Solar Rebates Victoria

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Updated 06/06/2024
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Updated 06/06/2024

Our aim is to help you make better informed decisions. That’s why iSelect’s content is produced in accordance with our fact-checking and editorial guidelines.

Reviewed by

Dean Ipaviz

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What is the Victorian solar panel rebate?
What other solar incentives could I also apply for?
Am I eligible?
Is it worth getting solar installed?
Where can I find and compare Energy Plans?

What is the Victorian solar panel rebate? 

As part of the Solar Homes Program, you could receive a rebate of up to $1,400 for installing eligible solar panels at your place.1Solar Victoria – Solar panel (PV) rebate You can apply for a rebate for your existing home or even one you’re building in order to help pay off your solar system sooner. 

If you’re all about speed like Lightning McQueen, you could potentially pay off your system even faster with an interest-free loan of equal value to your rebate. This can be paid off in instalments over four years or sooner with a lump sum. 

Something to keep in mind though is that this rebate and loan amount will go directly into your solar system retailer’s pocket rather than your bank account. Then, on installation day, you’ll only need to pay the outstanding balance (if there is one). 

Additionally, you may want to apply for this rebate sooner rather than later. There’s only a limited number available. 

This is just the home solar rebate Victoria offers. If you live in an apartment or have a rental property, there are different rebates you can apply for.  

In the case of apartments, the rebate can be up to $2,800 for each apartment involved.2Solar Victoria – Solar for Apartments You’ll just need it all managed by your owners’ corporation, but you can definitely get the ball rolling. 

If you want to add solar to your investment property (and give your tenants some green electricity to use), the rebate is also up to $1,400 with an equal loan amount.

For renters, you might like to let your rental provider or landlord know that they could be missing out if they don’t get an eligible solar system installed soon. Solar Victoria even has an email template ready for you to use. You can also sweeten the deal by offering to contribute to loan repayments since you’ll be using the solar-generated electricity. However, you won’t be able to legally contribute more than $14.58 a month and can’t be asked to cover any other costs either.3Solar Victoria – Information for renters  

You can apply for all these rebates via the Solar Victoria website

What other solar incentives could I also apply for? 

But solar panels aren’t the only item Victoria is dangling rebates and other tasty financial carrots on. 

For instance, if you think a battery might help you get more value out of your system, you could apply for a no-interest loan of up to $8,800 to be paid off over four years.4Solar Victoria – Solar battery loans  FYI: you can go after this loan whether you’re getting a system installed fresh (and using the solar panel rebate and loan) or have an existing system you want to upgrade. Regardless, a battery could be a way to use more of the electricity you generate, as well as get credit or payments for being part of a VPP (Virtual Power Plant). 

There’s also the hot water rebate, which could help you reduce your annual electricity bills by $140–$400.5Solar Victoria – Hot water rebate The trick is to install a solar hot water heater or heat pump, so you’re not using grid electricity to heat your water. This rebate is up to $1,000 to help cover setting up your new water heater.6As above 

You can apply for both the battery loan and hot water rebate at the Solar Victoria website

‘We wanted to cut down our electricity bills, but a solar system would have been hard for us to get value out of since my housemate and I aren’t home for the majority of daylight hours. So, we opted for a solar hot water heater using the rebate and we saw a difference in our first bill — and it wasn’t because we both stopped showering.    

Looking nationally, you may also be able to pay off your solar system sooner by getting involved in the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme. With it, you can earn small-scale technology certificates (STCs) by installing an eligible solar system. You can then trade your STCs for cash back on your install price. How many STCs you get and how much they sell for can depend on your unique circumstances, but it could further drive down your out-of-pocket costs for solar. The catch is that this scheme is coming to a close in 2030. 

To make STCs through the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme, you’ll need to visit the REC Registry, run by the Clean Energy Regulator. 

Am I eligible? 

While there’s no such thing as free money, these rebates and loans come pretty close. All you need to do is meet the eligibility criteria. 

If you’re after the solar panel rebate and/or interest-free loan, you’ll need to tick yes to all the boxes below: 

  • You’re the owner-occupier of the existing Victorian property or intend to be once the place is built. 
  • Your combined taxable annual household income is less than $210,000. 
  • Your property’s value (or will be valued when completed) is under $3 million. 
  • You haven’t already received a solar panel rebate or solar battery rebate using that property address under the Solar Homes Program. 
  • You haven’t had a solar panel system installed at the property in the last 10 years (if it’s been longer, you can use the rebate to upgrade or replace the system). 
  • Your solar system will be installed by an authorised retailer using products on the approved products list.
  • Your monthly loan repayments won’t be more than the system saves you on a monthly basis. 

It’s possible to get this rebate more than once too; you’ll just need to have moved house and be applying for it at your new place.  

Additionally, remember that you can’t apply for the rebate if you’ve already installed the system — you need to apply for it before anything goes up on your roof. 

The eligibility for other Victorian solar rebates and loans isn’t all that different, although you’ll probably want to double-check before you make the call on getting a solar battery or new hot water system.  

Rental property

Battery loan

Hot water

Is it worth getting solar installed? 

What matters to you may be at the bottom of someone else’s priority list, so it can be hard to say if solar is worth it for you. However, looking at the cold hard facts of money in and out, solar definitely could be a wise investment. 

For starters, a typical household could save $750 every year on average,7Solar Victoria – FAQs: Solar panel (PV) rebate with those who really make the most of their solar panels saving $1,000 or more.8Solar Victoria – Solar panel (PV) rebate  Spread that out over 10 years (this is about when the first parts of your solar system need replacing) and you’ve potentially saved yourself $7,500. That could be enough to buy a whole new system, let alone replace your system’s inverter. 

All of this is assuming you try to use as much of the electricity you generate with the intent of reducing your pay off period. All good in theory but given the Victorian climate there could still be times when you need to rely on the grid, like when Melbourne has its run of cloudy winter days or when you’re using lots of appliances at once to make the ultimate Grand Final Day feast. 

Feed-in tariffs (FiTs) are another way solar systems can put some money in the kitty. This time, instead of using your generated electricity, you sell it back to the grid. While FiTs can be a bit iffy in other places, Victoria has a hard rule that any electricity retailer with more than 5,000 customers needs to offer eligible customers a minimum price for any excess electricity that they send to the grid. The Essential Services Commission is the one who decides this minimum FiT price each financial year. For 2024–25, the flat rate minimum is 3.3 cents per kWh, while time-varying minimums range from 2.8 cents to 7.6 cents per kWh or 2.1 cents to 8.4 cents per kWh depending on the time of day and option you end up on.9Essential Services Commission – Minimum feed-in tariff review 2024–25 So, while you don’t necessarily need to change Electricity Plans to be earning some extra credit on your bills, shopping around could help you find a plan that offers you a rate above the minimum. 

Helpful Tip:

While a higher feed-in tariff can be tempting, it may not get you the most value. For instance, it might be paired with higher usage rates, offsetting any credit you make through selling your excess electricity. So, if you’re shopping around, you may want to weigh up more than just your FiT (No change)

Dean Ipaviz

Sustainability Expert and Presenter

What happens when you throw rebates and no-interest loans into the mix? Well, let’s say you install a 3–5kW solar system. With it, you get a feed-in tariff of 10 cents per kWh and have no export limits. Assuming you successfully get the rebate, your system could pay the remaining balance in three to five years. Without the rebate it might take as long as nine years.  

And this isn’t taking into account STCs if you decide to go all out on solar panel incentives. As a general rule of thumb, you could be earning $33 for every STC.10Clean Energy Regulator – Rooftop solar Assuming you get at least 30 STCs back, that’s a further $990 back on your system. 

How long it takes to pay back your solar system depends on lots of factors though, including the size of system you choose. While a larger system could pay itself off sooner — up to a point — it may not be how you get the most value. If you’re struggling to figure out what size solar system you need, you might like to speak with a solar retailer. Alternatively, you can use an online calculator like SunSPOT

If the numbers aren’t quite adding up for you yet, it could help to appreciate that solar is an investment that might need a little effort on your end. After all, one of the best ways you can get monetary value out of your solar system is to change your habits to use as much of the electricity you generate as possible.  

For instance, if you’re always running a load of laundry at night while you’re asleep, switch to running it during the day while you’re out of the house and can use solar-generated electricity. You could also try using a slow cooker to make dinner in the daytime — and come home to a meal ready to go. It could be worth experimenting with other new daytime electricity routines to find what works for you.  

Where can I find and compare Energy Plans? 

Self-consumption and solar incentives are just part of the puzzle when it comes to making the most of your solar system. A different Electricity Plan could mean a higher FiT or better-value rates for when you do need to use the grid. So, if it’s time to shine a light on your Electricity Plans options, iSelect can help. We make it simple to compare a range of Electricity Plans from different providers. All you need to do is use our compare energy plans online or call one of our Energy comparison experts on 13 19 20

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