What is a solar panel rebate?
Who provides the solar panel rebate?
How can you claim the solar panel rebate?
Are you eligible to claim the solar panel rebate?
What are the different types of solar ‘rebates’?
Solar rebates Victoria
Solar rebates Queensland
Solar rebates South Australia
Commercial solar rebates
A solar panel rebate is an upfront saving off the cost of your solar system in the form of an incentive to buy solar panels.
It’s usually provided by the government to promote clean energy. Solar ‘rebates’ are not usually called rebates, but instead seen more as a subsidy or financial incentive.
There are many different types of solar rebates for different solar products.
Here in Australia we have rebates for solar panels, solar batteries and solar hot water systems. For each different renewable solar product there are different rebates.
Some rebates may offer a discount on the upfront cost of the product, whereas others offer money-back rewards or incentives to use and sell energy.
The solar rebates are provided by the government as an incentive for homeowners to move to solar energy.
Each rebate is slightly different from state to state and is provided by the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) in Australia.
The Clean Energy Regulator provides two schemes:
Large scale renewable energy targets which encourages investment in renewable power stations.
Small scale renewable energy scheme which supports small scale installations like solar panels and solar hot water systems.
These ‘rebates’ are offered in the form of a certificate given by the REC (Renewable Energy Certificate). They do require you to be a member to claim these incentives.
There are 2 different ways that you can claim the solar panel rebate in Australia. We will run through them all now.
1. Claim it through your chosen solar installers/company. This will be the easiest way for most people.
Some solar companies will already include the discounted solar rebate on your quote so you pay less upfront. They will then claim the rebate themselves.
2. You can claim the solar rebate through the REC website by registering and filling out the online application.
Homeowners will then be given a STCs certificate which can be sold. The STC certificate can be sold through the open market with prices subject to change or through the STC clearing house at a fixed price.
The only 2 ways of claiming the solar panel rebate are through your solar installer or online with the REC.
The solar panel rebate is a financial incentive for homeowners to buy solar panels.
It’s given as a ‘discount’ on the upfront cost of the solar system and installation.
This discount is in the form of STCs (Small scale Technology Certificates) which can be claimed by the solar retailer or homeowner.
Solar hot water rebate is another form of financial incentive for homeowners when they purchase solar hot water systems.
Again this is in the form of a STC’s certificates which can be claimed by the solar installers/company or the homeowner.
You can claim this solar rebate with any thermal solar system.
Rebates for solar batteries are either a grant or subsidy given by the government to help pay the upfront cost of the solar battery.
Solar installers/companies will be the easiest way to claim the rebate. Homeowners can also apply online at the relevant state rebate website.
You can claim this solar rebate with the purchase of any solar battery, like Tesla’s Powerwall 2. However, you will have to choose between the solar panel rebate or solar battery rebate.
Small Scale Technology Certificates are the most popular financial incentive given by the government.
STC’s are certificates given to homeowners when they install a small renewable energy system at their home.
It’s easy to look at STC’s like shares in your solar system which you can sell for money. Essentially they are environmental credits given by the government as rewards or incentives for buying solar.
You will need to be eligible for an STCs by meeting the following requirements;
You can claim your STCs by;
Small-Scale Technology Certificates are calculated based on the amount of energy the solar system produces over its life-time.
This correlates to the size of your system as well, the bigger your system the more STC’s. Another factor that is used to calculate STC’s are locations and when the system was installed.
Solar panel systems have allocated STCs of up to 15 years whereas solar hot water is only 10 years.
Feed in Tariffs are not a solar rebate, but part of a solar bonus scheme to reward homeowners for selling any excess solar power back to the grid.
The FITs is a rate that is paid for any electricity produced by solar panels and is fed back into the electricity grid.
Whenever there is a government solar ‘rebate’ usually there is also an interest free loan on offer as well.
It’s safe to say that solar panel rebates and no-interest loans come hand in hand. Almost every state is offering an interest free loan to go with the solar rebate.
This really helps first time buyers over-come to high upfront cost of solar panels. How much the loan is depends on which state you are living in.
We will go into much more details for each state below.
The Solar homes program in Victoria is offering a solar panel rebate of up to $1850* off the cost of the solar system and installation.
This is done through your chosen solar installer who will claim the rebate on your behalf. Any installation will need to be done by CEC accredited and approved installers.
Once your quote has been uploaded to the Solar Victoria Portal you will need to send proof of your eligibility to it finalised. Your solar installer will then deduct the cost off your quote.
STCs are also given in Victoria based on the location and size of the system. Below are the current rates:
To be able to claim the solar panel rebate in Victoria, you must first qualify. We have attached the latest requirements so you can check if you are eligible below:
The solar homes program also supports homeowners buying solar batteries. They are giving a ‘point of sale’ discount of up to $4,174 off the upfront cost of a solar battery.
Again, this solar battery rebate will be claimed by the solar installer on your behalf and deducted from the quote.
However, this rebate is quite tough to end up getting as the requirements are very strict. You can only claim the solar battery rebate if you are living in the listed post codes.
To be eligible for the solar battery rebate in Victoria you will need:
Within the solar homes program the government is offering an interest free loan to help make solar even more affordable.
This loan is for $1850 and is expected to be paid off over a 4 year period. It comes with no extra fees and can be paid monthly.
The solar rebate in Queensland works through small-scale technology certificates. Rates for STCs are around $30-$40 per certificate.
STCs are available in Queensland and are given when homeowners install a small scale renewable energy system at their home.
This also applied to businesses, as long as the system is under 100KW. You can claim your STC through your nominated solar company or by applying online.
Government bodies in Queensland are offering interest-free loans as the solar rebate. Homeowners can apply for a loan of $4500 to help purchase their solar system.
This loan is expected to be paid within 7 years and can be paid monthly.
To claim this loan you must meet the following criteria:
The Queensland government also provides loans for solar battery systems.
You can choose from a grant of up to $3000 or interest free loan of $6000. The interest free loan is required to be paid back within 10 years.
This can also be applied to small businesses who can apply for just the grant. Homeowners can apply for both the grant and the loan, or just the grant.
If you want to get the solar battery grant & loan you will need to meet the following criteria:
This solar rebate is really good because it combines both a discount for solar panels and solar batteries, as well as the interest-free loan.
For homeowners who are looking into an all-in-one system then this would be the best fit. If approved, homeowners can claim $3000 as a grant and $10,000 for the loan.
The loan is expected to be paid within a 10 year period. Like before, this ‘rebate’ applies to homeowners and small businesses. Homeowners can apply for the loan and the grant, or just the grant whereas small businesses can only apply for the grant.
To apply for this financial incentive you must meet the following criteria;
Like the other states, South Australia has some really good incentives for buying solar. The government also offers STC’s when you purchase a small scale renewable energy system for your home or business.
Homeowners can claim STCs through your chosen solar installer/company or by submitting an online application. The rates are around $30-$40 per certificate.
South Australia offers similar rebates to Queensland. This is because they are both in the same STC zone. Having all round good weather means you need less incentives to get solar.
South Australia is also offering a solar battery rebate. It has recently been updated as of April 2020 and reduced down to a subsidy of $3000.
Homeowners are able to claim this more than once if you own several homes. If you do decide to claim the solar battery rebate with an existing solar system, you will also lose your Feed-in Tariff rate of 44c per KWh.
You can claim this solar battery rebate through your solar installer. They will provide you with a link once you are happy with the quote.
Homeowners can then follow the link and apply for the subsidy. If you are looking for a finance system, you can apply for this at the same time.
Once approved, the money will be deducted from the amount quoted by your system provider and they will get paid the subsidy. The subsidy is expected to decrease over time.
The solar battery rebate has been designed so that anyone is able to claim the subsidy. The government mentions that SA energy concession holders will be able to access a higher subsidy which further helps low-income homeowners.
(Any installation of your solar battery system will need to be carried out by an approved system provider who is qualified)
Commercial businesses can also be rewarded when they install commercial solar at their business premises.
STC’s are rewarded to small businesses who have installed a solar system under 100KW. LGC’s (Large scale generation certificates) are rewarded for systems that are more than 100KW.