Victorian Solar Rebates Go Begging

Solar panel rebate - Victoria

Image: Solar Victoria

Uptake of solar panel rebates in Victoria continues to slow, making it a good time for those considering solar or crowded out by the previous rush to take another look.

The Victorian solar rebate, which knocks off up to $1,888 for solar power systems (and is in addition to Australia’s national “solar panel rebate“), is being released twice a month. For March, the total number of new rebates for release was 5,000 (2 x 2,500).

As at early this morning, 4,982 of the 5,927 rebates available in this round were still up for grabs. The reason the overall number released is so high is due to carry-over from previous rounds where applications have expired – those places go back into the pool available.

Even before the COVID-19 situation, uptake was slowing. It’s certainly a much different situation to last year when releases were being snapped up in less than an hour. While the rebate was more generous then, up to $1,888 off the cost of a system plus the thousands of dollars still available under the national subsidy makes installing a solar power system in Victoria now a particularly good deal.

Just as an example, a good quality 6.6kW system fully installed costing around $6,600 with the national subsidy taken into account will cost $4,712 with Victorian rebate factored in. Using that figure in SQ’s solar calculator for system cost and using the calculator’s other default settings indicates this system installed in Melbourne should pay for itself in 2 years, 5 months and provide savings over 10 years of an estimated $20,815.

On the consumer side of things, the pressure is well and truly off at the moment when it comes to the rebate. But it needs to be kept in mind each month a decision to go solar is put off, that’s another month of being locked into high electricity bills – and those months (and costs) can quickly mount up. As we mentioned earlier this week, there’s some very good reasons to go solar right now in Victoria; and across Australia for that matter.

For Victorians who attempted to get the rebate previously but were put off by some of the onerous signup and identity verification requirements, these were simplified a few weeks ago.

Interest-free loans for an amount equivalent to the rebate amount are also still available.

Solar Homes Battery Rebate Update

Early this month, the Andrews Government expanded the state’s battery rebate scheme to a total of 247 eligible postcodes. By March 9, 526 out of the 585 rebates for the current release were still available. By yesterday afternoon 429 were still up for grabs.

The battery rebate currently offers up to $4,838 off the cost of a solar battery system in eligible postcodes and assuming other eligibility criteria are met.

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. David Owen says

    Hi Michael
    Just want to give my situation and see what you think.We have been trying to get quotes for a 10ish kilowatt system and only have got 2 for 5 kw system.The problem is that even though we have 3 phase and “heavy”lines less than 50 meters from the house Powercore has said to one of our quoters that there is a maximum of 4.7 kw can be hooked to the system even if batteries are installed.My question is how can we get to a 10 or more kw system or can’t we?
    Regards David

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi David, Ronald here.

      I’m afraid the Distributed Network Service Provider — Powercor — has the final say on what they will allow. You can check if they will allow you to install a larger system that has been export limited to 4.7 kilowatts. If that’s permitted then a typical family could install, say, a 6 kilowatt inverter with 8 kilowatts of panels and not lose a great deal in feed-in tariff. If your day time electricity consumption is high then you could install an even larger system while keeping your feed-in tariff losses low.

  2. Locksmack says

    Hi Michael and Ronald,

    I’m after some advice on timing for installing a solar system in Victoria.

    My wife and I are currently not eligible for the Victorian rebate as our household income was above $180k last year.

    This should change though as my wife is now on maternity leave – our household income for 19/20 should be under $180k due to this.

    I take it my best course of action is to wait until our tax returns are done in July so that we will become eligible? Will the Vic rebate or STCs be lowered by then? Would you recommend we wait?

    Thanks.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Locksmack

      STCs won’t be reduced until the end of the year and the Victorian home solar rebate is likely to remain as it is until the end of the year also and continue to be up to $1,888. (You’ll get the maximum amount unless you install an unusually small solar system.) Getting the Victorian rebate is still a bother, but much easier than it used to be. Because of the current economic situation, if you decide to skip the Victorian rebate and get solar now you may be able to get a very good deal.

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