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NSW Solar Rebate 2021

Solar rebates NSW

Over 20% of households in New South Wales are currently benefiting from solar energy, and if you’re not yet part of the energy transition it makes sense to want to get in on the action. Not only will you benefit from reducing your energy bill through the use of renewable energy, but also help the planet by reducing your carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions. While investing in solar energy might seem expensive, there are a number of solar rebates available to help make solar energy more affordable and accessible to everyone in New South Wales. If you’re interested in purchasing solar PV, or a solar battery, for your home in New South Wales keep reading below to discover what rebates are available to you.

Solar energy in New South Wales

Small-scale solar is on the rise, with a record-number of Australians installing solar PV systems on their rooftops in 2020. Thanks to the decreasing costs of solar panels, not only is it easier for more and more Australians to invest in solar energy, but they can buy larger-sized systems at a lower cost.

While solar panels are still by no means cheap, costing between $3,400 and $7,700 depending on the size, New South Wales does enjoy cheaper solar PV systems than the national average. Below, you will find estimated costs of solar PV systems of different sizes. Your actual costs can vary depending on factors such as the type of system, size of the system, your location, and your installer. It’s best to get multiple quotes from different solar installers before making a final decision.

Cost of solar panels NSW 2021
Solar PV size 3kWh 4kWh 5kWh 6kWh 7kWh 10kWh
Average cost in NSW $3,420 $3,900 $4,360 $4,950 $5,860 $7,680
National average cost $4,000 $4,620 $5,090 $5,740 $6,770 $9,260

Source: Solar Choice Residential Solar PV Price Index – June 2021

Currently, there are around 639,000 solar PV systems installed across New South Wales, meaning around a quarter of all NSW households have solar panels. This doesn’t even account for the additional 296,000 solar hot water systems, bringing the total number of solar generation systems up to around 935,000.

Solar rebates and incentives in NSW 2021

Sadly, the once-generous solar rebates offered to Australians on both the state and national level just aren’t what they once were. With the cost of the technology falling, and more and more Australians already invested in solar energy, the government of New South Wales is following the path of other states and starting to get rid of their solar rebates. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ways you can save while investing in a solar PV system and, of course, you’ll save once your solar panels are installed and you begin generating your own electricity.

Small-scale technology certificates NSW

Small-scale technology certificates (or STCs) are a form of a rebate intended to reduce the upfront costs of a small-scale renewable generator be it solar, wind, or hydro, and were created by the Clean Energy Council for the Renewable Energy Target. These STCs are bought and traded, and each one can be sold for around $40.

The number of STCs you may be awarded for your solar PV system in New South Wales depends on a number of different factors including:

  • The size of the solar PV system
  • What STC zone you live in (the sunnier the zone, the more STCs you receive)
  • The installation date of your system

It’s important to remember that if you’re considering solar PV, the number of small-scale certificates you might receive is reducing every year until the scheme is phased out by 2030. As this deeming period shortens, the less STCs you will be eligible to get for your system, regardless of size or location.

Empowering Homes solar battery loan offer

If you live in certain postcodes in New South Wales, you might be eligible for an interest-free loan for either a solar and battery system (up to $14,000) or a battery retrofitted on an existing solar system (up to $9,000). This loan offer is being run as a pilot, with limited availability, and does not include solar-only options.

Am I eligible for the home solar battery loan in NSW?

In order to qualify for the home solar battery loan, you will need to live in one of the listed and eligible postcodes. In addition, you:

  • Cannot have a household income of more than $180,000 per annum
  • Own and live in your grid-connected home, and have the authority to install the system
  • Satisfy the loan criteria

The terms of the solar battery loan

With the home solar battery loan, the NSW government is giving eligible homeowners in NSW access to interest-free loans to install solar battery systems. If you live in one of the eligible postcodes, and meet all other requirements, you could get:

  • $14,000 to go towards both a solar PV system and battery system to be repaid over a range of terms up to 8 years
  • $9,000 to go towards a retrofitted battery on an existing solar PV system to be repaid over a range of terms up to 10 years

Not only will you have access to a high-quality solar system with battery storage, installed by a Clean Energy Council approved installer, but you will also get an extended 10-year warranty on your system components.

How to apply for the home solar battery loan in NSW

Before you apply for the home battery loan, you need to decide if a solar batter is the right investment for your household. You’re more likely to benefit from all that solar battery storage has to offer if you:

  • Have a higher-than-average annual electricity consumption (more than 6,000kWh/year)
  • Use most of your electricity in the mornings and evenings
  • Are on, or will switch to, a time-of-use tariff with your electricity retailer
  • Are already doing other energy-saving measures

Discover even more ways you can reduce your energy consumption and lower your energy bill

Once you’ve decided a solar battery storage system is right for you, it’s as easy as three steps to apply for the solar battery loan.

  1. Contact several solar suppliers from the list of Clean Energy Council accredited suppliers
  2. Find out if solar is right for you, and get several detailed quotes
  3. Go to the Accept Your Quote portal, managed by Plenti, enter the quote details and follow the instructions

Upon approval of the loan, the solar supplier you chose will contact you to arrange the installation of your new solar battery.

Solar for low-income households in NSW

The solar for low-income households trial is a scheme to provide eligible households with a free solar PV system of up to 3kWh which, the NSW government says, could end up saving households up to $600 per year. If you currently receive the Low Income Household rebate, you have the opportunity to forego that rebate for 10 years, in exchange for the solar PV system.

Solar for low-income households eligibility

If you live in one of the regions currently trialling the solar for low-income households scheme, and currently receiving the Low Income Household Rebate, you might be eligible for a solar PV system through the NSW government. In order to qualify you must:

  • Currently be receiving the Low Income Household Rebate and agree to not receive the rebate for ten years
  • Hold a valid Pensioner Concession Card or DVA Gold Card
  • Own your home and not already have solar
  • Live in: Central Coast, North Coast, Sydney--South, Illawarra--Shoalhaven, or South Coast

How to apply for solar for low-income households

It’s easy to apply online through the NSW Government Energy Saver website. You just need to click apply now, and follow the instructions to register and provide your details. In order to complete the application you will need to submit the following:

  • A Council rates notice or other proof to confirm that you own your home
  • A recent electricity bill as proof you’re receiving the Low Income Household Rebate
  • A copy of your Pensioner Concession Card or Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold card

Once you’re approved, you’ll be notified by email and your details will be sent to the approved solar installer in your area. Your solar installer will contact you to arrange the date of your installation, which will be installed along with training on how to best benefit from your new solar PV system.

Solar feed-in-tariff NSW

Solar feed-in-tariffs are a tariff that your electricity company pays you for excess energy generated by your solar system, and sent back into the grid. If your solar system is producing more energy than your household can consume, it’ll be exported to the grid and you will receive a small credit on your energy bill for each kWh exported.

The amount of solar feed-in-tariff you might get from your energy provider can vary greatly. Some energy providers don’t offer any feed-in-tariff, such as OVO Energy, at all while others might offer up to 20c/kWh or more, but only if you purchase your solar panels through them (like Origin Energy Solar Boost Plus). In general, you will probably find solar feed-in-tariffs between 7c/kWh up to 18c/kWh, depending on the energy provider.

When choosing an energy plan with a solar FiT, it’s also important to remember that bigger tariffs are usually offset by lower discounts off the reference price. A 20c/kWh feed-in-tariff might only come with a 5% discount, while a plan with 8c/kWh feed-in-tariff might come with a 20% discount off the reference price. As a general rule, it’s better to choose a plan with a bigger feed-in-tariff if you do not have a battery, and your system is over 5kW. Whereas with a smaller system with a battery, choosing the bigger discount but smaller FiT will probably get you more savings overall.

Solar energy plans in NSW

If you have a nice, big, solar PV system, you’ll want to make the most of it. Below, you will find a list of some of the best and most popular solar energy plans for homes with solar panels or compare more energy plans in Australia and switch energy providers today.

  Solar FiT Discount off the reference price Estimated annual cost (excluding FiT credits)
Momentum Energy
Solar Step-Up
13.5c/kWh 7% discount $1,366 / year
Red Energy
Red Solar Saver
First 5kWh: 18c/kWh
After: 8.5c/kWh
No discount $1,460 / year
Solar Savers
17c/kWh No discount $1,462 / year
Origin Energy
Solar Boost Plus*
22c/kWh No discount $1,462 / year
First 5kWh: 21c/kWh
After: 5c/kWh
No discount $1,462 / year

*Solar Boost Plus is only available to customers who purchase their solar PV systems through Origin Energy. Rates valid for postcode 2000 within Ausgrid distribution network on a single-rate tariff. Estimated annual cost based on average usage of 3,900kWh/year. Valid June 2021.

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