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Buying and selling small-scale technology certificates

20 September 2017
RET

Once small-scale technology certificates (STCs) have been successfully created, validated and registered through the REC Registry, they may be bought and sold through the open STC market or the STC clearing house.

While most small-scale technology certificates are sold by registered agents and purchased by Renewable Energy Target liable en​tities to fulfil their surrender obligations, anyone with an appropriate REC Registry account can trade in small-scale technology certificates.

Before buying and selling small-scale technology certificates

Before buying and selling small-scale technology certificates please note:

  • all certificates must be created and registered in the REC Registry
  • the price depends on whether they are bought and sold in the open market or through the STC clearing house
  • payment for certificates purchased in the open market is negotiated between the buyer and seller outside of the REC Registry, and
  • payment for certificates purchased in the STC clearing house will be paid directly into the seller's nominated bank account.

The small-scale technology certificate market

There are two markets for small-scale technology certificates (STCs): the open market, and the STC clearing house where certificate prices are set at $40 (GST exclusive). Participants should be aware that STCs are a commodity and prices will fluctuate in the open market based on the balance of supply and demand along with other factors.

On the supply side of the market, participants create STCs for each megawatt hour of renewable source electricity deemed to be generated or displaced (no longer required from the grid). The number of small-scale systems installed each year changes, and is influenced by consumer behaviour and a number of often unpredictable factors (such as electricity prices, feed-in tariffs, lower system costs and new technologies) which can result in an over or undersupply of small-scale technology certificates in the market at any given time.

On the demand side, electricity retailers source these STCs to meet their renewable energy obligations. The number of STCs each electricity retailer needs to source and then surrender each year is in proportion to the amount of electricity they acquire to use or sell and the small technology percentage for that year.

The Clean Energy Regulator does not regulate the STC open market.

The price of small-scale technology certificates

The price of small-scale technology certificates is driven by supply and demand of the renewable energy certificate market and fluctuates daily.

To determine an approximate price for small-scale technology certificates, conduct an internet search for small-scale technology certificate traders. Individual trader websites advertise their price for certificates, though this price fluctuates daily.

If you choose to sell your certificates through the STC clearing house there is a fixed price of $40 per certificate, however the Clean Energy Regulator cannot provide an estimate of how long it will take them to sell—certificates listed for sale through the clearing house will only sell when a buyer is available.

Participants should put in place appropriate commercial measures to manage exposure to price fluctuation.

Using the open STC market or STC clearing house

Depending on your circumstances, the below comparison table may assist you to choose whether to use the open STC market, or STC clearing house to buy and sell small-scale technology certificates.

STC market STC clearing house
  • The buyer must find a seller and negotiate a sale directly with them.
  • It is possible to achieve an immediate sale once seller is found.
  • Certificate price is dictated by the supply and demand of the market and may vary daily.
  • Payment is organised directly between the buyer and the seller.
  • The Clean Energy Regulator does not regulate the STC open market.
  • The Clean Energy Regulator does not moderate transaction disputes between buyers and sellers.
  • Maintained by the Clean Energy Regulator.
  • Buyers and sellers are in one place and no negotiation required.
  • Small-scale technology certificates are added to a transfer list and sold when a buyer is available.
  • Buyers must have a bank account listed against their REC Registry account, and be registered for GST.
  • Sellers must have STC clearing house access through their REC Registry account.
  • There is no guarantee on how long small-scale technology certificates will take to sell.
  • Certificate price is set at $40 (excluding GST)
  • Payment is made and received through STC clearing house account
  • The Clean Energy Regulator does not moderate transaction disputes between buyers and sellers.

The purchase of small-scale technology certificates is a contract for the sale of goods—you must ensure that all required and completed paperwork is provided at the point of sale.

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