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Changes to solar postcode zones

06 December 2019

Changes to postcode zones for small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have been approved and will come into effect on 1 January 2020.

To see the changes, view changes to the postcodes zones for solar PV, air source heat pumps and solar water heaters and a summary of postcodes affected by the changes on our website.

What does this mean for me

The changes to postcode zones will affect the number of small-scale technology certificates (STCs) for eligible solar PV, air source heat pump and solar water heater systems.

The majority of postcodes will not be affected. Most postcodes with changes will be eligible for more STCs and a few postcodes will receive fewer STCs. Some postcodes for air source heat pumps and solar water heaters will be removed as the postcodes are no longer valid.

For solar PV, postcode zones are set out in the Renewable Energy (Electricity) (Zone Ratings and Zones for Solar (Photovoltaic) Systems) Instrument 2019 (Zone Instrument).

Transitional arrangements

Under the Zone Instrument, transitional arrangements are in place to ensure no person is disadvantaged by retrospective application of these changes.

  • For systems installed prior to 1 January 2020, the zone rating which yields the greatest number of STCs will be used to calculate eligibility, whether these zone ratings apply under the previous or new Zone Instrument.
  • For systems installed after 1 January 2020, the zone ratings in the new Instrument will apply — regardless of whether ratings have changed.

Our systems will automatically apply such changes when calculating certificate eligibility.

It is important to remember that the provision of false or misleading information, including incorrect installation dates, is an offence under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000. Certificates created in contravention of the legislation may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings.

Why the change

Postcodes are used, in part, to determine the number of STCs created for eligible systems based on climate and solar radiation zones. Each valid postcode in Australia is assigned to one of these zones depending on the technology type.

Postcodes may change due to building developments, changes in electoral boundaries or changes in population density. This postcode zones change has been made to align with revised postcode boundaries.

In June 2019 the Clean Energy Regulator proposed updates to postcode zones for solar PV systems through a public consultation. The changes have been approved and will come into effect on 1 January 2020 to align with reduction in deeming factor.

Note, the deeming period for solar PV systems decreases by one year, every year until 2030. This will reduce the number of certificates that can be created for an eligible system.

For more information about how postcode zones are used to calculate STCs see Creating small-scale technology certificates on our website.


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