Free Solar For NSW Low-Income Households
Posted: 22 Oct 2019
Residents in New South Wales who have been receiving the Low-Income Households Rebate will now have the option to choose whether they would like to forego their rebate for 10 years in exchange for a free 3kW solar power system and installation worth $4000, which will assist in significantly reducing their energy bills.
Solar For Low Income Households Trial
The program, which was first announced last year, opened applications this week, and hopes to reduce low-income household bills in New South Wales by more than $600 per year.
In a recent media release Energy Minister Matt Kean said the NSW Government has committed $15 million to reduce the impact of high energy prices, particularly for vulnerable low-income households.
“For low income households the cost of buying and installing a rooftop solar system can be prohibitive, so we’ve set up this trial so more of these homeowners can unlock the savings benefit offered by rooftop solar generation. In addition to potential bill saving, the addition of up to 3,000 more rooftop solar systems will add more than 8 megawatts of renewable capacity to help support a clean, affordable and reliable electricity grid.” Energy Minister Matt Kean
Solar Power System Vs. Current Rebate
Participating in the program means households will no longer be able to receive the Low-Income Household Rebate for at least 10 years. Currently the rebate provides a discount of $285 towards a low-income household’s annual electricity bills. For some of these households installing the 3kW solar power system could reduce their annual electricity bills by up to $600, however this will be heavily dependent on the time of day in which the majority of the household’s electricity is used.
Other factors to consider before choosing whether the solar system or the current rebate will be more beneficial for the low-income household is;
- Condition of the roof
- Orientation and angle of the roof
- Whether there is full or partial shading from trees or other surroundings on the roof, that could block out sunlight
- If the owner plans on living in the current household for the next 10 years
Solar For Low Income Households Trial Criteria
During the trial phase the program will only be available to 3,000 eligible homeowners, in selected regions within New South Wales. To be able to participate in the trial, homeowners will need to meet the following criteria;
- Receiving the Low-Income Household Rebate
- Don’t currently own a solar system
- Use at least 3,600 kilowatt hours of electricity annually
- Own the home in which the solar system will be installed
- Have a valid Pension Concession Card or Veterans Affairs Gold Card
- Live in one of the following areas; Central Coast, North Coast, Sydney – South, Illawarra – Shoalhaven or South Coast
Three solar providers (SAE Group, Origin Energy and SolarHub) have been selected for the program and will be responsible for supplying and installing the solar systems across the five regions.
Applications to participate in the trial must be submitted through the NSW Energy Saver Website.
If you’re NOT eligible to participate in the trial and want to reduce your bills with solar, read our “How To Finance Your Solar System” blog to find out how you can get on your way to solar savings today.
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