Interest-Free Solar Loans In Tasmania Extended

Interest free solar loans in Tasmanaia

Image: moerschy

Tasmania’s Minister For Energy announced yesterday the Tasmanian Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme (TEELS) program, which offers interest-free finance to households and small businesses, will be extended for another year.

The TEELS scheme was originally launched in May last year, then had its funding doubled in June 2017. The program, which was due to close today, has been extended due to an additional $20 million dollars being made available.

“This is great news for households and small businesses that had not previously taken advantage of this scheme to purchase energy efficiency products,” said Minister Barnett. “It is also great news for businesses selling and installing energy efficiency products.”

Eligible purchases include:

  • Solar power systems
  • Solar hot water systems
  • Reverse-cycle air conditioners
  • Insulation for ceilings and floors
  • Double glazed windows
  • Blockout curtains, blinds and pelmets
  • Minimum 3-star energy rated fridge, freezers and washing machines
  • Lighting upgrades (e.g from CFL to LED)
  • Irrigation pumps for small businesses
  • Building upgrades for small businesses

The minimum finance value for households is $500, with the maximum value set at $10,000. For small business, the minimum is $500, with a maximum of $40,000. For the $500 – $10,000 range, the interest-free period is 36 months and for the $10,001 – $40,000 range, 5 years. Under the scheme, a small business is considered a commercial enterprise that has energy usage of less than 150 MWh per annum.

With the cost of both home and commercial solar dropping further since the scheme was originally announced, households and small businesses should be able to get more solar energy bang for their loan bucks. Applicants also aren’t limited to a single product from the above list.

The scheme is a joint initiative of the Tasmanian Government, Aurora Energy and Westpac. It will now run until April 30 next year, or when funding is exhausted (whichever comes first). Full details, qualifying products and eligibility criteria can be viewed here. At the time of writing, the TEELS site was still indicating an application close date of today.

According to the State Government, $18 million in loans had been approved for 2,295 successful applicants up until early April. A breakdown wasn’t provided yesterday but of the more than 1500 initial applications in the first month or so after launch, 1,000+ applications were seeking funding for the installation of solar panels.

Related: Tips For Financing Solar Systems

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.


  1. Warwick Sands says

    Hi Michael,
    Somewhat off topic but I have noticed while wandering around the aisles of white goods stores that no fridge seems to have a star rating above three.

    Am I visiting the wrong stores or is there something significant in the way the ratings are created?

    In these days of wonder materials one would think that 5 star fridges would be common.

    Thanks for the blog, I enjoy it muchly.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Warwick, Ronald here.

      There are refrigerators with more than 3 star ratings available in Adelaide, but they do tend to carry a hefty premium. I wrote about replacing my refrigerator at the start of the year here:

      But note a modern fridge with only a 3 star rating should be far more energy efficient than the average fridge sold 20 years ago.

      • It might also be worth noting that the star ratings for different appliances are periodically recalibrated downwards, presumably to encourage raising efficiency standards.

        I see that as being a bit problematic – surely for some appliances there is a finite limit to maximum efficiency (e.g. the Carnot limit for heat engines, the Betz limit for wind turbines etc. etc.) and spending more and more money to improve standards will yield lower and lower incremental gains?

        • Ronald Brakels says

          There are limits, but while various government programs around the world encourage energy efficiency — for example Japan’s Top Runner program has saved the world a vast amount of energy — generally it’s a private decision whether or not a company will take the extra effort and expense to produce a more energy efficient appliance and get that extra star or half star.

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