REBATES & SUBSIDIES
Solar rebates in Australia
In addition to the environmental benefits, switching to solar energy comes with a great potential to save money. Starting from saving on your electricity bills, it also makes you eligible for government rebates and financial incentives.
Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs)
Anyone buying a solar system of up to 100kW qualifies under the STC program i.e. Small-scale Technology Certificates. This is a federal government scheme offered to homeowners and small business owners who invest in solar panels. This solar financial incentive subsidises the upfront cost of installing a solar power system.
The number of STCs you get is based on the amount of electricity the system creates or displaces, calculated in megawatts per hour which in turn depends on the installed system size as well as the location. The subsidy could be worth about $650 per kW of solar panels installed (as at April 2019).
The only restrictions on claiming the rebate are:
Your system installation must be less than 100kW in size.
You get the system installed and designed by a Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited professional
You use panels and inverters that are approved for use in Australia by the Clean Energy Council
When you install a solar system, you have the option of feeding energy back into the electricity grid if your panels produce more electricity than what’s being consumed. If you choose to do this, you may qualify for a feed-in tariff (FiT) in your state or territory. This means you'll be paid a set sum of money for the energy your system sends to the grid.
The FiT is a State Government subsidy in which some states pay you for the electricity that your solar system will export to the grid. The amount of money you get is set by your state government and calculated in kilowatts per hour (kWh). Your electricity retailer will pay you with a small deduction on your bill for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity exported – usually around 7 to 15 cents per kWh.
State government solar rebates and incentives
In addition to STCs and FiTs, you may be eligible for rebates or other financial incentives offered by your state government.
Interest-free loans and grants: The Queensland government offers interest-free loans and grants for solar panel installation and storage. There are three packages available:
Loans for solar
Loans and grants for battery storage
Loans and grants for combined solar and battery storage
You're only eligible to apply for one. The value of this incentive varies but, as an example, you could get up to $10,000 for a combined solar and battery storage system for your home.
South Australian Home Battery Scheme: This government-run program offers subsidies and loans of up to $6,000 to help you pay for the installation of home battery systems, with higher subsidies available for eligible low-income households.
Solar Panel Rebate: From 1 July 2019, you can apply for a rebate of up to $2,225 for getting a solar panel system for your home. If you install an eligible 4kWh solar system, you can also apply for a four-year, interest-free loan to pay back the amount that's left after the rebate.