Solar Rebates and Solar Battery Rebates in Australia
Despite the decreasing cost of solar panels, it can still be expensive to purchase and install a solar PV system onto your home. Thankfully, there are government solar rebates and schemes out there to help Australian residents begin to benefit from solar energy. If you’re considering solar, it’s best to act sooner rather than later, as the Australian government has been doing away with these schemes and rebates over the past few years. Below, you can find the still-available national and state-sponsored solar rebates, grants, loans, and schemes, as well as what you need in order to apply, so you too can start to benefit from solar energy.
Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs)
Under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, which is part of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target, small-scale technology certificates (STCs) are a financial incentive available to different small-scale renewable energy generation systems. This is the only national renewable and solar rebate available in Australia, and is set to be phased out by 2030.
What are Small-scale Technology Certificates?
Small-scale technology certificates are a form of financial incentive under the Renewable Energy Target, aimed at incentivising the development of small-scale renewable energy generation. While not only available for solar PV systems (residential and small-scale wind energy and hydropower, as well as solar thermal energy, also qualify), solar energy is the most popular for residential renewable energy systems.
Households and businesses with solar PV systems of up to 100kWh receive these small-scale technology certificates, which are calculated based on the size of the system (number of panels x wattage of each panel), the number of years until the STC scheme is phased out (also known as a deeming period), and the rating of the solar zone you reside in.
Australia’s solar zonesAustralia is divided into four solar zones: Zone 1 (from Darwin down to Brisbane across the northeast), Zone 2 (which includes parts of the Northern Territory, Western Australia, and into New South Wales), Zone 3 (Perth and across to Brisbane and down to Canberra), and Zone 4 (The southern coast and Tasmania).
While it is possible to do the math yourself to see how many STCs you could get, you can also easily calculate the number of certificates you’ll receive using an online STC calculator.
Similar to stocks, small-scale certificates rely on supply and demand to set their value. You can sell STCs to buyers (energy retailers) through an open market at a negotiable price, or through the STC Clearing House at $40 per certificate. Currently, there is an influx of certificates, meaning the value is going down, and expected to continue to decrease until the STC scheme is phased out in 2030.
More common, however, is for residential solar panel customers to assign their STCs to their solar retailer or installer for a point-of-sale discount when first purchasing their system, rather than needing to negotiate a price through the open market or wait for a buyer at the STC Clearing House.
STCs prices have fluctuated since they were first created, with their lowest price being around $16 per certificate, while capped at $40 per certificate in the STC Clearing House. Currently, their value in the open market is hovering around $30 - $35 per certificate.
How to create STCs
Small-scale technology certificates are created for each small-scale system registered, and must be created within 12 months of your system being installed. In order to create STCs you need to follow the following steps:
- Ensure your system is eligible for the small-scale certificates, and is completely installed
- Confirm you are either the owner of the eligible system, or you’ve been correctly assigned the right to create certificates on behalf of the owner. (If you’re a residential customer, you will often assign this to your solar retailer or installer)
- Completely fill out and sign the documentation needed to create STCs
- Calculate the correct amount of certificates the system is entitled to, with the correct deeming period, using an online STC calculator
- Create or log into the Renewable Energy Certificate Registry as a “registered person”A or “registered agent”
Energy rebates and concessionsWhile solar PV systems can help you reduce your electricity costs, if you need more immediate and ongoing help with your energy bills, there are a number of additional rebates and concessions available. These include one-off Emergency Energy Payments and concessions for pensioners, low income households, and households with families.
Solar rebates in Victoria
There are a number of solar rebates in Victoria, with solar panel rebates for Victorian homeowners and renters, as well as solar rebates for hot water and solar heat pumps, and battery storage systems.
VIC solar rebates for homeowners and tenants
Victoria is one of the only states to not only offer a solar rebate for homeowners, but also for tenants and landlords. Both of these rebates offer up to $1,850 to go towards the purchase and installation of solar panels, for owner-occupiers and rental properties. In order to benefit as either a homeowner or tenant, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Be a resident of Victoria
- Have a combined total income under $180,000
- The property is valued at under $3 million, and doesn’t already have a a solar PV system
- For tenants: A Solar Homes Landlord-Tenant Agreement is signed by the landlord and all renters and the property is currently tenanted with a rental agreement in place
In order to apply, you will need to first get in contact with an authorised solar retailer, who will upload a written quote to the Solar Victoria Panel. It’s best to first shop around, and find multiple quotes, so you can choose the best option for you.
Victoria solar rebate for hot water and solar heat pumps
If you’re interested in solar hot water for your home, you can get up to $1,000 from the Victorian government to go towards the purchase and installation of a solar heat pump. In order to qualify, you must:
- Be the owner-occupier of the property
- Have a combined income of under $180,000 per year
- Install the heat pump on a property valued at under $3 million
- Not have already received the solar panel rebate or battery storage rebate through the Solar Homes Program
- Have an existing hot water system that is at least three years old from the date of purchase
- Make sure your solar heat pump is on the list of approved products
The first step to receiving the solar hot water rebate, you must shop around and get a quote from an authorised solar installer or retailer. When shopping around, make sure to advise your retailer you will be applying for the program.
Solar rebate for battery storage VIC
If you already have a solar PV system, and want to add a solar battery storage system to your home, Victoria is offering a point-of-sale discount for eligible households. The Victoria Solar Battery Rebate offers up to $4,174, to go towards a battery storage system. In order to qualify you need to meet the following requirements:
- Be sure your property is within a designated postcode and already has a solar PV system with a capacity of at least 5kW
- Obtain pre-approval from your energy distributor, to safely connect a battery to the grid
- The property doesn’t already have a battery storage system, and the product chosen is on the list of Approved Batteries
- You are the owner occupier of the property
- The combined total income of the household is under $180,000 and the property is valued at under $3 million
- The property has not already benefited from the Victoria Solar Homes program
- You agree to receive information from your electricity distributor about taking part in battery trials to maximise the value households get from them
- You agree to a free safety inspection and/or audit under the Solar Victoria Audit Program
To get started on the Solar Battery Storage Rebate in Victoria, you must first agree to a quote from an authorised solar retailer or installer. Once you find a solar retailer, and agree to a quote, they will upload it online which will enable you to start the application process.
Solar rebates NSW
Currently, over 20% of households in New South Wales benefit from solar energy. If you’re interested in adding a solar PV system to your home, or solar battery to an existing system, there are a few solar rebates in New South Wales available to help reduce the cost and installation price of solar and renewable energy generators.
NSW home solar battery loan
While not exactly a solar rebate, the home solar battery loan is available through the NSW government to help those with existing solar PV systems add battery storage to their homes, or new solar customers add a solar PV system and battery to their home. These interest-free loans give homeowners up to:
- $14,000 towards a new solar PV and battery system, which can be repaid over 8 years
- $9,000 towards a retrofitted solar battery on an existing solar PV system, which can be repaid over 10 years
If you’re interested in the solar battery loan, you can first begin the application process by comparing quotes from approved solar retailers. Your solar retailer will discuss your needs, and inspect your home, to help you decide if a solar battery is the best choice for you.
Solar for low income households in New South Wales
The government of New South Wales is giving up to 3,000 solar PV systems of up to 3kW to households receiving the Low Income Household Rebate. If you live in one of the following locations, and meet the eligibility requirements, you can begin the application process:
- Central coast
- North Coast
- South Coast
- Illawarra – Shoalhaven
If you hold a valid Pensioner Concession Card, or DVA Gold Card, and are a recipient of the Low Income Housing Rebate in New South Wales, as well as own your own home, you are eligible for the Solar for low income households scheme. In order to apply, you need to begin the application process directly through the NSW Government’s EnergySaver website.
Solar rebates in QLD
Currently, all previous solar rebates in Queensland are closed to new applicants. Previously, however, Queensland had two solar rebates available; a solar rebate for renters, and a solar grant and loan for panels and battery storage.
QLD government solar rebate for renters
While now closed to new applicants the QLD solar rebate for renters was a trial program designed to assist landlords and tenants with installing solar PV systems onto rental properties in parts of Queensland. During the solar rebate for renters trial, 1,000 rebates of up to $3,500 were made available to eligible landlords and tenants. If you applied for the Queendland solar panel rebate, and want to find out about the status of your application, call 1800 623 946.
Queensland solar grant and loan for solar panels and battery storage
While closed to new applicants, the Queensland government solar grant and loan program was made available to households who were interested in solar panels and a battery storage system. This program was divided into three packages; a loan for solar systems of up to $4,500 to be repaid over 7 years, a grant of $3,000 and a loan of $6,000 for a battery storage system to be repaid over 10 years, and a grant of $3,000 plus an additional $10,000 loan to be paid over 10 years for a solar PV system and battery storage.
Solar rebates in the ACT
There are two available solar energy programs available in the ACT. The first program, the Solar for Low Income program, is available to ACT residents with valid Pensioner Concession Cards and offers a 50% rebate (up to $2,500) to eligible homeowners in the state. If you don’t already have solar PV, and your household is assessed and shown to be viable for solar energy, you can contact Access Canberra by calling 13 22 88 or emailing Actsmart@act.gov.au to register your interest. Even if you’re not sure, you can still contact Access Canberra for a no-obligation quote at no cost.
If you already have a solar PV system, or are interested in both solar PV and a battery system, the ACT Government is offering 5,000 households a rebate of up to $825 per kW (up to 30kW) to go towards a new battery storage system. In order to apply for the Next Generation Energy Storage program through the ACT government, you need to get in touch with one of the approved solar battery storage providers; Evergen, Solahart, or SolarHub.
Home Battery Scheme SA: Solar battery rebate
The South Australia Home Battery Scheme, available to homeowners with existing solar PV systems, is available to residents interested in adding solar battery storage to their homes. The SA Home Battery Scheme is a three-step subsidy, and currently the maximum amount available is $3,000 per battery installation.
|Energy concession holder||$300 per kWh|
|All other households||$200 per kWh|
|Maximum subsidy per battery installation||$3,000|
In order to receive the Home Battery Storage Rebate, you will need to get a quote from a certified and approved home solar battery system provider. Once you’ve found a quote you want to accept, your provider will create a Quote Record on the South Australia Home Battery Storage Plenti Portal where you can approve of the quote you want. During this time, you will also be able to apply for any additional loans or subsidies.