Solar and Battery Government Assistance in 2019!

Back in September 2018 we updated you on all the current rebates, subsidies and incentives available in Australia in our Home Solar & Battery Schemes Available in Your State blog . Since then there has been more exciting additions to the list with even more to be released later in 2019!

Solar incentives seem to pop up left, right and centre when it comes to an approaching Government election, but Australians aren’t complaining if it means reducing the dreaded power bill. Here’s some of the new, coming soon and old but still running Government incentives for solar power and battery in Australia.

The Federal Government Rebate

Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme

May also be referred to as: Government Rebate, STC Scheme/Rebate or Government Subsidies

The Federal Government subsidy scheme, officially known as the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), entitles individuals and small businesses large subsidies when installing eligible small-scale renewable energy systems (under 100kW) such as solar PV systems. The size of the system determines the number of small-scale technology certificates (STCs) it’ll receive. STC’s have a dollar value which can fluctuate depending on solar system demand, changes in Government and many other factors.

The amount of STC’s you receive for your solar system and the worth of STC’s at the time will determine the subsidy for your system.

Quick Facts;

  • The value of STC will rise and fall depending on demand
  • The number of STCs you’re entitled to will decrease each year up until 2030 when the scheme is scheduled to finish
  • The solar provider/installer will claim the subsidy on your behalf and quote your system and installation with the discounted rate (You must select a CEC accredited installer to receive the subsidy)
  • Most providers and installers advertise their systems inclusive of the SRES subsidy
  • A Feed-in Tariff (FIT) is different from the SRES and is a rebate you receive for the excess energy your installed system generates that gets exported to the grid
  • Systems over 100kW (commercial size) are not eligible for the SRES however they may be eligible for the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET)

How much is the Federal Government Subsidy worth in 2019?
The current Small Technology Certificate (STC) rate is bouncing around $36, which accumulates to $2,900 – $4,176 of subsidies for a 5kW-7kW Solar PV System. The STC rate fluctuates depending on market demand and the subsidies you can claim lower each year until it is to be eliminated in 2030.

Queensland

As well as the Federal Government SRES subsidy Queensland residents have access to the Affordable Energy Plan. Landlords for rental properties in Townsville, Gladstone and Bundaberg also have access to apply for the Solar For Renters Trial.

Affordable Energy Plan

The Affordable Energy Plan includes 3 different options for residents to select.

Interest-free loans for solar systems
  • Households can apply for interest-free loans of up to $4,500 to be repaid within 7 years
Interest-free loans and grants for battery storage
  • Households and small businesses can apply for grants up to $3000 or interest-free loans up to $6,000 to be repaid within 10 years.
Interest-free loans and grants for combined solar and battery systems
  • Households may apply for a loan up to $10,000 and/or a grant up to $3000.
  • Small businesses can apply for the $3000 grant only.

Solar For Renters Trial

ONLY AVAILABLE TO Bundaberg, Gladstone or Townsville Residents

The Queensland Government has recently released the new trial for 1,000 rebates of up to $3,500 for eligible landlords to install a solar system with solar monitoring technology.

The Rental property must;

  • Be in Bundaberg, Gladstone or Townsville
  • Have its own roof
  • Have an electricity meter
  • Be occupied by tenants
  • Charge no more than $350 rent per week
  • Not have a current solar system

Both tenant and landlord will need to agree to participate and the tenant will be required to sign a new 12-month rental agreement (minimum).

The rebate is based on the size of the system installed:

  • $2,500 for systems 3kW – < 4 kW
  • $3,000 for systems 4kW – < 5 kilowatts
  • $3,500 for systems 5kW +

Only one rebate is available per rental property. If you have more than one rental property you can apply for a rebate at each property provided all the eligibility criteria are met.

Note: Rebate applications must be submitted by 30 June 2020.

South Australia

As well as the Federal Government SRES subsidy South Australian residents have access to the Home Battery Scheme and Virtual Power Plant.

Home Battery Scheme

Households in South Australia can access subsidies to help pay for the installation of home battery systems as an additional component to their current or new solar PV system.

Additional finance is also available through RateSetter to help households pay for the remaining balance of the subsidised battery and new or additional solar system if required.

The subsidy is available to all South Australians who own or occupy a home in South Australia and will be calculated on the kilowatt-hour capacity of the battery purchased. Energy Concession Holders are eligible for a higher subsidy, ensuring low-income households are supported to access the scheme. The subsidy is taken off the cost of the home battery system and given to the System Provider once the system is installed.

Home Battery Scheme Subsidy Levels

  • Energy concession holder – $600.00 per kilowatt-hour (kWh)
  • All other households – $500.00 per kilowatt-hour (kWh)

Virtual Power Plant

The Virtual Power Plant initiative is open for South Australians to register their interest. A virtual power plant is created by a network of home solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery systems all working together to generate, store and feed energy back into the grid. Energy from the home solar PV and battery systems installed will provide electricity for your house.

Subject to the trials’ success and funding the full program could be rolled out to 24,000 more public housing properties and 25,000 private properties from mid-2019.
Learn More

Victoria

As well as the Federal Government SRES subsidy Victoria residents have access to ONE of the following rebates under the Solar Victoria Homes Package.

Solar Panel Rebate

The Solar Panel Rebate entitles Victoria households to receive 50 percent rebate (of up to $2,225) when solar PV system installation. This is on top of the Federal Government Rebate (STC) that was already in place. Being able to claim both subsidies will mean that you can save approximately two-thirds of the overall costs of a solar system.

Eligibility

  • The household has a combined income of less than $180,000 per annum before tax
  • The household does not already have a solar panel system installed
  • You are a home owner-occupier of a home that is valued at under $3,000,000
  • The eligible solar panel system must be installed on or after 19 August 2018 or you are replacing a solar PV system that was installed before 1 November 2009

Solar Hot Water Rebates

Rebates are available for up to $1000 for solar hot water systems, a good option for households who cannot install a solar PV system. The solar hot water rebate applies to installations that replace an existing hot water system that was at least three years old and is not available to new build homes.

Eligibility

  • The household has a combined income of less than $180,000 per annum before tax
  • The household does not already have a solar panel system installed
  • You are a home owner-occupier of a home that is valued at under $3,000,000
  • Are you replacing an existing hot water system OR an existing solar hot water system that is at least three years old?
  • Confirm that you haven’t applied for or received a rebate for solar PV under the Solar Homes Package?

Interest- Free Loans

Has Not Commenced

As part of the Solar Homes program a loan scheme will commence for solar PV systems for owner-occupiers from July 2019. This will allow Victoria residents to access the benefits of renewable energy at no up-front cost. Eligible households will be able to install solar panels on their home, saving households hundreds of dollars a year on their energy bills.
Households will be required to pay back the amount of the loan over four years, which will assist Victoria residents with budgeting for their cost of living.
Households who choose to access the solar PV rebate before the loans scheme opens in July 2019 will not be able to apply for the interest-free loan.

Renters Solar Scheme

Has Not Commenced

50,000 rebates on solar panels for Victoria renters will be launched in 2019. Under the program, renters will make a 25 percent contribution toward the cost of installation through a small levy on rent spread over four years, with the Government and landlord to cover the rest. For example, for a $4,000 solar panel system, the government will cover half ($2000), the landlord will invest $1,000 over time, and the renters will pay a small monthly levy over four years that will total the remaining $1000.

Home Battery Subsidies

Has Not Commenced

Rebates will be available for up to half the value (capped at $4,838) of the installation of a battery storage unit for 10,000 households that already have solar panels installed.

Eligible homeowners will be able to save up to $4,838 on this installation. This will save households with an average 11kWh battery around $650 a year on their electricity bills, in addition to savings they are already making with solar panels.

Eligibility: Victoria residents with a household income of up to $180,000 who live in their own home, valued at up to $3 million are eligible for these rebates.

New South Wales

New South Wales residents currently only have access to the Federal Government SRES subsidy but pending the election outcome on March 23rd New South Wales residents will have access to one of the below.

No starting dates for either of the schemes have been released.

Solar Homes Policy – If Labor wins

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. 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.

Installers and products will need to meet eligibility requirements and be approved under the program to ensure safety. The program would be phased in, starting in the 2019-2020 financial year (should Labor be elected), to ensure an orderly rollout.

Eligibility: homeowner-occupiers with a combined income of $180,000 or less

Empowering Homes Program- If Liberal wins

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 combined solar and 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

Tasmania

As well as the Federal Government SRES subsidy Tasmanian residents have access to the Tasmanian Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme (TEELS)

Tasmanian Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme (TEELS)

Under the scheme, Westpac offers Tasmanian residents and small businesses the opportunity to apply for a Westpac Credit Card with zero interest for 36 months for the eligible energy efficient products up to a value of $10,000.

Customers will need to:

  • Submit a TEELS request via the website and wait for Westpac to invite them to an appointment to discuss application.
  • Customer will need to have sourced a quote to take to the appointment with Westpac.
  • Once the credit card is approved by Westpac, the customer can purchase and will need to provide Westpac with proof of purchase.

Energy efficient appliances can include heat pumps, double-glazed windows, solar panels and solar hot water systems. This has been extended and will now run until 30 April 2019, or until the additional $20 million finance pool is exhausted.

Western Australia

Western Australia residents currently only have access to the Federal Government SRES subsidy.

Northern Territory

Northern Territory residents currently only have access to the Federal Government SRES subsidy.

Take advantage of the Australian Government incentives and consider installing solar or upgrading to battery!

Be put in touch with CEC accredited installers for obligation free quotes!

Get Quotes!

 

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Beginners Guide to Solar Power

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Become an expert and better understand the ins and outs of solar power and solar PV systems for your property.

Includes detailed explanations and diagrams of the various types of solar systems and their parts, solar battery storage systems, Government incentives, expected ROI periods, finance, energy saving tips and more!

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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.