Victoria Labor Victory Means Win For Solar and Renewable Energy!

victoria Over the weekend Labor displayed an impressive defeat over the opposition with a landslide win in the election. Labor leader Daniel Andrews has been a huge advocate towards renewable energy for households introducing the Solar Victoria Homes Package in August as well as the target for net zero emissions for Victoria by 2050.

Labor remaining in leadership will mean extension and expansion of the current Victoria Solar Homes Package which currently entitles eligible households up to 50% rebate on the cost of a solar PV system (capped at $2,225) or a $1,000 rebate for the replacement of a hot water system with solar hot water.

More Homes To Access Solar Home Packages & Interest-Free Loans Will Commence

The win for Labor will mean an extension to the current Solar Homes 50% rebate which is capped at 24,000 owner-occupiers until 30 June 2019. The extension will increase the rebate for up to 720,000 owner-occupiers over 10 years. On top of that, the Labor Government will commence the promised interest-free solar loans from July 2019.

Battery Storage Subsidies To Be Introduced

For those already reaping the benefits of a home solar system, solar battery storage systems subsidies will be introduced to 10,000 Victoria solar households. The subsidy will be as high as $4,838 when first introduce and will gradually lower as battery prices come down.

Renters To Have Access To New Subsidies

For once renters will get a piece of the action with a solar home package being launched specifically aimed at tenants. 50,000 rental properties over 10 years have been budgeted for in the $82 million scheme. The Labor Government previously announced that the costs for the system and installation will be split between the Government, subsidising 50% of the system and the remaining 50% to be evenly split between property owner & tenant. Tenants will be able to pay off their 25% of the system over 4 years through an increase in their rent.

This scheme will be mutually beneficial for the property owner and tenant, with tenants receiving lowered power bills for the duration of their lease and property owner increasing their property value and owning a solar system for 25% of the cost.

The dates of release for both battery storage subsidies and the solar homes package for renters are yet to be announced. However, the Victoria Solar Homes 50% rebate for homeowners is accessible now! Click here to see if you’re eligible!

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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.