Queensland Solar And Battery Grants/Loans Update

Queensland battery grants and loans

The Queensland Government’s interest-free loans and grants for solar power and battery storage were announced with much fanfare last year. So, where is the initiative at now?

The scheme finally kicked off in November 2018. It initially offered grants of $3,000 and interest-free loans of up to $10,000 for 1,000 solar power and battery storage systems, along with grants of $3,000 and interest-free loans of up to $6,000 for 500 solar battery systems. It was then extended to cover 2,500 packages across both.

According to a QLD Government announcement yesterday, 2,150 applications have been lodged to date, up from 1,200 in December. Based on those figures, the program has lost some momentum – 1,200 applications in the first couple of weeks, then another 950 over the following two months.

There was little information on how many applications have been approved, aside from mention that around 140 Sunshine Coast applicants have made it over the line.

Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said regional households and small businesses in the state accounted for around a third of the 2,150 applications.

“The Sunshine Coast is one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, and clearly residents here are big fans of renewable energy, with the region number four on the list for uptake of the scheme after Brisbane, Gold Coast and Moreton Bay,” he stated.

Under the program, quotes must be sourced from an eligible battery supplier for an eligible battery system. Some of the energy storage systems you’ll find details of on SQ’s solar battery comparison page and as for the companies eligible to install them, you can check the list against our solar installer reviews database.

Also available are interest-free loans of up to $4,500 to purchase a solar power system only, however, eligibility is very restrictive.

“There are limited places still available for grants and loans and I encourage anyone interested to get online before it’s too late,” stated Dr. Lynham.

Solar Owners – Look Before You Leap

Further details regarding the program can be found here, but before you skedaddle…

If you’re a solar power system owner and interested in buying a battery under the scheme, before you dive in you may want to check out an article by SQ’s Ronald from December last year that advised caution. Even if prices of eligible batteries have dropped since that time, you should crunch the numbers to determine if the offer makes financial sense for you.

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.

Comments

  1. Stephen Bryde says

    Hey Solar quotes,

    Thanks for all the great info !!

    I’ve just started building in the Sunshine Coast, should I wait for a better scheme to come along, or just ignore this all together?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Stephen

      I’m afraid it appears impossible for a normal household to save money by installing a battery using the Queensland battery grant. I wrote about this here:

      https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/queensland-battery-grant/

      If you are interested in same money it’s best to ignore it altogether. In the future batteries will hopefully be cheap enough to save you money but even with a $3,000 battery grant they aren’t there yet.

  2. Frances, if you can send me the login to your Enphase monitoring (not here! but email [email protected] ) I can have a look for you.

    Finn

  3. I had 6 panels installed when the scheme was first started in about 2008, we were meant to get 9 but for some reason only 6 came. Anyway since I have already received a grant for the solar system can I add another 6 or more panels to improve it and keep my 45cent feed in Tarrif? Or am I limited in what I can now do? I don’t mind if I get a reduced tariff as long as more panels gives a greater return than that 45c from 6 panels would have given me.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hello Bernie

      According to the Queensland Solar Bonus Scheme Policy Guide:

      https://www.dnrme.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/1379678/solar-bonus-scheme.pdf

      it is possible to add to the size of a solar system and continue to receive the high feed in tariff provided:

      1. From 15 February 2018, not add extra capacity (panels) which exceed the rated capacity of your system’s inverter
      2. Check with your distributor before adding extra panels, systems or batteries.

      Despite having only having 6 panels your panel capacity may already be at or around your inverter’s capacity. If you have the original documentation you should be able to check this. Otherwise you can get an idea by looking at how much power your system generates when the sun is more or less directly above the panels on a clear day. If your solar system’s power output is 70% or more of the inverter’s capacity your panel capacity is probably at or near the point where you can’t add more panels and keep your high feed-in tariff.

      You won’t be able to come out ahead by adding 3 more panels and losing your high feed-in tariff. You may come out ahead by removing it and installing a large new system, but whether or not that will be worthwhile for you will depend on your electricity use, budget, and personal preferences.

      • I have applied for the battery and solar loan. Although l am not really interested in the battery l am not elegable for the solar only loan. Im on the age pension and my wife works part time and finding it very difficult to get finance. I opted for the smaller battery in the hope that it will pay back a bit sooner and allowing a bit extra feed in tariff. Should I pull out or go ahead. From what lm reading battery will loose money ???

        • Ronald Brakels says

          Hi Ray

          I am afraid at the moment it is basically impossible for a home battery to pay for itself in Queensland even with the battery grant. Solar can definitely save you money and quickly pay for itself but the battery is very unlikely to pay for itself in its lifetime. I wrote about this issue here:

          https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/queensland-battery-grant/

          • I understand but I either get solar with battery or nothing

          • Ronald Brakels says

            Because the battery is only likely to extend the payback time I would say don’t get it. But if you are certain it is worth it to you to get the loan you could decide to go ahead. If you want to try to get finance two companies that may be able to help you and we find are pretty good are Brighte and Parker Lane.

            There are also low interest loans available to low income earners:

            https://nils.com.au/

            Unfortunately these are only up to $1,500 so you would have to contribute a considerable amount extra.

          • Very interesting reading. https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/queensland-battery-grant/ As you said it’s a disgrace and unfortunately to be expected you just have to look back at the insulation debacle. (I won’t get political)
            As for the Queensland plants that want to “kill you” as you say; you must be referring to Gympie Bush & Wait a while, lovely stuff, but I had no idea we were “Primitive” I guess until one is enlightened that must be our state of mind. Perhaps that’s why we keep winning the State of Origin. Go Queensland!

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