Victoria’s Solar Rebate – What’s Changing

Victoria solar panel rebate

The start of the new financial year on Wednesday will see some changes to Victoria’s Solar Homes program. Here’s what you need to know.

Solar Panel Rebate

From July 1, Victoria’s solar panel rebate will be reduced. But don’t panic as it’s only being reduced by 38 bucks; from a maximum $1,888 down to $1,850.

Unlike last year when demand outstripped supply, availability hasn’t been a problem in recent months. Between July and December this year, 32,700 new rebates for solar power systems will be available; released twice monthly in lots of 2,700 minimum. Currently, where applications have expired from previous rounds, those places have gone back into the pool available. It’s assumed this will continue.

Victorians will still get to double-dip on subsidies as they are also eligible for the national “solar rebate“; making installing PV in Victoria particularly attractive. The national subsidy is based on virtual bits of paper called Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) that vary in value according to market conditions. We mentioned early this month STC values have been high for quite a while and a check of DemandManager’s latest spot price report indicates this has continued these past couple of weeks. While the potential for STC values to drop is always there, prospective PV buyers should do their research and not rush into a purchase decision.

Solar Panel Selection

Another change from July 1 relates to solar panels that can be installed under the program. In addition to the requirement solar PV modules must be on the Clean Energy Council’s Approved Product List, they must also be from a brand participating in the Solar Panel Validation Initiative.

We’ve written about this initiative extensively on SolarQuotes  (use the link above to find out more), but essentially SPV helps protect solar buyers from crap panels, it preserves the reputation of installers and manufacturers, and the integrity of Australia’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).

Dozens of major solar panel manufacturers are on board with the initiative, so there are plenty of brands to choose from – including all the big names.

Solar Battery Rebate

From July 1, Victoria’s battery rebate will also reduce in value and will drop significantly more than the solar power system subsidy – from a maximum $4,838 down to $4,174. The program will also be expanded to encourage the aggregation of batteries; i.e. virtual power plants.

All the battery rebates from the current round have been spoken for and the next release will be at midday on July 1. Between July and December there will be 500 rebates available, released in lots of 40 (minimum) twice monthly. Bear in mind the battery rebate isn’t available to everyone and not in all areas. Further details can be found here.

Given some of the changes occurring, Solar Victoria says it will need to conduct a scheduled update to the Solar Victoria portal, so it will be closed  from 5pm on Tuesday 30 June. All going well, the portal will be available again at 7am on 1 July.

Further details on these and other changes to Victoria’s Solar Homes program from July 1 can be found in this Notice To Market.

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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