWh of renewable electricity deemed to be created by a small-scale generation unit (SQU) (e.g. PV Panels, Small wind turbine, small hydro), or 1 MWh of electricity deemed to be displaced by solar hot water heaters and air-sourced heat pumps. This differs if Solar Credits are included.
These certificates are traded in the open market, or through the Clearing House administered by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER), to liable parties (such as electricity suppliers). Visit About the REC Market or the Renewable Energy Target website for more detail on this process.
Why use an Agent?
Registered Agents facilitate the process for owners of small-scale systems (such as home owners). They complete all the paperwork, and create the STCs in an online system called the REC Registry. Agents then sell the STCs on the open market, or through the Clearing House administered by the CER.
On the open market, the price of STCs varies, but tends to stay between $20 – $40 per STC. The time taken to sell the STCs on the market also varies, and depends on demand at the time.
If selling through the Clearing House, the price is set at $40 per STC. However, STCs are placed in a queue, and sold on a first in – first out basis. Due to current high supply in the market it can take some time to sell STCs through the Clearing House.
SQU owners, particularly householders, often prefer not to deal with the paperwork and uncertainty of the STC Market. Many prefer to receive a discount on the upfront price of their system, rather than wait for the sale of RECs in the market place. Agents facilitate this process, by having experience with completing the paperwork, and established contacts with liable parties purchasing STCs.
Registered Agents provide greater certainty for the consumer.
Selecting an Agent
All agents MUST be registered with the CER.
When selecting an Agent, RAA recommends selecting an Agent that is a member of the REC Agents Association (RAA). All RAA members must abide by a Code of Conduct that promotes transparent, accountable and trustworthy business practices.
If you have a complaint about an agent
If you have a complaint about a member of the Association, contact RAA.
RAA has established a Conduct Committee to investigate complaints against members, and any breeches of regulations. The Conduct Committee follows the Dispute Resolution Procedure outlined in the RAA Rules.
Upon receiving a complaint against a member, in writing, the Dispute Resolution Procedure is activated. You can expect a response within 28 days.
RAA Briefing Paper on GST for Environmental Certificates
Applicability of GST on environmental certificates (STCs, VEECs and ESCs) has at times been a difficult issue for the solar and energy efficiency industry. There has often been confusing and contradictory information about in the market place.
RAA has been in discussions with the ATO to assist members and other industry participants develop an understanding of the ATO’s requirements and to illustrate this by way of an example.
Together with the ATO, RAA have developed a flow diagram that illustrates the transactions in a typical process whereby the customer / system owner is registered for GST. This is included as an attachment to this Briefing Paper and has been deemed to be compliant by the ATO.
Read the flow diagram here: raa-briefing-paper-gst-jul-13