ACT Expands Home Energy Support Program

Home Energy Support Program

As well as a rebate for solar power systems, eligible low-income households in the ACT can now also get a significant rebate on selected energy-efficient appliances.

In April this year, the ACT kicked off a new scheme whereby low income households can receive a rebate of up to $2,500 on the cost of installing a solar power system. That’s in addition to the national “solar rebate“, which can knock thousands off the up-front cost of purchasing a system.

Yesterday, ACT Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury announced the expansion of the Home Energy Support Program to include new rebates of up to $2,500 for efficient electric appliances; including reverse cycle heating and cooling systems, hot water heat pumps and electric cooktops/ovens.

“We’ve announced our intention to electrify our city and transition away from the use of fossil-fuel gas by 2045,” said Minister Rattenbury. ” A critical part of this transition is to make sure we have a just transition by providing support to those who can least afford to make the switch.”

Gas currently accounts for 20% of the ACT’s emissions, so phasing it out over the next two decades is a critical part of the ACT’s goal. New “greenfields” suburbs in the ACT will no longer be connected to gas mains going forward, and from next year, new gas connections will cease for infill developments.

Who’s Eligible For The Rebates?

Eligible ACT homeowners who can apply for the solar and energy-efficient appliance rebates include Pension Concession Card holders and Department of Veteran Affairs Gold Card holders – and yes, they can get both rebates. The maximum rebate amount per property is up to $5,000.

To be eligible for either rebate, there are of course a few other hoops to jump through; including attending a  free online workshop that explains the programs. Something else to be aware of  is whoever is supplying the solar/appliances must be on the list of Sustainable Household Scheme (SHS) suppliers. But there’s a good selection of installers you can check against SQ’s solar installer reviews.

The program is offering rebates for rooftop solar systems between 5.5kW and 6.6kW, with a 5kW inverter – although other system sizes will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

As for the balance of solar system and/or appliance costs, interest-free loans with a payback period of up to 10 years are available – but taking up a loan isn’t required. The loans are provided by Brighte; a company probably best known for its provision of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services. The minimum loan amount is $2,000 and the maximum, $10,000.

It’s important to note a quote should not be accepted until an application has been given the thumbs up by the ACT Government. While a rebate generally won’t be payable if an applicant has already installed or paid for an eligible product, there are a few exceptions to this rule.

As for when applicants will get the rebate, this will generally occur within 10 business days of the ACT Government processing the form completed after installation.

Further information, forms etc. for the Home Energy Support Program are available here.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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