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How Do Solar Rebates Work in Australia?

 

There are a few different types of solar rebates in Australia. It’s important to know what each of them are and how they work. Firstly, there’s got small-scale technology certificates (which are also known as STCs), state-based solar rebates and feed-in tariffs. We’ll walk you through each of these and tell you how they work, as well as how to claim them when the time comes!

Solar Rebates in Australia
Solar Rebates in Australia

Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs)

In 2011, the Australian Federal Government introduced a scheme called the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (or SRES) to encourage homeowners and small businesses to make the switch to solar. The scheme itself was put in place to help Australia achieve its renewable energy target. STCs come under this scheme and the whole idea can be a little complicated… so we’ll break it down as best we can!

When you install an eligible solar system, you’re entitled to a certain number of STCs. These STCs are then traded-in by your installer for a dollar amount which is then applied to your bill on installation day. So, in terms of how to claim STCs, your installer pretty much covers it! With this in mind, it’s handy to think of it as a type of discount. Just to be clear… it’s technically not a solar rebate but it’s a dollar amount you get back which helps pay for some of the upfront costs you’ll have when you install in Australia (so it’s still a good financial incentive). The amount of STCs you can get depends on a number of factors. You can check them out here and see what you’re eligible for!

State-Based Solar Rebates

Depending on which state you’re in, you might have access to solar rebates that you can claim for, as well as STCs. Each State and Territory does it differently, so it’s important to know what’s available where you live. We’ll keep it simple with a list, so find where you live and see what you can get! When it comes to claiming state-based solar rebates, you’ll usually have to fill out an application and be approved. You’ll see links in each section where they’re needed, so follow them if you’re keen to know more about how it’s done where you live.

WA

  • In Western Australia, there are currently no state-specific solar rebates to help you with the upfront costs of installing solar. You can still claim STCs though!

NT

  • If you live in the Northern Territory; there are currently no territory-specific rebates to help you with the upfront costs of installing solar on its own. However, you can apply for a $6,000 grant if you’re also planning on getting a home battery when you install a solar system. You can also get this grant if you’re adding a home battery to an existing solar system. Remember that you’ll also be able to claim STCs if you’re considering this option!

SA

  • If you live in South Australia; there are currently no state-specific rebates to help you with the upfront costs of installing solar. However, there is the option of state Government subsidies and interest-free loans to help with covering the cost of home batteries. Keep in mind, you’ll still be able to claim STCs if you choose this option. You can also join a virtual power plant, which you can read more about by clicking here.

QLD

  • In sunny Queensland, there are currently no state-specific rebates to help you with the upfront costs of installing solar. You can still claim STCs though!

NSW

  • If you live in New South Wales; there are currently no state-specific rebates to help you with the upfront costs of installing solar on its own. However, you can get an interest-free loan of up to $14,000 for a solar system and home battery, or $9,000 for a battery if you’ve already got a solar system at your home. You’ll still be able to claim for STCs if you choose the first option. We’re not done with New South Wales yet either; if you’re eligible for the solar for low-income households trial, you’ll get a free 3kW solar power system installed at your home. Check your eligibility here!

ACT

  • If you live in the Australian Capital Territory; there are currently no territory-specific rebates to help you with the upfront costs of installing solar on its own. However, there is a solar for low-income option which discounts solar installation by up to $2,500 for pensioners. You can check your eligibility here. There are also rebates available for those installing home batteries, which you can read more about here.

VIC

  • If you live in Victoria; you’ll be able to claim a rebate of up to $1,400 on solar including the amount you get from your STCs! You can also access interest-free loans to cover some of the remaining costs of installing solar after you’ve applied the rebate and STCs. There are a bunch of rebates on offer in Victoria, but you can only get one of them along with the STC amount, so read more here.

Feed-In Tariffs

If your solar system is connected to the grid, you can basically sell the excess energy that your system produces to your energy retailer. They’ll buy the excess energy from you at an agreed rate for each kilowatt hour of generated energy that is unused. The total amount you get will then be credited to your electricity bill. It’s pretty much as simple as that. You can check out the rates that some electricity retailers in your state or territory pay by clicking here.

So… what now?

Now that you know everything you need to about the rebates available in Australia, you’re probably nearly ready to begin making the switch to solar. Get 3 free quotes and start your journey with Solar Market. If you’ve got any more questions about any of these rebates (including how they work or how to claim), get in touch via social media! We’re always happy to help.

 

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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.
 

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