Solar Power Rebates Available For Renters In Australia


In Australia homeowner-occupiers have had the opportunity of installing solar at reduced costs through receiving the Federal Government Rebate, as well as added subsidies and incentives offered in various states such as Victoria and Queensland.

However, with over 30% of private dwellings in Australia being rented out, a huge number of tenants have been missing out on reaping the benefits of solar and reducing their electricity bills. Despite the request of solar power systems at rental properties many landlords have been reluctant due to the upfront costs of installing and while installing solar can add value to a property, to many landlords it’s not enough of an incentive.

In an effort to bridge this gap in the market the Queensland Government released a trial program earlier this year, which provides landlords with rebates to install solar power systems at their rental properties.

Queensland Solar For Renters Program

Solar Panel Rebates

The Solar For Renters Program was launched back in March under the Affordable Energy Plan as a trial to the following areas in Queensland; Bundaberg, Gladstone and Townsville. The trial offers a rebate up to $3,500 (rebate is based on system size) which can be claimed in addition to the Federal Government Rebate.

To participate in the program landlords and tenants need to renew or enter into a new fixed term 12-month rental agreement showing a fair rent increase, to assist in covering the remaining costs of the solar system. This rent increase needs to be negotiated justly, so to not hinder the tenant’s ability to save money and reduce living costs with solar.

Progress Report On Solar For Renters Program

Affordable Solar Panels For Home

The Queensland Government announced an update this week stating the progress of the Solar For Renters Program since it’s release 7 months ago. The report states that through the program there has already been $660,000 in rebates claimed, 192 solar PV systems installed and more than 580 landlords and tenants have registered their interest in the program.

The City of Townsville appears to be making the most of the trial with tenants and landlords teaming up to claim the rebate and reduce the upfront cost of installing solar, taking advantage of the 320 days of sunshine they have a year.

“Here in Townsville, more than 280 landlords have registered their interest to share rooftop solar with their tenants and 111 are already up and running” Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham.

Member of Townsville Scott Stewart is a strong advocate for the program and recommends residents to take part whilst it lasts.

“I’m urging Townsville residents today to get on board now. This is the chance for landlords and tenants to enjoy the same savings that more than 500,000 Queensland homeowners are enjoying.’’ Scott Stewart, Member of Townsville.

The Solar for Renters Trial, funded under the Palaszczuk Government’s Affordable Energy Plan, will close once available funding has been exhausted or on Tuesday 30 June 2020.

Solar For Rental Properties In Victoria

Solar Victoria also released a Solar For Rental Properties Rebate back in July, along other rebates and incentives under the Solar Homes Program. However, the structure of the rebate appears less successful than the Queensland’s Solar For Renters Program.

Under Solar Victoria’s Program 50,000 solar rebates for Victoria rental properties have been made available. Landlords are able to claim the rebate under one of the two streams;

  • Stream A – (Rebate only) gives landlords a rebate up to $2,225 (this amount reduces in 2020) towards a solar system for their rental property and then the landlord will be required to pay the rest.
  • Stream B – Offers both a rebate and an interest-free loan to landlords. This stream will be available to eligible landlords and tenants subject to the signing a Solar Homes Landlord Rebate and Loan Agreement between Landlord and Tenant(s). Under this stream the tenant(s) will contribute to the cost of the system. Stream B will open later in 2019/2020.

Learn more on the Solar Homes Program and Rebates Available Here.

All rebates under the Solar Homes Program can be claimed on top of the Federal Government Rebate.

Installers Must Be Accredited For Solar Power Rebates

To claim any rebates and incentives in Australia under the Federal Government Rebate and/or any State Government those wanting to install must engage with installers who are accredited under the Clean Energy Council (CEC). This is a requirement to ensure the solar power system and installation meets Australia’s Quality and Performance standards and protect consumers from scams.

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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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