Rooftop solar system

Financial Help for Solar, Batteries & Hot Water Systems

As energy costs continue to squeeze household budgets, installing solar panels, batteries and energy efficient hot water systems is becoming increasingly attractive from a financial as well as environmental perspective.  But one of the main barriers for property owners is the upfront cost of these systems.

If upfront installation costs are stopping you from adopting these energy saving systems, financial assistance under Victoria’s Solar Homes Program may be the key to enjoying lower energy costs going forward.

Financial assistance is available under the following 4 categories:

  1. Solar Panel Rebates
  2. Solar Battery Loans
  3. Hot Water Rebates
  4. Solar Panels for Rentals

Solar Panel Rebates

Solar panel rebates of up to $1,400 are available to install solar panel systems on existing homes and homes under construction.  The amount of the rebate varies based on the size of the solar panel system installed and other factors.

In addition to the rebate, interest free loans are available for an amount equivalent to the rebate.

According to the Solar Victoria website, Solar Homes customers who maximise the use of the energy generated by their solar panel system can save over $1,000 each year.

Rooftop Solar System

You will be eligible if you meet the following criteria:

  • you are the owner-occupier of an existing property or the owner of a home under construction where the system is to be installed
  • the combined household taxable income of all owners is less than $210,000 per year
  • the property is valued at under $3 million, or a home under construction that will be valued at under $3 million at the time of completion
  • the property address has not previously received a solar panel (PV) rebate under the Solar Homes Program
  • the property has not had a solar panel (PV) system installed in the last ten years

Your retailer will claim the rebate on your behalf and deduct the rebate amount from the total cost of your system. You will then pay the outstanding balance directly to your retailer once your system is installed.  Interest free loans need to be repaid over four years, or the loans can be repaid sooner in one lump sum.

You can find more information on the eligibility criteria and application process here: Solar panel rebate

Solal panel rebates are released on the second Wednesday of each month, with release dates up until 8 May 2024.  So if you’re interested, you’ll need to act soon!

Solar Battery Loans

Interest free loans are available for installing a battery in conjunction with a solar panel system.

There are 4,500 interest-free loans of up to $8,800 available in 2023-24.  Loan repayments can be spread over a four year period.

You will be eligible if you meet the following criteria:

  1. home battery for solaryou are the owner-occupier of an existing property where the system is to be installed
  2. the combined household taxable income of all owners is less than $210,000 per year
  3. the property is valued at under $3 million
  4. the property address has not previously received a solar battery rebate
  5. the property has a solar panel system with an inverter capacity equal to or greater than 5kW or will have one installed in conjunction with the solar battery installation
  6. the energy storage solution has a capacity equal to or greater than 6kWh and is listed on Solar Victoria’s battery product list and the property does not have an existing energy storage system
  7. pre-approval is obtained from your Distributed Network Service Provider to safely connect a battery to the grid
  8. you agree to receive information from your Distribution Network Service Provider about taking part in battery trials to maximise the value households get from them

You can find more information on the eligibility criteria and application process here: Solar battery loans

Hot Water Rebates

Hot water rebates of up to $1,000 are available for new eligible heat pump and solar hot water systems.

Hot water systems are one of the biggest energy users in the home, accounting for around 21 per cent of total energy use.  So installing an efficient hot water system can be a big win when it comes to reducing power bills.

A solar hot water system uses the sun’s energy to heat your water.  When there isn’t enough sunshine to fully heat the water, a gas or electric booster will kick in as a back-up.

A heat pump hot water system works in a similar way to a reverse cycle air conditioner on heat mode, but instead of heating air it heats water.  It has fluid in it that freezes below 0 degrees, so even on a cold day it can pull heat out of the ambient air to heat your water.

hot water heat pumpYou will be eligible if you meet the following criteria:

  • you are the owner-occupier of an existing property where the system is to be installed
  • the combined household taxable income of all owners is less than $210,000 per year
  • the property is valued at under $3 million
  • the property address has not previously received a hot water rebate or a solar battery rebate under the Solar Homes Program
  • the hot water system to be replaced is at least three years old from the date of purchase
  • the hot water system is installed by an authorised Solar Victoria hot water installer
  • the solar (or heat pump) hot water system is on the Solar Homes Program hot water products list

The hot water rebate is not available to new build homes.

Your retailer will deduct the rebate from your invoice so you only need to pay any outstanding balance once the system is installed.

If you’re eligible, you can apply for both a hot water rebate and a solar panel rebate to save even more.  According to Solar Victoria, installing both solar panels on your roof and an energy efficient water heating system can cut your power bills by more than $1,400 every year.

You can find more information on the eligibility criteria and application process here: Hot water rebate

Solar Panels for Rentals

Landlords in Victoria may be eligible for rebates of up to $1,400 for the installation of solar panels on their properties.

In addition to the rebate, landlords may also be eligible for an interest-free loan of up to $1,400 to further reduce the upfront cost of a solar panel system.

If you are a landlord in Victoria, you will be eligible if you meet the following criteria:

  • your renters have a combined household taxable income of less than $210,000 per year
  • you have not received more than two rebates for a rental property during the current financial year
  • the property is valued at under $3 million
  • the property address has not previously received a solar panel rebate or a solar battery rebate under the Solar Homes Program
  • the property has not had a solar panel system installed in the last ten years
  • a signed Solar Homes Program Agreement between you and your tenant(s) is provided

You can find more information on the eligibility criteria and application process here: Information for rental providers

Conclusion

If you are building or renovating, it’s a perfect time to think about installing energy saving systems to ‘future proof’ your new home and minimise your energy bills going forward.

But installing these systems can be prohibitively expensive for some.  If that’s you, check out Victoria’s Solar Homes Program to see whether you’re eligible for financial assistance.  It could be the key to unlocking significant savings for you.

 

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Sue Davidson

The highlight of Sue's job at Gaia Construction is handing over beautifully crafted homes to excited clients. In her spare time, Sue is passionate about the environment & the outdoors, enjoying time hiking, sailing, walking her dog Lulu and travelling around Australia with her husband Jeremy & Lulu in their small campervan.
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