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Solar Rebate Victoria - New 2020 Guide

Updated: 17 July 2020

In a bid to boost the shift towards green and sustainable energy, the Australian government provides a number of incentives to consumers and vendors of solar and other green-energy products.

These have been packaged under the STC scheme, which allows buyers like you to buy solar products at significantly reduced prices.

How Much Is the Solar Rebate in Victoria?

In actual numbers, a solar rebate in Victoria is worth $2225 for any solar kit bought at the time of publishing this guide. Keep in mind that federal solar rebates can be claimed on top of the Victorian rebate to reduce the initial cost by the 50% advertised by the local government. At the same time, the state-level rebate could go up or down in value depending on demand and funding.

With the above in mind, here are some estimated rebates for different solar products in Victoria with the state level and federal STC applied. As for the federal STCs, Victoria as a state falls under zone 4 with a 1.185 rating for the STC rebate scheme.

*The above estimates are based on the current STC market value ($39.40) and deeming 11 years from the date of publishing this guide. Keep in mind that solar products get cheaper every year, even when the STCs thin out. At the same time, the Victorian solar homes scheme does promise a fifty per cent rebate on any solar product purchased as a state-level program.

If you are a Victorian, you will be eligible to apply for a single state-level rebate for a single solar PV install. However, you can make multiple claims through point of sale discounts through the federal level STC scheme if you have more than one residence utilizing eligible solar systems.

When Does the Solar Rebate End in VIC?

As of the time of publishing this guide, there is no clear indication of when the Victorian state-level solar rebate will end. In fact, the state government just released solar rebates for the current month. Hopefully, it will continue doing so for the foreseeable future. As it is, the solar rebate Victoria has been in operation for about two years with thousands of homeowners, rental properties and NGO’s benefiting from the scheme.

Here is a breakdown from the state government website depicting Victorian solar rebates handed over in the last few months as captured from the latest release.

What Is the Solar Rebate in Victoria?

The solar rebate system in Victoria which is also commonly referred to as;

  • The solar homes scheme
  • Victorian solar subsidy
  • Half-price subsidy

This is a state-level solar incentive meant to encourage the use of renewable energy sources. Eligible households within the state can apply for the solar rebate in Victoria as soon as the purchase or need any solar product installed on their property.

For over two years now, Victoria’s state government has been handing out these rebates on limited monthly allocations. About 3000 limited rebates are released each month to different applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants can make an application at point of sale through a solar retailer or claim the rebates themselves through the state’s websites so long as the application falls within outlined timelines.

Note: The Victorian solar rebate should not be confused with the federal-level STC-based solar rebates. This particular rebate is a state-level initiative that can be added on top of the federal rebate to cut the cost of solar PV systems by a significant margin.

State-level solar rebates in Victoria are also handed out to eligible solar buyers on a regular basis, but how exactly do they work?

Individually, Victoria also provides some extra incentive under the Victorian Solar Homes scheme.  Under the scheme, discounts are made available that could cover anything from 50% of the total cost of a solar kit. Indeed, as you may have already seen, thousands of homeowners and eligible NGOs have benefited from the scheme in the last few years.

What’s more, the state, which is home to major cities like Melbourne, goes several steps further by providing no-interest solar loans, solar battery rebates, rental solar rebates and other incentives on top of the already existing rebate scheme.

While the Victorian solar rebate does not have a definite end date, it’s also important to note at this point that the complementary federal-level solar STC ends in 2030. This is because a big chunk of the point of sale discount you get will be covered by the STCs as compared to the state rebate.  STC discounts will reduce as deeming periods reduce but falling solar panel prices have acted as a buffer for the reducing STC rebates.

What Are the Requirements?

Unlike the federal-level STC rebate, the solar rebate Victoria is handed out to eligible applicants who meet the laid-down conditions. Here is what you are required to have to be eligible for a Victorian rebate as captured from the published guidelines:

Victorian Solar Rebate Requirements for Homeowners

  1. You must be the registered owner and occupier of the house on which the solar PV system will be installed. This basically means you will need to furnish the government with documents proving that you own the house
  2. You must have a combined taxable income of not more than $180,000. Again, you will need to provide documentation to prove this as part of the rebate application. You can use the Tax office notice of assessment for this.
  3. The property on which you will install the solar system should not exceed $3 million in value.
  4. You should not have an existing solar installation in the property you are applying for.
  5. You should not have applied for a state-level rebate for another PV solar installation. You are only allowed one state-level rebate regardless of the number of properties you have.

Victoria Solar Rebate Requirements for Rental Property

For those applying for Victorian rebates on solar panels, they should meet the following requirements:

  1. The rental property in question should not exceed $3 million in value.
  2. The rental property in question should not have an existing solar system installed after 1 November 2009.
  3. All tenants plus the landlord are required to sign a Solar Homes Program Agreement before the rebate is issued.
  4. As with individual homeowners, the combined household income of all the tenants in the property should not exceed $180,000 per annum. Documentation proving this should be included in the rebate application.

Victoria Solar Rebate Requirements for Hot Water Systems

Hot water installations are eligible for a state-level rebate if the applicant can meet the following requirements:

  1. Applicant must be the owner of the property on which the hot water solar system will be installed.
  2. Combined household income should not exceed $180,000. Documentation from the tax office should be used to prove that this requirement has been met.
  3. The property on which the solar hot water system is being installed should be valued at under $3million according to the Solar.vi.gov project.
  4. The person applying for the rebate should not have applied for another rebate as a property owner or occupier. This also applies to those who may have applied for a solar panel rebate.
  5. Rebates applied for replacement hot water systems should not be older than three years from installation date.
  6. The property on which the solar hot water system is being installed should not be new.

Victoria Solar Rebate Requirements for Solar Batteries

Unlike most other states, the Victorian government also provides rebates for solar battery purchases provided the application meets the following conditions:

  1. The applicant must be the owner of the property in question
  2. Cumulative household income should not exceed s$180,000, and evidence of the same should be included in the application.
  3. The property on which the solar battery is being installed should not exceed $3milliom in value.
  4. You should not have applied for or claimed another state-level rebate under the Victorian Solar Homes Program.
  5. Your property should be within designated postcodes as guided by the state government. At the same time, you should have an existing solar install with at least5Kw yield capacity.
  6. You are required to obtain pre-approval from your Distributed Network Service Provider to claim a solar battery rebate.
  7. The batteries in question should be among the approved ones. At the same time, you should not have an existing solar energy storage system in the property.
  8. You are required to agree to receive information from the DNSP mentioned earlier. Additionally, you must agree to have a free safety inspection or audit if your application is selected for the battery rebate.

Meeting the Requirements

As you can probably tell from the requirements, claiming a Victorian Solar Homes rebate can take a bit of your time and effort. You’ll need to gather a dozen documents and file them with the authorities in coordination with your preferred solar vendor.  Luckily, you can always consult a registered solar company and have them handle the entire claim process for you. In all cases, the solar rebate will be offered as a point of sale discount either way.

How to Apply for Solar Rebate Victoria

First off, it’s good to note at this point that the entire application process described here can be handled by the solar company you choose to purchase from. They’ll handle everything from assessing your needs, checking that you meet the requirements to filing and factoring the rebate into the final price. That said, the Victorian government outlines the following application process for the state level Solar Homes rebate should you choose to go it alone:

Step 1- Assess Eligibility

The state advises applicants to conduct a preliminary assessment of their situation and see if they are eligible for the Solar Homes Rebate.  This will save you a lot of time and money in the process as opposed to if you had gone into the application blindly. For instance, you will know through the preliminary assessment if your home is correctly valued and within the demarcated rebate area.

Step 2- Get a solar Quote 

The next step in your application process is to find an authorized dealer and obtain a solar quote from them. It’s important to get authorized dealers at this point as they are the only ones that can process and apply the rebates on the final price. At the same time, also consider finding a dealer recognized by the Clean Energy Authority at the federal level if you want the STCs too.

The quote you request from the dealer should be of a solar kit you are interested in and within the minimum and maximum yield capacity for the solar rebate Victoria. Have the solar company upload the solar quote selected alongside your documentation using the Solar Victoria portal.

Final Step – Approval and Eligibility number

With your application uploaded, you will need to wait to receive an eligibility number. This will be used to claim your rebate from the solar company as a final step. Approval could take anything from a week to several weeks depending on the number of applications being processed, allocated rebates for the current period and other factors.

You must hang on until you receive the go-ahead in the form of an eligibility number before you proceed with the installation or contract signing with a solar company. Also, timing your STC claim with the state level Solar Victoria rebate would be advisable at this point. You would want to receive the full discount at point of sale instead of claiming your STCs later.

Note: Many people wrongly believe that solar rebates can be claimed as monetary disbursals from the state government or federal government. This is not the case. You will not receive any cheques in the mail for any type of rebate in Australia. Instead, the rebates are processed by the solar company through a discount at the point of sale or post-installation.

How to Claim Your Rebate

As mentioned in previous sections, claiming the solar rebate Victoria can be done through a solar company or by an in individual. How do you go about claiming the solar system rebate?

  1. Complete the eligibility application and submit it for approval
  2. Wait to receive your eligibility number
  3. Once you got the number, go ahead and pay any down payment required to purchase a solar product from your preferred solar company. You can also request for a no-interest loan to fund any extra costs such as down payments if you need it. Also, remember to request for the STCs rebate from the solar company at this point to cut your costs further.
  4. At this point, the solar vendor can factor the rebates into the final price, including installations. If all went well, you would only be required to pay a tiny fraction of the total purchase with the rebates applied. Of course, you can always request for a no-interest loan from the state and pay zero initial fees for the installation. You will then use the power bill savings to finance the loan over time.

Claiming state-level rebates in Victoria should be a straight forward process provided you meet the requirements and apply in good time before the monthly allocations are exhausted. Ensure you have all the documentation needed ready before you start an application.

More importantly, make sure you work with an authorized solar company. You can always refer to the Solar Victoria website to get a list of authorized solar companies if in doubt.

How Much Rebate on A 5kw Solar System?

Under the Victoria solar home rebate, a 5kw solar system may attract a $2225 rebate going by the current figures. However, it’s hard to tell the value of rebates you will get when you make an application since the figure is always changing. Factor the STC rebates in and you would be looking at a $4,786 total rebate to go into your POS discount.

Refer to the Solar Home website when you are ready to claim your 5kw rebate for the latest figures. You might want to choose to wait and to time your applications when the rate is highest for a better rebate. The same goes for the STC value, which keeps on changing based on demand and supply.

How Much Rebate on A 6.6kw Solar System?

The Victorian rebate for a 6.6Kw system ranges between $1,888 to $2225 depending on the current figures published by the local government. Note that state-rebates are constant regardless of the yield capacity of your preferred solar system. Factor the federal rebate into the final figure, and you would receive a $5,613.4 rebate on your 6.6Kw solar kit at current rates.

Can I Get A Rebate on Solar Hot Water in Victoria?

Yes, solar rebates are available for solar hot water systems in Victoria. You will, however, need to meet the eligibility requirements for the specific category of rebates and be ready to shoulder any additional costs either out of pocket or using a no-interest loan from the state. Refer to the requirements shared on this article for the same.

Ben McInerney head shotAuthor: Ben McInerney is a renewable energy enthusiast with the goal of helping more Australians understand solar systems to make the best choice before they purchase. Having an accredited solar installer in the family helps give Ben access to the correct information, which allows him to break it down and make it easily understandable to the average home owner.