South Australia Solar Rebates and Home Battery Scheme
Solar energy in South Australia is in a massive boom. Over 35% of the popular has residential solar energy, with more than 275,000 panels installed onto rooftops. Given South Australia’s notoriously high electricity prices, and the declining cost of solar, it makes sense to want to get in on the solar energy action. If you’re wondering how you can make solar more affordable and accessible, continue to read below and discover which solar rebates and schemes are available for you in South Australia.
South Australia Home Battery Scheme
The South Australia Home Battery Scheme is a three-step subsidy that grants households with solar PV systems additional funding to add battery storage to their house. Currently, the maximum subsidy per battery installation is $3,000.
|Energy concession holder||$300 per kWh|
|All other households||$200 per kWh|
|Maximum subsidy per battery installation||$3,000|
Is a solar battery right for me?
Before applying for the Home Battery Scheme, you’ll first need to decide if purchasing a solar battery storage system is right for you. It’s important to speak to a qualified solar system provider and installer to make sure you have all the information before making the decision. However, it’s important to consider:
- Daily electricity usage, and when you use it most
- The total cost of the battery system and how long it will take to payback the cost
- Whether your solar PV system (if you already have one) generates enough excess solar energy to warrant a battery
- How a battery might affect your feed-in-tariff
How do I apply for the Home Battery Scheme in South Australia?
The first step to apply for the Home Battery Scheme in South Australia is to get a quote from a certified battery system provider. A full list of system providers is available on the SA Government’s Home Battery Scheme website. When looking for a system provider, it’s best to get more than one quote from multiple providers to help you compare costs.
Your system providers will create a Quote Record for you on the Plenti Portal. Once a provider offers a quote you want to accept, you can go onto the Plenti Portal and approve of the quote you want. Once you approve of the quote, you’ll be directed to review and apply for the subsidy and any additional loans.
After you apply for the subsidy and additional loans, your chosen battery provider will be in touch to arrange your installation time. When your system is installed, you’ll need to confirm your satisfaction with the installation process. Once you agree, the subsidy and loans will be released to your battery system provider.
Solar rebate South Australia: Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs)
Small-scale technology certificates are available through the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme, which assigns certificates to small scale renewable energy generators (most commonly solar PV systems but also wind power, or hydro energy generators). These certificates are assigned based on the amount of electricity your system would generate, offsetting what you would otherwise draw from the grid during its lifetime. Larger systems will get more STCs, because they generate more electricity over their lifetime.
The price of STCs changes, depending on supply and demand, so it’s more common for residential solar panel owners to assign these certificates to their solar installer for a point-of-sale discount, rather than worry about buying and selling them on their own.
Solar feed-in-tariffs South Australia
A solar feed-in-tariff is a rate, in cents per kWh, that your energy provider pays you for the amount of electricity your solar PV system generates and sends back into the grid. The amount you get from your solar feed-in-tariff depends on your energy provider, and how much electricity your solar system generates and sends into the grid.
|Provider Name||Minimum Solar FiT||Maximum Solar FiT|
|Origin Energy||8c / kWh||21c / kWh|
|ReAmped Energy||5c / kWh||19c / kWh|
|Click Energy||10c / kWh||17c / kWh|
|Amaysim Energy||10c / kWh||16c / kWh|
|AGL||12.4c / kWh||16c / kWh|
In recent years, South Australian energy providers have started offering higher solar feed-in-tariffs, upwards of 15c/kWh or more for many of their solar-friendly plans. It’s important to remember, however, that many energy providers will offer a higher solar feed-in-tariff but a lower total discount off the reference price, while opting for a lower feed-in-tariff will often give you a larger discount off the reference price.
Choosing whether you want a high feed-in-tariff or bigger discount really depends on the type of solar system you have installed, and your lifestyle and habits. In general, however, you’re better off choosing a higher feed-in-tariff if you have a bigger solar PV system (above 5kW), and you use less energy during the day. If you have a smaller solar PV system, use a lot of energy during the day, or have a battery storage system, you’re probably better off choosing a bigger discounted energy plan, even if that means getting a lower feed-in-tariff.
|Higher FiT||Bigger total discount|
South Australia Virtual Power Plant (SA VPP)
South Australia is home to the Virtual Power plant. A virtual power plant is a network of decentralized energy generating technologies (also known as distributed energy resources) most commonly solar PV systems and battery storage, which work together to boost the energy in the grid when demand is high.
Virtual Power Plants work to help stabilize the electricity grid. During times of high demand, the Virtual Power Plant operator can charge or discharge your energy storage system, sometimes at rapid speed, to raise or lower the frequency of electricity in the grid, and reward you for your participation.
In South Australia, there are many virtual power plant options. The most widespread is the South Australia Virtual Power Plant partnered with Tesla Powerwall. This VPP is open to Housing SA beneficiaries, who receive subsidised solar PV systems and batteries to help reduce the cost of electricity and provide additional stability to the grid.
If you’re a homeowner with solar and battery storage, however, there are plenty of other options in Virtual Power Plants. Each offers different incentives to join and eligibility does vary.
Simply Energy Virtual Power Plant
The Simply Energy VPP offers two different incentives for joining their virtual power plant. Simply Energy’s “Large Battery Offer” gives you up to $2,550, paid at $7 per day for 12 months, if you own the Tesla Powerwall, LG Chem, or a Eguana Technologies battery. If you own a battery from sonnen or Varta, however, you could be eligible for the “Smaller Battery Offer” of up to $1,275 paid at up to $7 per day over six months.
AGL Virtual Power Plant
Whether you already have an eligible battery, or are looking to include one, AGL offers two choices when it comes to their VPP.
AGL VPP “Bring Your Own Battery” recipients can receive a sign-up bonus of $100 and an additional $45 quarterly credit off their energy bill over the first 12 months if they already have an eligible battery. If you’re looking to buy an eligible battery, AGL offers $1,000 to go towards the cost of the system when joining the VPP for five years.
Eligible AGL virtual power plant batteries include: Tesla Powerwall or LG Chem with a SolarEdge Inverter.
ShineHub Community with PowerShop
ShineHub and Powershop paired together to offer a Virtual Power Plant to eligible customers in South Australia. Customers can save up to $300 per year in VPP payments ranging between 37c/kWh up to $7.05/kWh. If you have any sized Alpha-ESS battery, you could be eligible for the ShineHub virtual power plant with PowerShop.
Tesla Energy Plan
While the South Australia Virtual Power Plant is currently only available to Housing SA recipients, if you’re a homeowner and interested in joining the SA VPP, you can do so though Tesla and Energy Locals.
Tesla is currently offering an exclusive low price for their Tesla Powerwall when you sign up for the Tesla Energy Plan through Energy Locals, and as well as benefiting from a $0 daily supply charge (saving upwards of $300 per year).
If you already have an existing sonnenBatterie and solar system, you could be eligible to choose one of the sonnenFlat VPP “Pay as you go” monthly electricity plans, starting at $49 per month. With these plans, you’ll be provided with an annual household electricity allowance, depending on the size of your solar and battery system. In exchange, you must generate a certain minimum amount of solar energy annually. If you don’t, your plan will be adjusted accordingly.
Discover Energy Smart Saver VPP
Discover Energy's Smart Saver VPP offers a competitive energy plan, which includes a solar feed-in-tariff of 25c/kWh. To be eligible for the Smart Saver Virtual Power Plant from Discover Energy, you will need one of the following compatible batteries: AlphaESS, LG Chem, BYD, Sungrow, or Pylontech and the model must be compatible with Goodwe, Sungrow, AlphaESS, or SolarEdge 5kW hybrid inverters.
If you’re interested in building a new home, the Stoddart VPP offers the owner-occupier of a new home the opportunity to add a discounted battery, in addition to your free solar system added and installed during construction.