Victoria’s Solar For Business Program Rebate Details Announced

Victoria - Solar for Business Program

Image: Solar Victoria via Twitter

Eligible small businesses in Victoria will be able to apply for the state’s new Solar for Business Program rebate from May – and there will also soon be bonuses available for upgrading to energy efficient equipment.

First to details of the Solar for Business Program announced yesterday, which will offer a rebate of up to 50% or $3,500 (whichever is the lesser) on eligible solar power systems. While called a “rebate”, it will in practice reduce the up-front cost of a system.

Eligibility criteria summary:

  • The program will be open to the owner of a business with fewer than 20 employees.
  • Initially open to businesses operating from their own premises, which includes a property owned by an associated entity such as a Family Trust, Holding Company or SMSF. The program will then expand to include businesses renting their premises.
  • A business must operate from premises that are not considered residential. Where a business is run from home, that may instead qualify for Victoria’s home solar rebate, which is currently available.
  • Systems must be installed by a Solar Homes approved solar retailer.
  • Maximum system size is 30kW (no minimum size noted) and must be made up of components on the Solar Homes approved product list.

IMPORTANT: Systems installed prior to the program formally opening for applications in May will *not* be eligible for the rebate. This may throw a spanner in the works for installations that may have occurred prior to this as small business owners are going to be keen to hold off in order to grab the subsidy.

15,000 solar rebates will be available under the program over the next three years. It’s assumed these will be released in batches, so there could be some significant competition for the initial releases. It’s also assumed a system must first be formally approved for the subsidy before proceeding with installation, so don’t sign any contracts or pay a deposit until it is.

Small businesses can find out more and register their interest in the program here.

In addition to this upcoming rebate, small business owners can also benefit from Australia’s national subsidy (aka the “solar rebate“), which can knock thousands more off the up-front cost of small commercial solar systems. Once Victoria’s program officially kicks off, it’s going to be really good time for small businesses in the state to install solar panels.

But wait, there’s more…

Small Business Energy Saver

Small businesses are also being encouraged to take advantage of the $5 million Small Business Energy Saver Program, which will provide bonuses of up to $2,000 for upgrades to energy-efficient business equipment including air-conditioning, refrigeration and heat pumps. This bonus is in addition to energy efficiency upgrade discounts available through the Victorian Energy Upgrades program.

Further details of the Small Business Energy Saver program can be viewed here.

Commenting on the new initiatives, Minister for Solar Homes Lily D’Ambrosio said:

“These new programs will drive down energy costs and help boost Victoria’s economic recovery, delivering jobs and providing support across a range of industries. Solar is good for jobs, it’s good for the environment and it’s good for bringing down power bills.”

To get an idea of how much your business could saving through installing rooftop panels, try SQ’s solar calculator, but just remember to factor in the Victorian rebate on the system cost field.

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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