Are there still solar rebates available?

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As promised, today we discuss everything rebates.

What’s on offer? Are you eligible? And how can you claim them?

Let’s get started.

The first thing that’s important to know, is that there are actually TWO rebates that are currently available. One is provided by the Federal Government (known as the STC scheme) and the other by the State Government (administered by Solar Victoria).

Let’s start with the state rebates.

In August 2018, the state government announced brand-new rebates for solar, making solar more affordable than ever.

What’s on offer?

You can now get a discount on the cost of your solar power system up to $2,225*.

And better yet, you can pair this with an interest-free loan equivalent to the amount of the rebate (so up to $2,225), meaning you can get solar at very low upfront cost.  You then pay back this loan over a four-year period.

And now comes the best part.

With Solar Vic’s new streamlined process, this discount is applied at point of sale. This means you no longer need to wait to be reimbursed by Solar Victoria – you’ll get the discount upfront.

So how will the process work?

Here’s a handy explainer.

  1. Contact your chosen provider for a quote.
  2. The provider will then upload your quote to the Solar Victoria Portal, which will trigger the online process for your eligibility assessment.
  3. You’ll receive an email notification from Solar Victoria  when your provider has submitted your quote to the program. All you’ll need to do then, is upload proof of income and a rates notice to confirm your eligibility for the rebate and loan.
  4. Once it’s confirmed you’re eligible, you can select whether you would like to take up the loan option as well. Once you’ve made your selection, your retailer will claim the rebate (and loan) on your behalf and deduct this amount from the total cost of your system.

Please note a total of 3333 rebates for rooftop solar panels will be available each month. Once these rebates are exhausted, you’ll need to wait until next month to apply for a rebate.

Am I eligible?

You’re eligible for the rebate if you meet the following criteria:

  • have a combined household taxable income of less than $180,000 per annum
  • are an owner-occupier of a property valued at under $3,000,000
  • you must not already have a solar PV system installed or have one that was installed before November 1, 2009
  • choose a Clean Energy Council (CEC) Approved Product and use a CEC Approved Solar Retailer
  • engage an installer who can provide a statement that they have not received a WorkSafe prosecution in the past three years
  • only be claiming one rebate per household

Pretty good right?

Now, let’s go through the federal rebates.

There’s also currently a federal government scheme – known as the small scale renewable energy scheme.

How does it work?

Well, for each kW of panels you install, a certain amount of small-scale technology certificates or STCs are generated, which are then bought by electricity retailers who need them to meet their renewable energy obligations.

So how much can you save?

Here’s a handy guide.

Source: Solar Quotes

 As you can see, for a 5kW system, in 2019 you can save an additional 3k! Pretty good right?

But, what you probably also noticed in the above graph, is that the rebate is declining (by 7% each year on Jan 1). This is because this program is slowly being phased out until 2030.

So if a 5kW system costs $6500, do I get another $3000 discount with the fed rebate?

Unfortunately, these prices already include the value of the STCs. And in fact, all quotes you’ll see will already provide the price after taking into account these STCs. Disappointing, right?

Yet, it’s not all bad news. Everyone is eligible for the federal rebate (you just need to be installing new panels), and there’s no paperwork you need to do (the whole process is managed by the suppliers).

And of course, the above prices don’t include the state rebate. So if you’re eligible, you can get up to $2,225 off plus an interest-free loan. Phew.

So, that’s it for today. Tomorrow, we discuss another financial incentive that you get from solar – the feed-in tariff.

In the meantime, you can read more about the state government rebate on Solar Vic’s website.

*Media reports have indicated that the maximum rebate will drop to $1888 from January 1 and again to $1850 for the 2020-21 financial year.