NSW Solar Incentives Announced For Home-Owners


The upcoming State election in New South Wales has had the Labor and Liberal parties at war to win votes via the announcement of renewable energy incentives. Both parties have now announced the release of renewable energy programs for homeowner-occupiers with a combined income of $180,000 should they be voted in at the March 23rd State election.

What Is Each Party Offering?

While all the details and dates are still yet to be released and won’t be until post the State election, here is what we know so far;

If Labor is voted in

If Labor is elected, they will roll out the Solar Homes Policy for owner-occupiers of households with a combined income of $180,000 or less. The Solar Homes Policy will offer a rebate of up to $2,200 to assist with the upfront cost of installing a residential solar PV system. The rebate will be available to 500,000 households over 10 years. Installers and products will need to meet eligibility requirements and be approved under the program to ensure safety.

Homeowners will be able to combine the currently available SRES Federal Rebate and Solar Homes Policy which will largely bring down the cost of installing a solar system.

  • Eligibility: homeowner-occupiers with a combined income of $180,000 or less
  • Rebate of up to $2,200 for the upfront cost of a solar PV system for 500,000 homes over 10 years
  • You can combine the SRES Federal Rebate and Solar Homes Policy

The program would be phased in, starting in the 2019-2020 financial year (should Labor be elected), to ensure an orderly rollout.

“Under this plan, everyone wins. Families get help with their electricity bills and we are taking real action on climate change and giving NSW a cleaner, greener future.” NSW Labor’s Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe

If Liberal remains in power

If Liberal remains in power, they will launch the Empowering Homes Program to homeowner-occupiers of households with a combined income of $180,000 or less. 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
  • Interest-free loans for solar batteries and solar power + battery systems for up to 300,000 households over the ten years
  • Loans of up to $9,000 for a solar battery system and up to $14,000 for a combined solar and battery system

Are you considering solar and/or battery for your household? Why not check out our solar calculator to estimate your potential savings!


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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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