Government Solar Rebate 2020 in Victoria: Check Your Eligibility

What is the government solar rebate 2020 in Victoria?

The government solar rebate in Victoria is $1,888 from January 1, 2020. Victoria’s solar rebate program for rooftop panels has been set for $1,888 from January 1, 2020. It is helping the citizens of Victoria to significantly cut their energy costs, particularly those who take extra steps to make their homes more energy-efficient. By installing solar panels, households can save up to $1,000 per year on their electricity bills.

There is additional assistance offered including interest-free loans of up to $1,888 to complement the rebate. This means, if your system costs less than $3,776, there will be zero upfront cost.

Example of how the rebate and loan can work for solar panels:

Item description Cost
Cost of system & installation $3,776
Solar rebate amount
(paid directly to the solar provider)
Interest-free loan amount
(paid to the solar provider. Loan amount to be re-paid by the householder over 4 years)
Upfront cost to householder $0

It is capped at 1,000 rebates in 2019-20, in accordance with the number of installations approved through the 2019-20 State Budget process.

How does government solar rebate work?

When you install a solar system, you generate Small Technology Certificates (STCs) that are referred to as a ‘Government Solar Rebate.’ You will receive 1 STC for every Megawatt of energy your system is expected to produce until 2031. After the installation of your system and registration of the STCs, you can sell them to recover a portion of the purchasing cost of the solar PV system.

For instance, a 5 kW system (with approximately 17 panels) will produce around 88 MWh worth of electricity over the 11-year time period till 2031, which would entitle you to 88 STCs.

Besides, for every unit of electricity your solar power system produces and that you consume means that you do not need to purchase that unit from your energy retailer.

How much does it cost?

The cost of your solar system depends mostly on the size of the system. The price of a 1.5 kW solar system installed on your roof ranges from $2,400 – $3,200. The quality of the system is yet another important factor to consider before finalising your budget, as a good quality solar system would cost a little more than the cheaper ones.

Also Read: Residential Solar Rebate in Victoria

How much power will my solar system generate?

On average, a 1.5 kW solar system generates 7-8 units of electricity per day. For the average household, this is enough for a third of your energy use. But, for a more energy-efficient home, a 1.5 kW system can offset all energy usage.

Like any other solar PV system, the amount of power generated depends on the amount of sunlight your roof receives. You will generate more power in summer than in winter.

Energy output also depends on the quality of your system. Higher-quality systems operate better at higher temperatures and produce better results.

How much can I save?

Operating at full capacity, a 1.5 kW solar system will save you about $1000 on your energy bill in the first year, and about $25,000 over 20 years, taking into account electricity inflation. Though, it is necessary to consider that the higher the quality solar system you buy, the greater your savings will be.

What’s the average payback period?

Generally, the more electricity used on-site and not exported to the grid for a low feed-in tariff – the quicker the payback period. Available sunshine hours also make a big difference in the payback period:

  1. The more sunshine, the more solar generation which offsets grid electricity costs.
  2. The higher the potential solar generation, the more STCs which bring the upfront cost for the system down.

The payback time for most residential solar systems ranges from 5-8 years, depending on the above variables. That\’s why it is important to get a high-quality system installed as the owner starts to earn a real income only after the payback period.

A good quality 1.5 kW solar system delivers a full return on investment within a time period of around 5 years. The payback period is 5 years and the system lasts 25 years, you earn real cash for 19 years.

All you need to do is to use more of your solar power during the daylight hours and you will pay it off in no time. Moreover, you will start saving on your electricity bills from day one.

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How to claim the government solar rebate in Victoria?

You can apply for government solar rebates if you’ve had a solar system installed later than 19 August 2018. Even if you don’t have a PV system installed yet, you can still be eligible for solar rebates. The first step towards getting government rebates is checking your eligibility requirements.

What is the eligibility criteria for government solar rebate:

To be eligible for this rebate, you need to meet the following criteria:

  1. You are the owner-occupier of the property
  2. You have a combined household taxable income of less than $180,000 per year (based on last year’s Australian Tax Office Notice of Assessment)
  3. It’s an existing property, valued at under $3 million
  4. The property does not have an existing solar PV system

How to apply for a solar rebate?

Once you’re sure your property meets all the eligibility criteria listed above, the next step is to:

  1. Choose a solar provider who is authorised to participate in the Program and obtain a completed Solar Provider Statement. Solar Provider Statement is a declaration from the installation company that it will install a quality system for the applicant that meets the eligibility requirements of the rebate.
  2. Submit your details to Solar Victoria.
  3. Receive an email notification from Solar Victoria when your retailer has submitted your quote to the program.
  4. Click on the link in the email to begin your application and confirm your eligibility.
  5. Receive your eligibility confirmation email. You will need to show this to your installer.
  6. Contact your retailer to confirm that you’re proceeding with their quote and to book the installation with them.
  7. Once the installation is complete, pay the retailer the amount you owe them. This is the total amount minus any deductions, including the rebate and the interest-free loan (if applicable). Victoria’s government will pay the remainder.

Note: Before you sign a contract for solar, you should be sure that you understand the rebate process and eligibility criteria. (Source)

What are the benefits of installing a solar system?

The solar system offers many benefits that you and your home will gain from investing in it. Significant savings can be made from day one on your electricity bills, electricity consumption, and carbon emissions.

Investing in a solar system can protect you from future energy price hikes. You’ll receive a significant financial return on investment and will increase the value of your home.

How many solar panels do I need to power my home?

The number of solar panels to power your home depends on various factors. The contributing factors are the tilt of your roof, the location of your home, and the direction your home faces. Your daily energy usage is another major deciding factor. Consulting a solar installer is the best option to know exactly how many panels can meet your energy requirements.

What are the factors that may affect the efficiency of your solar system?

There are some important factors affecting the efficiency of your solar system:

Panel orientation: People living in the southern hemisphere here in Australia will get the most sunlight with north-facing panels. Even if your roof doesn’t have a north face, east and west-facing panels will still produce a fair amount of electricity during the morning and afternoon.

Panel angle: Though a minor factor, having panels around the same angle as your latitude helps maximise power output.

Panel temperature: Hotter panels are less efficient. Higher quality panels deal with heat better.

Shading or obstruction: The less sunlight that reaches your panels, the less effective they will be. Micro-inventors and power optimisers can help in power generation if some of your panels get blocked during the day.

How to ensure you have a good solar installation?

To ensure that you have a good solar installation, you must consider certain things wisely.

First and foremost, you must take time to read reviews of the solar installers you are considering.

During the quoting process, your installer should be asking about or taking into account your usage habits and the position of the sun and shade during the times you use energy the most to help choose the best spot for panels.

Have a good idea of how much power you might actually need and spend accordingly.

Ensure that you are using a CEC-approved provider so that you are eligible for the solar rebate. A rebate depends on the size of your system and where you live, but usually reckons a couple of thousand dollars.

Also, solar systems and their components have a limited lifespan, and therefore, warranties are a must. Warranties are around ten years or so at least (depending on the solar brand) and it’s always worth calling back when you have a problem.

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Why choose an installer approved by the Clean Energy Council?

While there are a number of solar rebates and incentive programs, they vary from state to state. In order to receive the rebate for your solar PV system, the installation needs to be done by a CEC-accredited installer.

The main benefit of using a CEC-accredited installer is that the system installed is eligible for the rebate and all the components such as solar panels, inverter, and meter installed is approved under the rebate program. Plus you save a lot on the upfront cost of installation.

Moreover, installation is done by A-grade electricians/installers that ensure your new solar PV system is installed properly.

Inverters: What are they and why do you need them?

Inverters are electrical components that convert the DC current produced by solar panels into AC power that can be used by your electrical appliances.

Without an inverter, most of your devices would be unable to function with the DC power produced by solar panels.

How to make the most of your solar system?

Once your system is installed, there are a few things you can do to make the most out of it.

First, install a smart meter, as it will allow you to track your solar power production and energy use throughout the day. Once you have a meter, there are various apps from retailers and other providers you can install on your phone to track usage instantly.

Secondly, since solar panels are active during the day, consider changing your usage habits accordingly. Finishing most of your chores that require electricity during the daytime can save you money. Unless you have a battery, you’ll only be able to directly use your solar power during the day.

And lastly, energy companies pay solar feed-in tariffs for each kWh of power you feed into the grid, with the rate depending on where you live and what power plan you have. Some retailers will offer the bare minimum required by law, while others will offer big tariffs in exchange for higher usage rates.

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FAQs about government solar rebate 2020 in Victoria

Q: Will my solar system work during a power outage?

A: Solar systems don’t always provide immunity against power outages and it all depends on your solar panel connectivity. The grid-connected systems will not work during power outages as they will automatically shut down as a safety precaution. However, the off-grid systems will work flawlessly amidst such a scenario.

Q: What if my roof doesn’t face north?

A: Solar power systems can be installed on roofs facing anywhere from east to west. North is a good option for absolute production. However, a well-designed system will match your solar production to your home’s electricity usage.

Q: What size system will I need to run my home?

A: The size of your system depends on various factors, including how many panels will fit on your roof, your budget, and your energy requirements. A system as small as 1.5 kW may be enough to offset your whole bill. If you plan on extending your family and staying in the house for the long term, a bigger system is advisable.

Q: Do I still need electricity from the grid?

A: Yes, you still need electricity from the grid. Your solar system generates electricity during daylight hours. Any electricity produced during this time and not consumed will be sent back to the grid. During the night when your solar system is not working, you will draw electricity from the grid.

Q: How long does the installation take?

A: Based on a standard installation, a 1.5 kW system will take 4-5 hours, a 3 kW system takes 1 day and a 5 kW will take 2-3 days.

Q: What happens on cloudy days?

A: Your system will still produce electricity during cloudy days however production will comparatively be less than on sunny days.

Q: If my energy requirements increase, can I upgrade my existing solar system?

A: Yes! Extra panels can be added to the existing system in case your energy requirement increases.

Q: Will solar panels provide me with electricity during a blackout?

A: No, your solar system will shut down during a blackout. Once the voltage in the grid drops below a certain point, your inverter will shut down until the grid is back up and running.

Q: Is the installation done by qualified electricians?

A: Yes, the systems are installed by qualified licensed electricians accredited by the Clean Energy Council of Australia.