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SMA Inverter & Trina Panels?

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  1. #1
    Member Jemma's Avatar
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    Default SMA Inverter & Trina Panels?

    Looking at a solar system for about a year & lots of research.
    Settled on a local company around for 7 years & no complaints I can see.
    Looking at an SMA inverter & Trina 260W panels totaling a 3.38Kw system.

    Are these panels & inverter good? From what I can see they are but after other opinions please.
    $4750 total cost for inverter, panels & install for Adelaide.
    Other systems were more expensive in the thousands & el cheapo panels & inverter.
    Just want some help before we send them the 50% deposit please.
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Hi Gemma

    There is lots of great information on solar power on the ATA forums website (address below).

    They also publish Renew magazine which has reviewed solar systems too, from memory. Check the warranty on the inverter - Mine has been replaced twice in five years - however it's not the same brand you are considering.

    Also, are you getting a stand alone system or planning to feed excess power into the grid? if the former, then there are storage batteries to consider.

    Alternative Technology Assn Forums

    A

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    One thing I'd suggest looking into is the guarantee and warranty provided. Is it on site or returned to base? You would prefer manufacturers on site warranty. For a small installer, they might not be around for their warranty to worth much. A return to base warranty would mean she paying somebody to take the inverter down and return it to base. We got ours from Origin Energy because they are just one phone call away. When the inverter broke down, I called them and they came and swapped over a "new" inverter.

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    Jemma,
    You also need to look at the economics of solar in SA. My understanding of the current position re: solar in SA for new systems is as follows.-
    There is no feed in tariff now for any energy you do not use. You will only receive the "minimum retailer payment" of 5.3c/kWh. Retailers can offer you more so it is best to shop around, but you will always be at the mercy of the retailers. If you intend to use all the energy you generate, when you generate it, then a solar system could be the way to go.
    If my understanding is wrong I am sure more knowledgeable people will post.
    sa.gov.au - Solar feed-in scheme

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    Recently went down this line too Jemma...

    The honest solar guy's first question was would we be home through the day to use the power we generated..
    We're only home weekends so his appraisal was we'd be better off looking at ways to save power rather than spend the money in solar power.

    Two mates got in early here in WA and are still getting the 60c(?) rebate...but they also spent over $20,000 on their systems, each. I think theirs are 5kw systems..the rebates here in WA at least are not transferrable, so there is no attraction really for potential buyers either.
    One mate gets a cheque for $200.00 per 3 months. So thats 100 x 3 months to get his money back, = 300 months divided by 12 = 25 years to get his money back, by which time it'll probably be needing replacement..And thats only if they decide not to reduce his rebate.

    So like Use By I'd say "when you use it" is the key phrase...

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    Quote Originally Posted by justonething View Post
    One thing I'd suggest looking into is the guarantee and warranty provided. Is it on site or returned to base? You would prefer manufacturers on site warranty. For a small installer, they might not be around for their warranty to worth much. A return to base warranty would mean she paying somebody to take the inverter down and return it to base. We got ours from Origin Energy because they are just one phone call away. When the inverter broke down, I called them and they came and swapped over a "new" inverter.
    We were told last night that there's a 5 year on the inverter (we're paying a hundred or more extra for the extended warranty) as the manufacturers warranty on the performance of the panels is 25years & the performance of the panels is 10yr warranty.

    Yes I'll be hoe using the power during the day as 6c is ridiculous to receive back for a feed in tariff.

    We were also told it would be a straight swap over of the inverter & the old one would be taken away & looked at the find the reason why it is faulty.

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    I'm really challenged by "extended warranties". Folks like HN make HUGE amounts from them. Last few things we got from HN we had it thrown in as part of the deal.

    I have seen the "bathtub curve" related to electronics..
    Starts with lots of DOA and drops to a flat line until after most extendeds finish. Which is how the extended warranty companies make their money. Collecting a lot more than they have to pay out.

    I know it's a different industry but I have never ever ever heard of someone making a successful claim on an auto extended warranty. They always find a reason not to pay.

    I'd say take the extended IF it's from the manufacturer only, not from a third party...but then you have to ask why would they not charge a bit more straight off the bat and make the standard warranty longer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by UseByDate View Post
    Jemma,
    You also need to look at the economics of solar in SA. My understanding of the current position re: solar in SA for new systems is as follows.-
    There is no feed in tariff now for any energy you do not use. You will only receive the "minimum retailer payment" of 5.3c/kWh. Retailers can offer you more so it is best to shop around, but you will always be at the mercy of the retailers. If you intend to use all the energy you generate, when you generate it, then a solar system could be the way to go.
    If my understanding is wrong I am sure more knowledgeable people will post.
    sa.gov.au - Solar feed-in scheme
    This is only part of the story. The government mandated feed in tarriff has closed, but there is also a mandated retailer contribution with a minimum of 6c per kWh that remains in place. Currently, the maximum paid is 8c:

    https://www.solarmarket.com.au/learn...uth_australia/

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by David.Elliott View Post
    I'm really challenged by "extended warranties". Folks like HN make HUGE amounts from them. Last few things we got from HN we had it thrown in as part of the deal.

    I have seen the "bathtub curve" related to electronics..
    Starts with lots of DOA and drops to a flat line until after most extendeds finish. Which is how the extended warranty companies make their money. Collecting a lot more than they have to pay out.

    I know it's a different industry but I have never ever ever heard of someone making a successful claim on an auto extended warranty. They always find a reason not to pay.

    I'd say take the extended IF it's from the manufacturer only, not from a third party...but then you have to ask why would they not charge a bit more straight off the bat and make the standard warranty longer?
    I paid $40 extra for an extended warranty on a digital camera.
    My MIL tried shoving her camera battery in my camera when mine was flat & it wouldn't turn on after. Harvey Norman did a straight swap over & I got a brand new, better model camera from it with no fuss at all
    I also recently purchased a 32" LED TV from them for a STEAL at $188 & paid $20 extra to cover my 3 yr warranty for 4 years more. IF anything goes wrong after 3yrs they'll swap over for a brand new one, same as the washing machine I bought.
    It's worked for me in the past & I figure, if the panels etc are covered for 10-25 years, I should get the extended to over my inverter to match that

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    There can be benefits with extended warranties, I think especially with basic home electrical and electronics. I bought a kettle from HN once, it was a fancy thing with LEDS and glass. It functioned fine, but the opening cap broke after a few months so I took it back and got it replaced. Four Times! Eventually, they made me choose another kettle

    SMA is decent gear. We have a TriPower inverter that was installed in 2011. There were some minor firmware problems early on that were corrected promptly, but not an issue since. I think that if I were buying a cheapie inverter I would definitely get extended warranty, but with SMA it's up to you but there are plenty about that give trouble free performance.

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    Woodbe
    I think the figure of 7.6 c/kWh is out of date. The official government site states the following-

    “The Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA) has released a price determination for the solar minimum retailer payment that applies from 1 January 2015 until 31 December 2016. The minimum retailer payment is 5.3 c/kWh, excluding GST. “

    I am not sure what the “excluding GST” means. Since you are selling something (energy) to the retailer, are you permitted, as a private person, to collect the GST? And if so do you have to send it to the ATO?

    Maybe the retailer sends the GST to the ATO?

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    Quote Originally Posted by UseByDate View Post
    I am not sure what the “excluding GST” means. Since you are selling something (energy) to the retailer, are you permitted, as a private person, to collect the GST? And if so do you have to send it to the ATO?
    It is what it says. The feed in payment accrues no GST. You can't charge it, you don't get it, and you don't have to report it as a private solar power producer.

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    1K Club Member Random Username's Avatar
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    Before finalising your quote comparison, find out who gets to keep and sell the small-scale technology certificates. For a zone three install of your size, that's worth about $2-3000 cash.
    DIY electrical house wiring details suitable for Australia - http://goo.gl/9d33T (PDF file)

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    'Small scale technology certificate'? What on earth is that?
    Zone 3?
    Cash to who?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jemma View Post
    'Small scale technology certificate'? What on earth is that?
    Zone 3?
    Cash to who?
    Creating and Selling Small-scale Technology Certificates - Clean Energy Regulator – Renewable Energy Target

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodbe View Post
    It is what it says. The feed in payment accrues no GST. You can't charge it, you don't get it, and you don't have to report it as a private solar power producer.
    The use of the term “excluding GST” is rather unusual if it is meant to mean no GST. Both the terms “including GST” and “excluding GST” imply GST (being either included or excluded). If there was no GST I would expect the term “GST exempt” to be used.

    I was really questioning the use of the term “excluding GST”

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    Quote Originally Posted by UseByDate View Post
    I was really questioning the use of the term “excluding GST”
    I see. I took your question the way it was written and answered the specifics you asked about in the question instead of whether the term was used appropriately. Sorry about that.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodbe View Post
    I see. I took your question the way it was written and answered the specifics you asked about in the question instead of whether the term was used appropriately. Sorry about that.
    Yes. I could have been clearer.

  19. #19
    1K Club Member Random Username's Avatar
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    If they are keeping the certificates, they are making an extra couple of grand on the deal. Its one of the ''perks" of the business that the companies don't talk about in their sales pitch. I would have been more open to getting them installed IF the mobs I talked to had been honest about it, rather than not mentioning it. (some even worked it in as a 'discount' on their overpriced special deal of the month)

    And there's nothing necessarily wrong with el-cheapo panels - ie don't get caught up on 14.4% efficiency vs. 15.2% or whatever, as it's often a better solution to bung on a few extra 250 watt panels (at $250 each) than go for the high efficiency 250 watt panels at $450 each (it's not like you need NASA-efficiency-level panels, you don't have to lift them into orbit, just onto the roof!)
    DIY electrical house wiring details suitable for Australia - http://goo.gl/9d33T (PDF file)

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    Default SMA Inverter & Trina Panels?

    Hi Jemma,

    Your thread seems to have gone off the rails a little. The price for your system looks reasonable without being alarmingly cheap or expensive. I got a similar system 2 years ago, 3.5kw SMA inverter and Canadian panels for about $6500 from memory. As the feed in tariffs have been reduced magically the cost of the systems has also dropped. As David posted $20k for 5kw seems like a real rip off even with the bigger feed in tariff.

    From when I looked at mine I think I remember that the Trina panels were middle of the range (like mine). It didn't seem justifiable to go more expensive on the panels but I think the additional cost for the SMA inverter is money well spent. SMA have been around for a long time and are very well regarded - personally I wouldn't worry about the extended warranty (depending on cost) and would rather put that money into more panels.

    I too am in Adelaide and I get the 16c tariff + retailer tariff (which seems to be dropping each year). You may only get the retailer tariff which is why people are suggesting to only size your system to match your daytime usage as anything you do sell back to the grid will take a long time to pay back the extra cost of your system as it was oversized.

    Our house was typically using about 13Kw/day before solar. So far we seem to either break even or make a profit over the summer, and then get a reduced bill over winter. Average over the year would be close to zero energy bill, even covering the supply charges.

    I intend to put another 3kw or so on when we do our renovation as we will have a pool that I would like to cancel out the cost of running. Fortunately we got approval for 10kw so we can upgrade without loosing our tariff.

    Can you please PM me your company as I will also be looking at getting the second system shortly and yours sounds fairly good!
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    Default SMA Inverter & Trina Panels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Random Username View Post
    Before finalising your quote comparison, find out who gets to keep and sell the small-scale technology certificates. For a zone three install of your size, that's worth about $2-3000 cash.
    Has anybody actually made any money off the certificates? I recall reading that there were a lot of individuals who elected to effectively pay more for their systems with the hope they could get more profit from selling the certificates later. I'm sure that I read that a lot of people got caught as they couldn't sell the certificates or couldn't get the sort of money they expected/needed. To me it all seemed like too much of a risk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Stinkalot View Post
    Has anybody actually made any money off the certificates?
    Yes. We received in excess of $13k for our RECS in 2011. $40 each. Of course, we paid through the nose for the system relative to today's prices but we also get 52c/kWh exported. We are definitely ahead, and we have generated more than 50MWh since install. Knowing what we know now, I would have put 20kW on the roof!

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    SMA = like buying a Mercedes or Rolls Royce car. It's top of the range gear, no doubt about that. Quality.

    Trina = middle of the range. Not as high quality as top end panels but well ahead of some of the unknown brand cheapies. I'd be quite happy with them personally.

    If I were buying another inverter then I'd be going for SMA for sure unless there was a very convincing reason to buy something else. As for the panels, I'm not so fussy there but I don't take 25 year warranties too seriously given the very real chance that any manufacturer, no matter how good they are, goes out of business over such a long time. Not that I'm predicting that Trina will go bust, but there's no guarantee there and a warranty is only as good as the finances of the company behind it.

  24. #24
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    I STILL have no clue what you're on about sorry :/
    Certificates? What for? You need to dumb it WAAAAAAAY down for this blonde please

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    I'm happy to post the business we are going with.
    It's called 'Down To Earht Sustainable Solutions' based in Gawler & is an initiative they're running to get as many people on solar as they can.
    They also have a FB page & Rachel (whom I've been speaking to) has answered every SINGLE question & freak out I had without batting an eyelid!

    Including when another company mentioned 'PID' loss & I suddenly thought omg what have I missed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jemma View Post
    I STILL have no clue what you're on about sorry :/
    Certificates? What for? You need to dumb it WAAAAAAAY down for this blonde please
    There are some certificates created by the installation of a home PV system. These certificates can be traded for cash (or discount from the solar company). If the solar company is not telling you about them, they may have included the certificates in their quote, or not. Just ask them.

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    STC's can be thought of as a form of currency in a rough sense.

    You install a small generation system (eg solar) based on renewable energy and, assuming you or the installer registers it, that leads to the creation of Certificates in respect of its' future output of renewable generated electricity.

    Electricity retailers (AGL, Origin etc) are obliged to purchase Certificates as a means of ensuring the use of renewable energy. As such, they have a financial value and a market exists for trading them (much the same concept as the share market).

    Note that there are no physical Certificates as such, you can't hang it on the wall, it's just an electronic entry in a database. But it has a value nonetheless.

    Most common practice is to have the installer register the system and claim the certificates (which they then sell) in return for giving you a discount on the purchase price of the system. Most quotes for solar power systems are based on the assumption that the customer will leave the installer to claim the certificates, and the price quoted reflects this. If you didn't want the installer to claim the Certificates, then they'd raise the price of the quote to compensate.

    There is also a separate scheme applying to large scale generators of renewable energy, for example commercially operated large wind farms, hydro, solar farms etc. It works in the same basic manner, apart from the reality that a large commercial operator will obviously handle the paperwork surrounding creating the Certificates and their subsequent sale themselves.

    Certificates disappear once used. Eg Origin (to pick a random retailer) sells x amount of electricity this year and is therefore obliged to surrender (to the government regulator) y amount of Certificates. How they get those Certificates, either buying them or from others or by means of owning wind farms etc, is up to them. But the law requires them to have the Certificates and surrender them, thus creating an ongoing need to purchase more.

    For reasons of administrative simplicity, a small solar power system creates all its' certificates when first installed based on the likely future production of electricity by the system. In contrast, a large commercial operator (eg wind farm) cannot do this, they can only create Certificates based on their actual measured power output on an ongoing basis. Financially, the end result is much the same apart from the fact that a homeowner installing solar gets them all up front.

    Note that the scheme is national without borders based on electricity grids. So there is nothing to prevent, for example, electricity retailers in Western Australia satisfying their need for Certificates by means of buying them from someone in NSW even though the two states are not connected electrically. The intent is to ensure the development of renewable energy in Australia, without limiting in which state that development should occur.

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    Just out of interest I had a look at how people actually sell their STC's and how much can they get for them?

    My brief investigation reveals the following: https://www.rec-registry.gov.au/rec-...-transfer-list

    It states:

    Small-scale system owners and registered agents have the option to sell small-scale certificates (STCs) through the open market for an uncapped price, or through the STC Clearing House at a fixed price of $40 (ex GST).
    The STC Clearing House is operated by the Clean Energy Regulator and can be accessed through the REC Registry.


    It is important to note that STCs are sold in the STC Clearing House only when there is a buyer, which means there is no guarantee on how long the STCs will take to sell. If you require rapid payment for your STCs please contact a registered agent who can organise their creation and sale on your behalf.

    The STC clearing house works on a surplus/deficit basis:

    • When the STC clearing house is in surplus there are more sellers than buyers and so a seller's STCs are added to the end of the STC clearing house transfer list. STCs are sold from the STC clearing house transfer list on a first-in-first-served basis.
    • When the STC clearing house is in deficit there are more buyers than sellers and so a seller's STCs will be sold immediately.

    At the moment there are 398,017 STC in surplus - its states that the credits are sold on a first-in-first-served basis. It would appear that there are sellers who have been trying to sell their credits since 2011 that haven't sold yet (if my understanding is correct).

    I have no idea how many STC's are purchased each year but given the Clearing House has a fixed price of $40 and is in surplus, it would be hard to see why anybody would purchase them for more than $40 through the open market.

    I guess you need to run the numbers yourself - work out how many STC your system is creating and then work out how much the installer is paying you / discounting your price, to hold onto them. Looking at this you could potentially get $40 each for them - but it could be some wait to get your return and you would have had to pay much more for your system.

    Does anybody have any idea what the going price is on the open market?
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodbe View Post
    Yes. We received in excess of $13k for our RECS in 2011. $40 each. Of course, we paid through the nose for the system relative to today's prices but we also get 52c/kWh exported. We are definitely ahead, and we have generated more than 50MWh since install. Knowing what we know now, I would have put 20kW on the roof!
    Just out of interest what size system did you go for? $13k @ $40 each is 325 STC's. Based on the current STC calculator it would have been around 16kW.
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    Thanks Smurf, helps me understand too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Stinkalot View Post
    Just out of interest what size system did you go for? $13k @ $40 each is 325 STC's. Based on the current STC calculator it would have been around 16kW.
    10kW

    Looks like the ratio has changed then. Ours was 325 @ $40 on that system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodbe View Post
    10kW

    Looks like the ratio has changed then. Ours was 325 @ $40 on that system.
    Did you sell them through the STC Clearing House or open market?
    If it was the Clearing House how long were they on the market for?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Stinkalot View Post
    Did you sell them through the STC Clearing House or open market?
    If it was the Clearing House how long were they on the market for?
    Neither. The solar installer company gave us a credit on the invoice for them. If I remember correctly, the price dropped soon after and they became difficult (delayed) to sell. I think we did well.

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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Stinkalot View Post
    Just out of interest what size system did you go for? $13k @ $40 each is 325 STC's. Based on the current STC calculator it would have been around 16kW.
    Our STC credit according to our invoice for a 3.38Kw system is $2450.
    Whatever that means.....

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smurf View Post
    SMA = like buying a Mercedes or Rolls Royce car. It's top of the range gear, no doubt about that. Quality.

    Trina = middle of the range. Not as high quality as top end panels but well ahead of some of the unknown brand cheapies. I'd be quite happy with them personally.

    If I were buying another inverter then I'd be going for SMA for sure unless there was a very convincing reason to buy something else. As for the panels, I'm not so fussy there but I don't take 25 year warranties too seriously given the very real chance that any manufacturer, no matter how good they are, goes out of business over such a long time. Not that I'm predicting that Trina will go bust, but there's no guarantee there and a warranty is only as good as the finances of the company behind it.
    SMA and TRINA are both top of range suppliers - Trina is the largest PV manufacture in the world and SMA the largest inverter manufacturer (but Chinese getting close).

    The STCs or RECs will have been discounted off the price - in other words the owner will assign the rights to them in exchange for a price (which looks like a discount).

    You do not need to know anything much about the certificates - just that they are the sole Fed government support for solar and other renewable energy. The size of your system will determine how many certifcates there are and whoever has quoted the system will be able to explain all you need to know.

    As I said for the home owner who assigns (signs a form from the Clean Energy Regulator - which will be given to you by the seller - or sometime a broker the seller uses) the STCs to the seller for the agreed price and the total value of that will be deducted from the system price and it look like a discount - it is not one, but PV sellers often call it the 'Govt rebate'. The quoted price will rarely be other than the price taking into account what they are prepared to buy the STCs at.

    STCs are in an open trading market - and a complex one that IMO is not one that regular people should be participating in unless they understand trading markets and the risks (not just the benefits) of doing so.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodbe View Post
    10kW

    Looks like the ratio has changed then. Ours was 325 @ $40 on that system.
    There were multipliers in place so not 1 for 1 as it is now - i.e. for the first 1.5 kW there was a 5 x multiple so the number of RECs (then STCs now) was increased. The multipliers were originally meant to drop year by year, but as the PV process dropped they were not needed so they were dropped faster and they ceased in January 2013.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jemma View Post
    Our STC credit according to our invoice for a 3.38Kw system is $2450.
    Whatever that means.....
    Using the calculator [https://www.rec-registry.gov.au/rec-...tc-calculator] you should be getting around 70 STC's. At $40 each that would return you $2800 if you sold them at the STC Clearing House - however the time taken to sell them is unknown. Your installer is basically buying your 70 STC's for $35 each - at the risk they may be able to sell them for more.

    I have just checked my invoice and my system generated 103 STC's and I received $36 each for these by my installer and that was 2 years ago.

    It would still be interesting what price they achieve on the open market - It would seem it is somewhere between $35-$40.

    Personally if it was me I would sell them the credits now and get a reduced installation price than to try and hold onto the credits and the problems associated with trying to sell them.
    Licence to drill!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jemma View Post
    Our STC credit according to our invoice for a 3.38Kw system is $2450.
    Whatever that means.....
    Yep - that is simply the price that the seller is willing to pay you for them - they then have to sell them in the market or get a broker to buy them - they will have a risk margin of a dollar or two and a caveat telling you that the price might change as at the date you sign the contract. They usually get a price for a fixed period quoted from their broker so they don't run the risk of paying out more than they can get. Note that the GST should be on the total amount BEFORE the STC credit and there needs to be a separate accounting for the GST on STCs - if it isn't it does not cause you a problem, but the PV seller will likely have a GST problem.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloss View Post
    There were multipliers in place so not 1 for 1 as it is now - i.e. for the first 1.5 kW there was a 5 x multiple so the number of RECs (then STCs now) was increased. The multipliers were originally meant to drop year by year, but as the PV process dropped they were not needed so they were dropped faster and they ceased in January 2013.
    I do recall this now that it has been mentioned. That would explain why I received 103 STC's on a 3.5kW system whilst a 3.38kW system is only getting around 70 STC's.
    The funny thing is that the overall prices people seemed to pay were somewhat linked to what rebates / multipliers were available at the time of purchase. Every time a rebate was lowered or a multiplier was lowered magically the cost of the system also dropped. It would seem that now for a $/kW ratio you are getting more for your money.
    Licence to drill!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Stinkalot View Post

    Personally if it was me I would sell them the credits now and get a reduced installation price than to try and hold onto the credits and the problems associated with trying to sell them.
    Absolutely - trying to manage them yourself involves making a bet to the value offered by the seller that at some future time you will be able to get a higher price. There is no guaranteed price even though many think there is - the fixed $40 price in the 'Clearing House' is only available when there is a buyer - and since that means the certificates in the market place would be at $40 already or higher that is unlikely to here occur!

    So in this case the Jemma would pay a real extra $2450 for her system in exchange for owning some tradable certificates - she loses access to that capital and any interest on it and has to hope that she can at some time in the future sell them at a higher price than she was offered as a 'discount'. And of course to do that she has to become a trader and watch the market etc - few would want to do that.

    The systems she has been quoted are good ones and the STC price is within the market range - go for it . . .
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

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    Hi Jemma

    I went through a similar exercise some time ago and came down on the side of putting in a system that provided our daytime load (the sun don't shine at night!) and simply considered any current or future feed-in tariff as a bonus. Overall our power costs have reduced by about $500 per year for a payback of about 5 years (probably reach break even towards the end of this year). None of it is "get rich quick" stuff.

    I eventually got several quotes through a web site called solarquotes... they just organise to put you in touch with interested companies and have a comprehensive database of reviews of different installers. Well worthwhile looking at the reviews as they actually directed me away from one organisation that I was seriously considering to another who quoted and who were excellent.

    They have 400+ customer reviews of the SMA Inverter on their web site. The SMA seems to rate pretty well.

    Good luck!

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    System in!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_8402.jpg   img_8403.jpg   img_8404.jpg  

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    Congratulations ..... extremely quick turn around from deposit to installation!
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