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Government Rebates for Solar Power

The solar power rebate system is an Australian government initiative called the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme.

If you install an eligible solar power system, you will receive a rebate by claiming the Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs).

The STCs are tradable certificates that you or a registered agent can create and trade for a discount in the cost of the solar system. This scheme enables you to save a lot of money in the installation of solar power. The STC scheme took effect in 2017 and will end in the year 2030.

How much is the solar rebate?

Firstly it depends on the state you’re living in and secondly how big your solar system is. Because different regions experience different sunlight conditions, the value of Small Scale Technology Certificates (STC’s) will vary depending on the size of the solar energy system and the location.

Here is a quick look at the rebate on a 6kw system by state

State System size Zone Zone rating Rebate
New South Wales 6KW 3 1.382 $3,535
Queensland 6KW 1 1.622 $3,535
Victoria 6KW 4 1.185 $3,010
South Australia 6KW 3 1.382 $3,535
Western Australia 6KW 3 1.382 $3,535
ACT 6KW 3 1.382 $3,535
Northern Territory 6KW 1-2 1.536 $3,535
Tasmania 6KW 4 1.185 $3,010

What are Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STC’s)?

The small-scale technology certificate program is the way homeowners and installers can trade as a commodity in exchange for money after installing a residential solar system.

The current price for a single certificate is currently $36.20 (*May 2019) and your state will give you a certain number of certificates redeemable for cash depending on how many kilowatts of power you install.

These credits are also available for solar hot water systems.

And this is a list of postcode and what zone they belong to.

Who applies for the rebate me or the installer?

In reality you really won’t have to apply for or even think about the solar rebate as your installer will look after everything for you.

In fact they have already priced your solar system installed including the rebate. So if you want a 6kW solar you can get $3,535 rebate (or discount off the price of installing your solar system).

Example:

6kWh solar system cost: $ 8,000
Rebate = 6 (kw) x $590: $3540
You pay: $4,460

The cost of acquiring the STCs keeps on changing relative to demand and supply of the renewable energy certificate market. Additionally, the STCs differ in each state and depending with the level of the solar energy. Your installer will be up to date on this and again, will price your system accordingly.

Is the solar rebate ending anytime soon?

In short yes! But don’t stress it’s not for another 13 years. They solar rebate program is getting phased out slowly over 15 years starting 1st January 2017. So the rebate will reduce by 1/15th each year until it ends in 2032.

So there is still PLENTLY of time left and lots of free government money to make it more than worthwhile to get solar installed today.

How much rebate do I get for solar power?

Under the STC program, a megawatt hour in energy production is eligible for a renewable energy certificate (REC). The STCs are only issued for the solar panels and the solar power systems that are meet the recommended standards.

The amount of rebate you get for the solar power depends on three factors such as the state or location, the fluctuation value of the STCs and the deeming period, it goes up every year.

You can use a STC calculator to know how much STC you qualify for. Here is how to calculate the number of STCs you are eligible for: The size of the solar system x the postal code rating x the Deeming Period. If the deeming period is short, you will get lesser STCs. For Example, in 2018, the deeming period was 13 years, in 2019 it is 12 years.

Rebate by state for small-scale renewable Energy scheme

System size STC’s States Rebate
2.5 kW 35 NSW, QLD, SA, WA VIC, TAS $1,435
$1,225
4 kW 56 NSW, QLD, SA, WA VIC, TAS $2,310
$1,906
5 kW 71 NSW, QLD, SA, WA VIC, TAS $2,870
$2,485
6.1 kW 86 NSW, QLD, SA, WA VIC, TAS $3,535
$3,010
7 kW 99 NSW, QLD, SA, WA VIC, TAS $4,060
$3,465
10 kW 142 NSW, QLD, SA, WA VIC, TAS $5,775
$4,838

Solar system rebate prices by state

Solar system rebates for Victoria

With the labor government’s recent election in Victoria, there is a lot of movement when it comes to new solar rebates and schemes. They are the only state currently offering a rebate on solar batteries as well as the panels and inverters.

Eligible homeowners will get up to 50% rebate depending on the size of their system, with the rebate being capped at $4,838. With a 4KW solar power system, your rebate would amount to $1,960 in 2019.

It is worth bearing in mind that this price will be reduced each year for the next 13 years, which is when the solar rebate scheme will end in 2032.

Solar power rebate in VIC by system size

System size STC’s STC spot price Rebate
2.5 kW 41 $35 $1,225
4 kW 66 $35 $1,906
5 kW 82 $35 $2,485
6.1 kW 101 $35 $3,010
7 kW 116 $35 $3,465
10 kW 165 $35 $4,838

Additional schemes in VIC energy saving

Solar hot water rebates in Victoria

Like most states, Victoria has a rebate for solar hot water systems too. With a rebate of up to $1,000 to help the typical household save $160 – 400 per year on their bills.

Interest free loans for solar

This is a great scheme and really makes sense to give interest free loans for solar systems to entice people to go solar.

Add this to the already massive rebates the Victorian government are offering on solar and it’s no wonder they are one of the states leading the way in the solar revolution.

Rebates on solar batteries in Victoria

Another scheme that goes hand in glove with the solar rebate is a separate rebate for solar batteries. With a maximum rebate value of up to $4,839, this really does make it worth going for a battery also.

Solar rebates New South Wales

The number of STC depends with the amount of power the system is producing. The STC price has been hovering around $35 for the last couple of years. This means a 5kW solar system will give you a rebate of $2,870. A 6.1kW solar system will you get a rebate worth $3,535 and a 10kW solar power system gives you a rebate of $5,775.

The bigger the solar power system, the bigger the rebate.

In NSW, the rebates for solar panels is set to start in the 2019-2020 financial year. According to the NSW Government, approximately 300,000 homes are expected to undertake the rebates in the next 10 years.

Solar power rebate in NSW by system size

System size STC’s STC spot price Rebate
2.5 kW 41 $35 $1,435
4 kW 66 $35 $2,310
5 kW 82 $35 $2,870
6.1 kW 101 $35 $3,535
7 kW 116 $35 $4,060
10 kW 165 $35 $5,775

Additional schemes in NSW energy savings

Solar for low income households

This scheme provides an opportunity for low income households in NSW to reduce their electricity bill by installing a solar system. The scheme will support up to 3,400 households who can all forgo the rebate to get a 2.5kw system installed free.

Solar for low income households actually works out better than a rebate with a potential saving of over $600 per year off the cost of electricity.

Appliance replacement offer

This is a great scheme for low-income families and means you don’t even need a solar system to start saving on your energy bill.

The appliance replacement scheme set up by the NSW government is offering 40% off the cost of a new fridge and 50% off a new television if they have a high energy rating.

Discount energy efficient air conditioners for households

Air conditioners are one of the biggest sap on energy in your home, playing second fiddle only to an electric hot water heater.

The NEW government is offering discounts off energy efficient air conditioners for low income families in order to help with their increasing electricity prices.

Solar rebates Western Australia

The Western Australia government says that the solar power rebates should be abolished. Currently, there are no rebates for solar power system in WA. Citizens interested in the rebates can apply for the rebates offered by the Federal government. Approximately 250,000 households in Western Australia have installed the solar power system already.

In Western Australia, you can apply for the federal government solar rebate. The bigger the size of your power system, the more power it produces, hence more rebates.

Solar power rebate in WA by system size

System size STC’s STC spot price Rebate
2.5 kW 41 $35 $1,435
4 kW 66 $35 $2,310
5 kW 82 $35 $2,870
6.1 kW 101 $35 $3,535
7 kW 116 $35 $4,060
10 kW 165 $35 $5,775

Solar system rebates in Queensland

The government of Queensland is not giving rebates and discounts for the solar panels at the state level. It should be noted that this scheme by the QLD government does not affect the federal government STC rebates.

Rather, it is giving out interest free loans and grants for the installation for the system to the eligible customers. Application for the solar grants and loans will close down on 30 June 2019 or if the funding is exhausted.

The government of Queensland gives loans and grants without any interest for solar panel installation and storage. With the federal government scheme, the rebate you get for solar power depends with the amount of energy the solar power system if producing.

Solar power rebate in NSW by system size

System size STC’s STC spot price Rebate
2.5 kW 41 $35 $1,435
4 kW 66 $35 $2,310
5 kW 82 $35 $2,870
6.1 kW 101 $35 $3,535
7 kW 116 $35 $4,060
10 kW 165 $35 $5,775

Solar power rebates South Australia

The SA government is offering rebates of up to $6,000 for the installation of solar power batteries. This amount is higher for the lower income households. Residents will get 20% for installing 1.5kW to more than 20kW solar panels.

The rebates for solar panels is available in South Australia. The government has set aside $100 million for the solar panels and battery systems. The rebates are meant to assist approximately 40,000 households in installing the solar power system.

Solar power rebate in WA by system size

System size STC’s STC spot price Rebate
2.5 kW 41 $35 $1,435
4 kW 66 $35 $2,310
5 kW 82 $35 $2,870
6.1 kW 101 $35 $3,535
7 kW 116 $35 $4,060
10 kW 165 $35 $5,775

Solar rebates in Tasmania

The solar power rebate in Tasmania is still available through the Renewable Energy Target Scheme (RET). Compared to other states in Australia, Tasmania does not get adequate sunlight. However, the solar power system will still do well here. The government of Tasmania through the Tasmanian Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme (TEELS) is giving out loans to enable residents adopt the use of solar power.

The federal government offers rebates for the solar power systems according to the amount of energy generated. The government is issuing rebates for solar power systems with less than 100KW. Households and businesses in Tasmania will save 50 cents on every single watt used.

Solar power rebate in VIC by system size

System size STC’s STC spot price Rebate
2.5 kW 41 $35 $1,225
4 kW 66 $35 $1,906
5 kW 82 $35 $2,485
6.1 kW 101 $35 $3,010
7 kW 116 $35 $3,465
10 kW 165 $35 $4,838

How do I apply for a government Solar Rebate?

There is no need to apply for a solar rebate. This is something that the installer does on your behalf and is priced into the system cost.

So a typical 5kWh solar system might cost $7000 fully installed, but the installer will only advertise the system to cost $3500.

Basically what he is doing is collecting your half off you, then collecting the other half from the government.

There is no need for you to actually apply for the rebate yourself.

Solar rebates are not to be confused with solar Feedin Tariffs. Once you have your solar system hooked up to the grid, you will need to speak to your energy company about how much money they will pay you to feed your excess power back into the grid.

How Do I Know If Am Eligible For A Rebate?

Generally, across all the states, the eligibility for the solar power system rebate from the federal government is a given and all pretty similar. The following are the general eligibility requirements:

  1. The solar power system should be an eligible small scale PV. It should be normal.
  2. The place of installing the power system should be eligible. It means, the system should be installed in residential premises such as an apartment, townhouses, a shop or a house.
  3. The installed solar power system must be complete and new unit.
  4. Regardless of the deeming period, the solar credits are created once for one system installation.
  5. When applying for the STCs, the solar power system should not exceed 12 months from the date of installation.

The eligibility for a rebate in different states:

  • Victoria
  1. A combined household income of less than $180,000 per year. A proof of income for the current or previous year should be produced or tax assessment for home owners.
  2. Residing in a house that is valued at $ 3, 000,000 which is to be proved by Victorian Council Rates Notice for the past 12 months.
  3. Should not have any solar PV system installed at the property.
  4. Use solar power system that is approved by the Clean Energy Council.
  5. The installer should have a clean criminal record in regards to WorkSafe for the last three years.
  • South Australia

To be eligible for the solar power system (home battery scheme) rebate in South Australia, the following requirement should be met:

  1. Every household in SA is eligible for the rebate, including tenants with the authority from the property owners.
  2. The battery systems should be Virtual Power Plant ready. Taking part in the VPP is not a must.
  3. The batteries should have a minimum storage capacity of 2.5kW.
  4. The batteries must have a minimum warranty of seven years.
  5. Retailers who supply and install the systems should have be qualified and approved by the CEC.
  • New South Wales

The 3,400 low income households in NSW who qualify for a rebate can either opt for the rebate scheme or abandon the rebate and get a free 2.5Kw solar system. This scheme will enable the residents and small business owners to save up to $600 annually on electricity bills. To be eligible for a rebate in NSW, you should meet the following requirements:

  1. You should be already receiving the low income household rebate
  2. Do not have an already installed solar power system.
  3. You own your house and a roof.
  4. You should be residing in any of these places: South Coast, Central Coast, North Coast, Sydney South, and Illawara-Shoalhaven.

You are eligible for the program if you are living or renting in a retirement village, a residential community or a strata building.

  • Queensland

The government of Queensland is giving out interest free loans and grants for solar and batteries. However, this does not affect the eligibility of the rebate for solar power from the federal government.

  • Western Australia

The Western Australia government has very limited solar energy rebate for the solar power system. However, you can apply for the rebates offered by the federal government. Check the federal government eligibility for solar rebates.

  • Northern Territory
  1. To be eligible for solar power rebate in NT, the system should be installed by a professional who is approved by the Clean Energy Council.
  2. The solar power system should have the approval and meet the standards of the Clean Energy Council.
  3. Remember to attach all the necessary documentations.
  • Tasmania

The government of Tasmania does not have the domestic solar power system rebate in 2019. The Tasmania government offers interest free loans to individuals and business under the Tasmanian Energy Efficiency Loans Scheme (TEELS). However, this does not affect the solar rebates from the federal government.

How do I get my solar rebate?

To claim your solar rebate, you need to follow this procedure:

  1. Download the STC form from any certificate and rebate companies in your respective state. Read the form and duly fill it in giving accurate information.
  2. Attach all the documents requested for in the form. Attach a clear photo of the tank serial number. Additionally, issue out a copy of site map showing the location of the tank.
  3. After duly filling in the form, send it back to the certificates trading company you obtained it from.
  4. The certificate trading company will process your payments.

The STCs should be created not later than 12 months after the solar power system installation.

What is the Difference between Rebate, Grants and Tax Credit?

Solar Rebate – In most cases, rebate are used by sellers to promote more sales and reduce the cost to the customer. They are a reimbursement or refunds of the money spent on a particular commodity. In this case installing the solar power system. The STC Scheme will enable the residents to save a lot of money on the solar power system installation.

Solar Grants – Grants are non-repayable money issued to party by the government towards a certain project. It is given absolutely free of charge. The governments of Tasmania and Queensland are offering grants to the eligible residents.

Solar Tax Credits – this is the amount of money that a taxpayer can deduct from the taxes owed to the government. For instance, if you install the solar power system, 30% of all the costs incurred, can be claimed as part of the federal tax return. This scheme will expire in 2022. This is a way of the government rewarding you for installing the solar power system.