The Victorian Government has announced a new Solar Homes Package program to provide power bill relief for households.
While there is substantial detail yet to be developed, the following outlines some initial information about the package.
Solar panel rebate
The Victorian Government will initially offer half price solar systems for up to 24,000 households in the state from 19 August 2018 to 30 June 2019.
The rebate will cover up to 50 per cent of the value of an average 4kW solar panel system (which currently equates to $2,225) for eligible households. Eligibility for the program includes using a Clean Energy Council Accredited Installer and Clean Energy Council Approved Products.
If re-elected, the Andrews Labor Government will expand the program to 650,000 homes from July next year and will allow households to install a solar panel system for half price and pay the rest of the cost back over four years with an interest-free loan.
Solar hot water rebate
The Victorian Government is providing a $1000 rebate on solar hot water systems for 6,000 households. The rebate will be expanded to 60,000 households from July next year if the Andrews Labor Government is re-elected.
The program includes $9 million to support accreditation of 4,500 electricians to install solar hot water and solar panel systems.
Full eligibility requirements and more information on the solar panel and solar hot water rebates can be found on the Solar Victoria website. We look forward to working closely with Solar Victoria to ensure standards remain very high for the duration of the program.
Frequently asked questions
See below for the answers to some common questions about the Solar Homes Package.
How is the rebate paid?
Rebates will initially be provided to householders directly. In the coming months Solar Victoria will develop a streamlined process that will enable installers to distribute the rebate as part of their invoicing. The Clean Energy Council (CEC) will work with Solar Victoria on the specific details.
Is there a minimum size system that is eligible under Solar Homes?
No. Solar Victoria will provide a 50 per cent rebate, up to the value of $2,225 (equivalent to half the cost of average 4kW solar panel system currently) for eligible households.
Is there a maximum size system that is eligible under Solar Homes?
There is no maximum size limit under the Solar Homes program, provided the system meets all other eligibility and installation requirements (including the requirement to qualify for STCs). The rebate has a maximum value of $2,225, for eligible households.
If I receive support from the Solar Homes program, am I still eligible for Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) under the Federal Government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme?
Yes. Solar Homes Rebates are additional to the federal STC scheme. Rebates will be calculated after the STC discount has been applied.
Can replacement solar water heating systems also claim support through the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) scheme?
Does the Solar Homes Package cover new solar water heaters or is it just for replacement systems?
The Solar Homes Package only supports the installation of replacement hot water systems, including existing solar hot water heaters.
Does the Solar Homes Package cover replacement solar PV systems or is it just for new systems?
Early adopters of solar PV, who meet all other eligibility criteria, are able to claim a rebate for a new or expanded system. An early adopter is defined as a solar system that was installed prior to the commencement of the Premium Feed-In Tariff (PFIT) on November 1, 2009. Your Distribution Network Service Provider can confirm that the date on which your solar PV system was connected to the grid was prior to the start of the PFIT. Other than for early adopters, the solar rebate cannot be used to expand an existing solar panel installation.
If I am buying a solar PV system under the Solar Homes program can I also buy a battery?
Yes, but there are no rebates for batteries at this point. The Victorian Government has said that it will provide a 50 per cent rebate, up to the value of half of an average 4 kW solar panel system (which currently equates to $2,225) for eligible households.
Is community housing eligible?
Yes. Not-for-profit community housing providers will also be eligible to apply for a rebate on behalf of their tenants.
Are rental properties eligible?
No. Only owner-occupied home valued at under $3,000,000 will be eligible.
Where can I get more information?
Further information on the Solar Homes Package is available here.
For more details on installing rooftop solar, download CEC’s free Guide to Installing Solar PV for Households or Guide to Installing Solar PV for Business and Industry.
How do I find the right person to install my solar for the Victorian Solar Homes Package?
From 18 August 2018 to 30 June 2019, the Victorian Government is offering a solar panel rebate for up to 24,000 eligible households. Eligibility for the program includes using a Clean Energy Council Accredited Installer and Clean Energy Council Approved Products.
So how do you find an accredited installer and approved products?
You have two main options.
- If you want to deal directly with an individual installer you can search for a Clean Energy Council accredited installer in your area using our Find an installer map. You can check with the installer to ensure they use Clean Energy Council approved products for the installation.
- If you want to go through a solar retailer you can find a Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer that services your area by searching our list of Approved Solar Retailers. All Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailers must use a Clean Energy Council accredited installer for the installation. You can check with the Approved Solar Retailer or installer to ensure they use Clean Energy Council approved products for the installation.
The solar rebate application form is now available on the Solar Victoria website along with more information about the process.
As a consumer, how do I apply to be part of this program?
Consumers can find out about the steps required to be part of the program on the Solar Victoria website. In the coming months, Solar Victoria will develop a streamlined process that will enable installers to distribute the rebate as part of their invoicing.
How can I make sure I do not receive unwanted phone calls from solar companies?
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) operates the ‘Do Not Call Register’. This is a free service where consumers can securely register their home, mobile or fax numbers for free to reduce unsolicited telemarketing calls. Further information is available here.
If I am a Victorian interested in installing solar, what should I do next?
Read the Clean Energy Council's Guide to Installing Solar PV for Households. It describes the steps you should take when purchasing and installing solar PV for your home. The seven key steps are summarised below:
Step 1: Do your research
Before purchasing a solar PV system, it’s important to make sure the investment will be worth your while. That means identifying the best type and size of solar PV system for your property. Find out more about the costs and savings of going solar here.
Step 2: Contact your electricity retailer
Not all electricity companies offer solar-friendly policies. You’ll want to contact your electricity retailer to find out:
- how solar will affect your current rates
- what sort of feed-in tariffs they offer. A feed-in tariff is the amount an electricity retailer pays you for excess power generated by your solar panels.
Our Guide to Installing Solar PV for Households includes a list of questions to ask your electricity company.
Step 3: Find a solar PV retailer and plan your system
It’s important to shop around when buying solar. Before you select a system, talk to different solar PV retailers about your options and obtain several quotes.
You also want to make sure that the company you buy your system from is ethical, reliable and will be there if something goes wrong. The best way to do this is by choosing a Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer. Approved Solar Retailers follow industry best practice, use fully accredited installers and offer a minimum five-year guarantee on the entire system.
Check that the installer can provide the documentation required to claim the rebate. All documents required are listed on Solar Victoria's website.
Step 4: Sign a contract
Once you have chosen your system and accepted a quote, your solar PV retailer, installer or designer will provide you with a contract.
There are a few things about the contract you should check before signing. Our Guide to Installing Solar PV for Households has all the details.
Step 5: Install your solar PV system
Your solar PV retailer or installer will install your system and provide you with all the necessary documentation.
Remember, to be eligible for government rebates, your system must be installed by a Clean Energy Council accredited installer.
An Approved Solar Retailer will always use accredited installers. If you’re not buying from an approved retailer, ask to see your installer’s accreditation card or ensure they are listed on our find an installer page.
Step 6: Connect your solar PV system to the grid
Your solar PV retailer will usually arrange for your solar system to be connected to the electricity network on your behalf.
Step 7: Use and maintain your solar PV system
Congratulations! Your solar PV system is installed, and it’s time to start saving money on your power bills.
To keep your system working efficiently and safely, you’ll need to make sure it is properly maintained. Find out more about what to do once your system is installed.
Installer and Approved Solar Retailer questions
As an installer, how do I apply to be part of this program?
If you are an accredited installer under the CEC Solar Accreditation Scheme you will be eligible to take part in the program, provided you meet the eligibility requirements listed at www.solar.vic.gov.au/Approved-installers. Installers not yet accredited can contact CEC to seek accreditation.
Installers can register at Solar Victoria here to receive further updates on the program.
What is the installer accreditation requirement for solar PV systems?
Solar PV installers are required to hold an unrestricted Class A Electrical Licence registered with Energy Safe Victoria, and be accredited by the CEC Solar Accreditation Scheme. Further information on the requirements for installers is available here.
As a solar retailer, how do I apply to be part of this program?
The Clean Energy Council will provide an update as more information becomes available. In the meantime, retailers can register here to receive further updates.
What is the product accreditation requirement for solar PV systems?
What is the installer accreditation requirement for solar water heaters?
The normal accreditation requirements for solar water heater installations apply, however there are no additional requirements for the Solar Homes Package.
What is the product accreditation requirement for solar water heaters?
A product must be on the Clean Energy Regulator's "Register of approved solar hot water heaters" (for Solar hot water).