Solar Victoria PV Rebate Increase Means Light At The End Of The Tunnel For Victorian Installers And Customers

Today the Andrews Government of Victoria announced new changes to the Solar Homes Program including an increase in Solar PV rebates and the frequency of rebate releases to transition from monthly to fortnightly.

The decision for this came following pleas from the Victorian Solar industry and rallies held by the Smart Energy Council, who demanded a change to the program which has been causing an inconsistent and unsteady work flow in the industry, due to its limited number of rebates available each month and challenging rebate application process.

After the program had re-opened back in July, the monthly allocated solar PV rebates of 3,333 were snapped up within 3 days, which caused the solar industry to come to a complete stand still until the rebate resumed on August 1st which it was then exhausted in less than 2 hours.

The new Solar Homes Program changes will take place with the commencement of the program on September 2nd at 9am which will include the frequency of rebates increasing to twice a month (fortnightly).

The first release of rebates for September will increase from 3,333 to 6,500 with the second release in September to be 3,250, totalling to a complete release of 9,750 for September alone.

Following months in this financial year will see a release ranging from 4,000 – 6,500 per month.

It has also been announced that within the monthly releases some rebates will be reserved for manual applications to cater for those who choose not to engage online. This follows after feedback that many consumers struggled with the smart phone application process, causing them to miss out on the rebate previously.

The Minister for Solar Homes, Lily D’Ambrosio, said expanding the program will boost installation rates in the lead-up to summer when maximum cost-cutting on energy bills can be delivered.

“We believe the government’s decision to release close to three times the number of allocated rebates in September will help address the backlog of applications for rebates. This will help solar installers and businesses get back to what they do best – putting solar panels on the rooftops of Victorian families.” Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton

Several more improvements to the Solar Homes Program have also been announced including:  

  • retailers will soon be able to lodge final online quotes on the Solar Victoria portal at any time. This will apply from Thursday 29 August and will reduce pressure on them and the system when applications open each fortnight. 
  • establishment of an Industry and Customer Reference Group as a commitment to strengthening our engagement with industry and to provide a conduit for their feedback to Solar Victoria    
  • expansion of industry briefings and webinars  
  • a business mentoring program to be conducted by Small Business Victoria  
  • further increasing the emphasis on safety with more post-installation audits 

As September approaches quickly it’s advised to start speaking to solar providers and receiving quotes in preparation for the release of rebates next week.

Get Prepared For The September Release Of Rebates By Requesting Obligation FREE Quotes!

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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.