The Solar Matters column is starting up again, just in time to give you the news – as it breaks – about the Victorian Government’s Solar Homes rebate program.
It is written by Jo Kaptein who manages the MASH community solar bulk-buy. MASH has installed over 1,500 solar rooftops in the last five years, cutting annual household power bills by $1 million and CO2 emissions by over 9,000 annually. It is a program of the Castlemaine-based not-for-profit, the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance, and is supported by councils across central Victoria.
How the Vic Rebate started…
On the 19th of August 2018, the Victorian Government announced the launch of the Solar Homes Package, a rebate program to stimulate the uptake of residential rooftop solar. Eligible households who had a solar photovoltaic system installed from this date could apply for a rebate worth up to $2,225. This resulted in a massive hike in demand, so much so, that the State Government announced on the 12th of April 2019 that the program would be put ‘on pause’ until the 1st of July 2019.
Better than ever
The good news is that the Victorian Solar Homes program is going to be even better when it restarts on the 1st of July. That’s because new rebates will be available to help people on low incomes access interest-free loans for solar, as well as those living in rental properties. Also, there will be a new rebate for batteries – worth up to $4,893 – which will help bring down the cost of battery storage.
It’s important to be aware that you can only apply for one rebate – i.e. you can’t get both the solar panels rebate (up to $2225) as well as the battery storage rebate (up to $4839). You can only get on or other – and that’s assuming you are eligible.
The fine details around the eligibility for all the rebates have not been published yet on the Solar Homes website. We have been told by Solar Victoria that this information will be publicly available from the 1st of July, possibly earlier.
Solar Victoria have published the eligibility criteria for the solar panels rebate (that’s the one worth $2,225 where you aren’t also applying for an interest-free loan). The full criteria are published on the Solar Victoria website, the main ones being:
- Combined household taxable income of less than $180,000 per annum
- Property is your primary residence and is valued at under $3,000,000
- Value of home is $3m or less
- There is no solar PV system installed on the property (for those applying for the solar PV rebate). The exception being those people who installed solar PV before 1 November 2009.
What to do next?
If you are considering installing a solar power or battery system with a rebate – and you don’t already have an eligibility number – you need to wait until applications re-open on 1 July 2019.
From the 1st of July 2019, you can jump on the Solar Victoria website and submit your eligibility application. They will assess your application and, if successful, send you confirmation of your eligibility. Don’t install a solar or battery system before you get the eligibility number – or you won’t get the rebate!
We are expecting demand for solar to be high when the rebate program re-opens. Our advice – if you are thinking about going solar and applying for a rebate – is to get a quote now so that come the 1st of July, you are amongst the first in the queue to get your eligibility approved. Whilst you can place an order for a system prior to the 1st of July 2019, our recommendation is to wait until you have your eligibility number confirmed, and only then place your order. (Just to be on the safe side!)
For more information about the Solar Homes Package available from Solar Victoria, visit solar.vic.gov.au or call them on 1300 363 744. Note: a rebate for solar hot water systems is also available.
For more information about the MASH solar bulk-buy and to request a quote, visit mash.org.au or call 1300 466-274.