Due to continued strong demand for household solar, the Australia's federal government will phase out its solar credits program mechanism six months ahead of schedule on Jan. 1, 2013.
According to the country's Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, the move will lower the impact of the ‘high uptake of solar PV’ on electricity costs for homes and businesses. The overall reduction in electricity bills is estimated to be in the order of AUD $80 million to $100 million in 2013.
Installation of small-scale systems and solar hot water heaters continues to be supported under the Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme, with solar PV systems receiving support for 15 years worth of generation upfront. The solar credits mechanism has provided additional support for installations of small-scale solar PV by multiplying the number of certificates these systems would usually create under the RET scheme.
As this benefit was never available to solar hot water heaters, the phase-out puts solar PV and solar water heaters back onto a level playing field, the government notes, adding that the solar credits multiplier was always intended to be phased out.