There are two ways you can recoup some of the costs of setting up and maintaining your rooftop solar and battery system. The first way is through government rebates, which can contribute to the cost of purchasing and setting up your system, depending on where you live and what programs are available. Once you have your system installed, the second way is by selling some of the electricity you generate back into the grid, which is called a feed-in tariff.
There are federal and state rebates available for rooftop solar and battery storage which can significantly reduce the cost of purchasing and installing a solar system.
We have compiled a list of the major schemes operating in Australia but there may be more rebates available to you. You can search for federal and state government rebates on the Federal Government’s energy rebates webpage.
Generally, when you receive a quote for a solar or battery storage system, the retailer will show any rebate amount that you are receiving.
The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) provides a financial incentive for individuals and businesses to install small-scale renewable energy systems such as rooftop solar, solar water heaters and heat pumps. This occurs in the form of small-scale technology certificates (STCs), which are issued up front for a system’s expected power generation (based on its installation date and geographical location) until the SRES expires in 2030.
The price of STCs changes according to market conditions. The total level of subsidy you receive will depend on several factors, including the location and size of the solar system and the price of STCs at the time the system was installed.
The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) is also run by the Federal Government and intended for generating large-scale renewable energy in the form of power stations. More information on the LRET can be found on the Clean Energy Regulator’s website.
The ACT Government has committed to subsidising up to 5000 battery storage systems in ACT homes and businesses. More information can be found through the link below.
The Queensland Government provides interest-free loans and grants for solar systems and battery storage to eligible home owners and small businesses. More information can be found through the link below.
The South Australian Government provides a subsidy for the cost of battery storage and low interest finance. More information can be found through the link below.
A feed-in tariff is the rate you are paid for any electricity generated by your rooftop solar system that is fed back into the grid.
Feed-in tariffs are generally available for residential systems and do not necessarily extend to commercial customers. However, in most cases, commercial customers should be able to negotiate a rate with their electricity retailer.
Almost all feed-in tariffs offered now are 'net' feed-in tariffs. This means that the electricity produced by your solar panels will be used in your home first, and you will only be paid for excess electricity that is exported to the grid.
Feed-in tariffs differ from state to state and from retailer to retailer. In some states the government regulates a minimum rate, and in other states it is up to you to negotiate a deal with your electricity retailer.
There is no government-regulated minimum retailer payment in New South Wales or southeast Queensland. It is worth shopping around to find out which electricity retailers offer the best rates for solar customers.
For more information on feed-in tariffs, you can visit the website of your relevant state government body by using these links: