Solar & Battery Rebates, Subsidies & Incentives in Australia

Rebates, Incentive and Feed-in Tariff

Important: When requesting quotes be sure to ask if the provider and their products are eligible for the rebate, subsidies and incentives you wish to purchase your solar system or battery system under. Eligibility requirements will vary across states and schemes.

 

Federal Government

Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme

The Federal Government subsidy, officially known as the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), entitles individuals and small businesses large subsidies when installing eligible small-scale renewable energy systems (under 100kW) such as solar PV systems and solar water heater systems. The size of the system determines the number of small-scale technology certificates (STCs) it’ll receive.

  •  
    What are STC’s?

    Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCS) are certificates which system owners or installers can trade in exchange for an upfront discount off the cost of a solar system. STC’s have a dollar value which can fluctuate depending on solar system demand, changes in Government and many other factors. The amount of STC’s you receive for your solar system, your location and the worth of STC’s at the time will determine the subsidy for your system.

    Different parts of Australia have different Zone Ratings, based on how much clean, renewable energy can be generated by a solar panel in that area.

    To work out how many STCs you would receive for your system you can use the following calculation:

    System Size in kW x Zone Rating x Years = Number of STCs

    STC Map
    Zone Rating
    1 1.622
    2 1.536
    3 1.382
    4 1.185
  • Important things to know about the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme:
    • The value of STC will rise and fall depending on demand
    • The number of STCs you’re entitled to will decrease each year up until 2030 when the scheme is scheduled to finish
    • The solar provider/installer will claim the subsidy on your behalf and quote your system and installation with the discounted rate (You must select a CEC accredited installer to receive the subsidy)
    • Most providers and installers advertise their systems inclusive of the SRES subsidy
    • A Feed-in Tariff (FIT) is different from the SRES and is a rebate you receive for the excess energy your installed system generates that gets exported to the grid.
    • Systems over 100kW (commercial size) are not eligible for the SRES however they may be eligible for the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET)
  • Value of the Federal Government Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme

    At the current STC price of $36.20, the average value of the rebate you can expect is listed below.

    System size No. of panels  States Value of rebate (STCs) *
    1.5 kW 5 WA, QLD, SA, NSW
    VIC, TA
    $864
    $756
    2 kW 7 WA, QLD, SA, NSW
    VIC, TAS
    $1,188
    $1,008
    3 kW 10 WA, QLD, SA, NSW
    VIC, TAS
    $1,764
    $1,512
    4 kW 13 WA, QLD, SA, NSW
    VIC, TAS
    $2,376
    $2,016
    5 kW 16 WA, QLD, SA, NSW
    VIC, TAS
    $2,952
    $2,556
    6 kW 19 WA, QLD, SA, NSW
    VIC, TAS
    $3,564
    $3,060
    7 kW 23 WA, QLD, SA, NSW
    VIC, TAS
    $4,176
    $3,564

    (Number of STC’s x STC Price = Value of Subsidy) | (*Updated March 2019)

 

State Based Incentives

As well as the Federal Government SRES subsidy Queensland residents have access to the Affordable Energy Plan.
Landlords for rental properties in Townsville, Gladstone and Bundaberg also have access to the Solar For Renters Trial.

Affordable Energy Plan

The Affordable Energy Plan includes 3 different options for residents to select.

Interest-free loans for solar systems

  • Available to households
  • Interest-free loan of up to $4,500
  • To be repaid within 7 years

Interest-free loans and grants for battery storage

  • Available to households and small businesses
  • Grants up to $3000
  • Interest-free loans up to $6,000
  • Loans to be re-paid within 10 years

Interest-free loans and grants for combined solar and battery systems

  • Households may apply for the loan and grant, or just the grant
  • Small businesses are eligible for the grant only
  • Grants up to $3000
  • Interest-free loans up to $10,000
  • Loans to be re-paid within 10 years

Eligibility

Household:

  • On the Family Tax Benefit B
  • Own your home with a mortgage
  • Home electricity costs of more than $1,000 over the past 6 months or more than $2,000 over the past 12 months
  • Not receiving the Solar Bonus Scheme (44 cent feed-in tariff)

Small Business:

  • Fewer than the equivalent of 20 full-time employees
  • Are a small electricity user (less than 100,000-kilowatt hours of electricity per year)
  • Not receiving the Solar Bonus Scheme (44 cent feed-in tariff)

Solar For Renters Trial

ONLY AVAILABLE TO Bundaberg, Gladstone or Townsville Residents

1,000 rebates of up to $3,500 are available for eligible landlords to install a solar system with solar monitoring technology. Rental properties must be located in the following local government areas:

  • Bundaberg Regional Council
  • Gladstone Regional Council
  • Townsville City Council

Eligibility

Rental property must;

  • Be in Bundaberg, Gladstone or Townsville
  • Have its own roof
  • Have an electricity meter
  • Be occupied by tenants
  • Charge no more than $350 rent per week
  • Not have a current solar system
  • Both tenant and landlord need to agree to participate

The tenant will need to sign a new 12 month rental agreement ( minimum )

Note: Systems must be installed and rebate applications submitted by 30 June 2020.

The rebate is paid based on the size of the system installed (where system size is measured by the lower of the system’s inverter or total panel capacity):

  • $2,500 for systems 3 kilowatts to less than 4 kilowatts
  • $3,000 for systems 4 kilowatts to less than 5 kilowatts
  • $3,500 for systems 5 kilowatts or greater

Only one rebate is available per rental property. If you have more than one rental property you can apply for a rebate at each property provided all of the eligibility criteria are met.

As well as the Federal Government SRES subsidy South Australian residents have access to the Home Battery Scheme and Virtual Power Plant.

Home Battery Scheme

Households in South Australia can access subsidies up to $6000 to help pay for the installation of home battery systems as an additional component to their current or new solar PV system.
Additional finance is also available through RateSetter to help households pay for the remaining balance of the subsidised battery and new or additional solar system if required.
The subsidy is available to all South Australians who own or occupy a home in South Australia and will be calculated on the kilowatt-hour capacity of the battery purchased. Energy Concession Holders are eligible for a higher subsidy, ensuring low-income households are supported to access the scheme. The subsidy is taken off the cost of the home battery system and given to the System Provider once the system is installed at your home.

Home Battery Scheme Subsidy Levels

  • Energy concession holder: $600.00 per kilowatt-hour (kWh)
  • All other households: $500.00 per kilowatt-hour (kWh)

Maximum Subsidy is capped at $6000

Eligibility

  • Customer: Only one subsidy per property
  • Site: Only residential properties are eligible
  • Concession status: Energy concession recipients are eligible for a higher subsidy amount per kwh of battery capacity installed
  • Battery System: Only approved eligible equipment to be installed by a qualified system provide
  • Ownership: The applicant must be the owner of the property or have consent from the owner to install a battery system

Virtual Power Plant

The Virtual Power Plant initiative is open for South Australians to register their interest.
A virtual power plant is created by a network of home solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery systems all working together to generate, store and feed energy back into the grid.
Energy from the home solar PV and battery systems installed will provide electricity for your house.

Who can take part?
Phases I and II are limited to SA Housing Trust households who have registered their interest in the VPP program, with the benefits shared among lower-income South Australians.

Subject to the trials’ success, program financing, and the satisfaction of both Tesla and the government in the final program design, the full program could be rolled out to 24,000 more public housing properties and 25,000 private properties from mid-2019.

Solar Homes Program

As well as the Federal Government SRES subsidy Victoria residents have access to ONE of the below rebates;

  • Solar Panel Rebate (Paused until 1/07/2019)
  • Solar Hot Water Rebate
  • Renters Solar Scheme ( To be released 1/07/2019)
  • Home Battery Subsidies (To be released 1/07/2019)

The Solar Homes program will run over 10 years and will support the installation of more than 650,000 solar PV systems for owner occupiers, 50,000 solar PV systems for landlords and tenants, 10,000 battery storage systems, and 60,000 solar hot water systems.

There is a set number of rebates which will be approved each month and once this number has reached capacity it is likely they will pause the ability to submit new applications until the start of the next round (month).

Solar Victoria will launch a one-stop online portal for rebate applications to be completed on by the Solar Provider and Customer. The Solar Provider must be registered with Solar Victoria to take part in the Solar Homes program.

The Solar Provider should quote the customer with the deducted rebate amount in which the Solar Provider will be able to claim via the portal after the installation is complete. 

  • Interest Free Loans to cover the remaining upfront costs for those installing a solar PV system will also be available from July 1st. This can be used in conjunction with the Solar Panel Rebate and Renters Solar Scheme.
  • An applicant can apply only once as an owner-occupier (one of solar PV, batteries or hot water only) and once as a landlord (solar PV only).

Number of Rebates To Be Released Per Annum

2019–2020    
Rebate No of Rebates per annum Rebate per month
Solar Panel Rebate - Owner & occupiers 40,000 3,333
Solar Panel Rebate - Renters 2,000 166
Solar Hot Water Rebate 6,000 Subject to demand
Batteries Rebate                      1,000 Three releases of 200, 400 and 400 on 1 July, 1 November and 1 March 

 Rebate Amounts ($)

Rebate Amounts ($) 2018–2019 2019–2020 2020–2021
    01/07/19- 31/12/19 01/01/20-30/06/20  
Solar PV $2,225 $2,225 $1,888 $1,850
Batteries NA $4,838 $4,838 $4,174
Solar Hot Water $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 TBC

Solar Panel Rebate

The Solar Panel Rebate entitles Victoria households to receive up to $2,225 (dependent on year- see table above) upon installation of a solar PV system.

This is on top of the Federal Government Rebate that was already in place. Being able to claim both subsidies will mean that you can save approximately two-thirds of the overall costs of a solar system.

Eligibility

    • The household has a combined income of less than $180,000 per annum before tax
    • The household does not already have a solar panel system installed
    • You are a home owner-occupier of a home that is valued at under $3,000,000

*If you already have a solar PV system and it was installed prior to the 1st of November, 2009 you are also eligible for the Solar Panel Rebate.

UPDATE: As of 12/04/2019 this scheme has stopped accepting applications until it is re-launched in July.

Solar Hot Water Rebate

Solar hot water rebates are available up to $1000 for solar hot water systems. A good option for households who cannot install a solar PV system.

The solar hot water rebate applies to installations that replace an existing hot water system that was at least three years old (from the date of purchase) and it’s not available to new build homes (new Class 1 buildings). Households can only access one rebate type under the solar homes package (i.e. a household that accesses a Solar PV rebate cannot claim a solar hot water rebate and vice versa).

Eligibility

  • The household has a combined income of less than $180,000 per annum before tax
  • The household does not already have a solar panel system installed
  • You are a home owner-occupier of a home that is valued at under $3,000,000
  • Are you replacing an existing hot water system OR an existing solar hot water system that is at least three years old?
  • Confirm that you haven’t applied for or received a rebate for solar PV under the Solar Homes Package?

Renters Solar Scheme

50,000 rebates on solar panels for Victorian rental properties will consist of two streams:

Stream A – (Rebate only) will give landlords a rebate up to $2,225 (dependent on year- see table above) towards a solar system for their rental property and then the landlord will be required to pay the rest.

The rebate amount will be paid directly to the solar provider and will be deducted from the total cost of the system, with the landlord paying the outstanding balance directly to the provider once installed.

Stream B – which will consist of the rebate up to $2,225 (dependent on year- see table above) plus a loan that will allow the tenant to contribute to the cost of the system

Under the Stream B, renters will make a 25 per cent contribution towards the cost of installation through a small levy on rent spread over four years, with the government and the landlord to cover the rest.

The rebate will be subject to new rental lease agreement between the tenants and landlord.

Eligibility

  • Tenant/s in the rental property have a combined household taxable income of less than $180,000 per year
  • Rental property is valued at under $3 million
  • Rental property does not already have solar panels (PV) installed
  • Rental property address has had no previous participation in the Solar Homes Program

Home Battery Subsidies

Rebates for up to half the value capped at $4,838 (dependent on year- see table above) of the installation of a battery storage unit for 10,000 households that already have solar panels installed.

The new Battery Rebate will start off as a Battery Pilot Rebate Scheme and only be eligible to households within certain postcodes. While the list of eligible postcodes may change throughout the program the current list has been selected due to the following criteria;

  • Postcodes have a high proportion of households with existing solar PV systems; and
  • In an area where the electricity grid can cope with the additional power the battery will provide.

Find Eligible Postcodes Here

Eligibility

  • Owners have a combined household taxable income of less than $180,000 per annum (based on last year’s Australian Tax Office Notice of Assessment (NOA))
  • Existing property, valued at under $3 million
  • Already has solar panels (PV) installed
  • Sits within a targeted growth area, as identified by Solar Victoria

Solar Interest Free Loans

Interest-free loans up to $2,225 will be available for solar PV systems under the program. This will allow Victorians to access the benefits of renewable energy at no up-front cost. 

Renters will also be able to access an interest-free loan for a solar PV system under the solar rental property scheme. Households will be required to pay back the amount of the loan over four years, which will assist Victorians with budgeting for their cost of living. 

Solar Provider and System Requirements

Solar Providers (Business)

Solar Providers will be required to be a signatory to the CEC Approved Solar Retailer program or equivalent ACCC code of conduct. This will be mandatory from 1st of November 2019 for all retailers taking part in the program and mandatory from 1st of July for the top 150 retailers (determined by sales volume).

Inverters

  • There will be stricter testing of PV inverters so they do not remain live (or ‘islanded’) in the event of blackout
  • Inverters will need to be able to provide ‘Volt-VAr’ and ‘Volt-Watt’ response modes to help maintain network voltage within correct levels while allowing solar electricity to be exported.

Find out more on solar provider and system requirements here

Release date to be confirmed

Empowering Homes Program

The Empowering Homes Program will offer interest-free loans for solar batteries or combined solar PV and battery systems. The loans will be up to $9,000 per battery system and up to $14,000 per solar-battery system. The program will be available to up to 300,000 households over 10 years.

Suppliers and installers will be selected through a competitive tender process and the initiative will also be utilised to encourage battery manufacturing in NSW.

Eligibility

Homeowner-occupiers with a combined income of $180,000 or less

Applications for the Tasmanian Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme (TEELS)  have now closed residents currently only have access to the Federal Government SRES subsidy.

Northern Territory residents currently only have access to the Federal Government SRES subsidy.

ACT residents currently only have access to the Federal Government SRES subsidy.

Western Australia residents currently only have access to the Federal Government SRES subsidy.

 
If you’d like to speak to solar installers about the incentives and rebates you’re entitled to submit to receive Obligation FREE Quotes!

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.