Solar Panel Rebate Victoria | What It Means & How It Works

The Victorian solar panel rebate program is expected to subsidize rooftop solar, home batteries, and solar hot water for 777,000 households in Victoria. The government has allocated AUS$545 million in a budget of 2019-20 to expand the number of solar homes and hence, let the Victorians take control of the privilege of this solar project as a part of $1.3 billion investment over a span of 10 years. However, both the perspective and prospective beneficiaries often get perplexed when it comes to understanding the very core of the concept of solar rebate.
In this article, we have tried to cover every aspect, including the pros and cons of the solar panel rebate program, what got changed in 2020, eligibility, how does it work and how do you get it? By reading through this blog, you will be able to maximize the benefit from an investment in solar panel systems, as well as easily comprehend the motive of this rebate. In this topic, we emphasized mainly on the rooftop solar panel rather than the home batteries and hot water solar rebate.

What does solar panel rebate Victoria mean?

Victoria solar panel rebate is one of the unique examples, in which the Victorian government provides incentives up to $1,850 to its households to set-up a rooftop solar PV system. The amount of rebate in the last year was $2,225 but later reduced to $1,888 from 1 January 2020. However, Solar Victoria has announced that from 1 July 2020, the Victoria solar rebate has been further shortened to $1,850. Therefore, you must get the solar panel systems installed at your properties prior to any further changes take place to avert any further costs involved with the solar rebate in Victoria.

Victoria Government Interest-Free Loan

Those of you who are eligible to claim for the Victoria solar panel rebate can also claim for the interest-free loan. What it means is that the Victorian-state government also provides an interest-free loan equivalent to the original amount of rebate Victoria ($1850) so that you can repay it within 4 years or 48 months. You must always check out with us to find out if the rebate has changed. As the solar rebate Victoria primarily targeted 770,000 Victorians against a budget of $1.3 billion, currently there is 64,416 number of Victorians available for the solar panel rebate Victoria, as well as interest-free loan claimers, who can still go for the installation of these solar panels with a rebate up to $1,850

Federal government rebate vs Victoria state rebate

Nowadays, solar energy saves 50% of the cost than it used to in 2012. On top of that, Australia’s federal government-based incentive schemes, such as STCs (as a part of Renewable Energy Target), as well as the state-based scheme called Victoria solar rebate, have aided the rapid inclination of the demand for this renewable energy. Thus, more people at present are installing solar energy. Additionally, the Victoria solar panel rebate introduced and implemented by the Victorian-state government is only designated for the households of Victoria, whereas the federal government incentive scheme is designated for every eligible Australian. So, as a Victorian, you can claim both federal government incentive and Victoria solar panel rebate along with a Victoria government interest – free loan. Things to be remembered that the federal government incentive scheme is not officially known as a rebate, and it could be possible that the retailer might have applied the STCs to the real cost of the actual solar installation system.

Who are eligible to get solar panel rebate Victoria?

The Victoria solar panel rebate will apply to the following people:
Households of Victoria: We mentioned earlier that Victoria solar panel rebate introduced and implemented by the Victorian-state Government, is only designated for the households of  Victoria.
First Time Installer: A Victorian householder who is about to install a solar power the system in his/her home for the very first time can easily claim for this solar panel rebate.
Pre-Existing Solar Owners: If your solar system was installed before 1 November 2009, even before the advent of the Premium Feed-in-Tariff ( PFiT ) system, then you can be eligible to apply for this Victoria solar panel rebate and that too with an interest-free loan.
House renters: Victoria house renters can also get a rebate of up to $1,850 but are subject to program eligibility and a Solar Homes Landlord Rebate Agreement.
Community Housing Providers: An owner of the social housing or public housing, who is providing a non-profit housing service, can also apply for the rebates on behalf of their tenants.

Victoria solar panel rebate eligibility Criteria

In response to an interview held by the ABC , the spokesperson of the Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning said – “The Victoria home rebate program was designed to help Victorians on fixed, low and medium incomes, who may otherwise have struggled to afford solar, significantly cut their cost of living. ” However, not only will the Victorian title get you these incentives, but also you must fulfill the following criteria.
  • You must be an owner or a landlord of the property.
  • You should have a combined household taxable income of less than $180,000 per year as per last year’s Australian Tax Office Notice of Assessment.
  • At present, your existing property where the solar systems will be installed should be worth less than $3 million.
  • This should be the first time that you are applying for a solar panel rebate.

How does Victoria solar rebate work?

A solar Panel rebate reduces the upfront cost of your solar power installation. You have to get a quote from an accredited solar retailer and apply for the rebate in a solar Victoria rebate portal. If you pass the eligibility criteria, you will then be issued with a confirmation number (QR code). After that, you can go ahead with the installation procedure along with that unique confirmation number. After a successful installation, the solar Victoria Authority will pay the equivalent of rebate amount to your retailer on behalf of you.

How to claim or get the solar panel rebate?

Those of you who wish to be the beneficiaries of the Victoria solar rebate program is always in bewilderment because the details of the solar panel rebate are very complicated. However, if you follow a certain number of procedures, then getting this rebate will become an easy goal. Just follow the next 10 easy steps to claim the rebate.
1.Find Your Solar Retailer: Finding the right retailer is the most important task for the solar panel installation as well as getting a solar rebate. Therefore, you must be careful to choose the right retailer for you as there are some mandatory and concerning issues regarding the retailer and the installer. Your retailer, as well as your installer, must be approved and accredited by the Clean Energy Council respectively. Your installers must be accredited by the CEC means that the retailer must be resourced with a group of licensed and expert professionals. If you successfully choose the right retailer, it will successfully complete 90% of your job. Bear in mind that you won’t be able to claim for the rebate unless your retailer is approved and authorized by the CEC.
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2. Get a Quote: Getting a quote is a first and foremost step to apply for a solar panel rebate. You must get a quote for a solar panel (PV) system or solar battery storage from a selected solar -home authorized retailer. After having a chat with your retailer about quite a few things, such as y our demand, as well as your energy usage history, the retailer will then send you a quote, including all the relevant information, for example, the cost, size, and the power of the solar panels. You should pick the three most important information from the given quote i ) Retailer Name ii) Quote No iii) Quote Amount. (Note: the quoted amount refers to a total installation cost before subtracting ing the subsidy and the rebate. You don’t need to pay the quoted amount, but rather you need to apply for a rebate) .
3. Get Ready with Documents: Look before you leap. If you are smart, you must get ready with all the necessary documents before submitting your application details.
To prove your property ownership:
– A council rates notice for the installation property
To prove your identity:
(You will need to enter the details from any 2 forms of ID)
– Driver’s license
– Medicare card
– Australian passport – Australian birth certificate
– Foreign passport
– Immicard
To prove your income status:
– Australian Tax Office Notice of Assessment
– Centrelink Payment Summary
4. Apply for a Solar Rebate: If you have the appropriate quote from the accredited retailer, as well as all the necessary documents ready, then you can upload your application on Victoria solar rebate portal. You can do it by yourself using retailer name and quote information, but it is worth to take help from a solar expert or your retailer if needed.
5. Prove Property Ownership: Once you complete and upload your application successfully, you will then be notified by an email with a link. By clicking the link, you can access your portal. Then the next step is to complete the application. To complete the application, you must prove your property ownership, income status, and identity. To prove property ownership, upload a council – rate notice addressed to the individual homeowner/s.
6. Prove Identity & Income Status: To prove your identity and income statement, you need to upload appropriate documents as previously mentioned above. You also need to provide all the necessary information to complete the application.
7. Provide Loan Repayment Information: Although applying for a government interest – free loan is not mandatory, you will be asked whether or not you want a government loan in the application form. If you put a tick mark, then you need to provide the details of your bank account where the loan repayments will be deducted from. It is important to remember that your loan qualification will be based on the calculated benefits that your retailer will provide. So, ask your retailer for the exact calculation of your generated benefits.
8. Get Confirmation Number: Once you submit your application, you’ll automatically receive an email from the portal confirming that the Solar Victoria has received your application. If they get all the information they need, then they will confirm your eligibility by emailing you with a QR code. A QR code is just an image that someone can scan like a barcode, and QR code acts as an eligibility number in this case . If you fail to claim your eligibility, we’ll need to review some of your details, as well as ask for the additional information.
9. Book for an installation: Contact your retailer to confirm that you will proceed with their quote and book for installation with them. In this stage, your retailer will design the solar system with the help of a technical engineer. Make sure they must consider your past energy usage while creating a design specific to your requirements.
10. Complete Installation: Yes, you are all set. Now your retailer will install the solar panel systems in your property under the supervision of an engineer. After a successful installation, a safety inspector will visit your properties where the installation has taken place to check if everything is okay and went as planned. You will also be provided a copy of the certificate of Electrical Safety ( CoES ) by the installer. 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 loan (if applicable). We’ll pay the remainder.
Note: We put above steps in a neat from the information of Solar Victoria official website & Solar Victoria Portal. For better understanding, you can download Solar Victoria Portal and apply for rebate without mistake

Solar Finance: Start with $0 upfront investment

This is great news for the Victorian because if any one of them wants to get a solar power installation without investing any money, it’s possible in Victoria solar market indeed. Ask your retailer how to start with $0 upfront investment? Let me give an example of how the Victoria solar rebate, interest-free – loan, and third-party finance contribute to your $0 upfront cost. Remember, the following example is the representation of the approximate costing of a solar installation.
Example: Let, A 5.0 kW solar system needs to be installed in your property somewhere in Victoria. If the total price of the solar system is worth $10,000, then we will get you the STCs provided by the Federal Government. Most of the areas in Victoria tend to provide 65 to 75 STCs as per recent statistics. Let’s assume, you are granted for 75 STCs for your installation. If each STC price is worth $37 as per the recent up to date price, then the total cost of the STCs rebate will be approximately $2,625. By deducting this sum of money from the original price, the remaining costs will be around $7,375. The solar rebate Victoria adding a deduction of $1,850 to the remaining price will result in, the cost will be approximately (7375-1850) or $5,525.
Fortunately, the Victoria state government also provides an interest-free loan to an equivalent amount of the rebate ($1,850). This loan has to be repaid within 48 months by paying any amount in any month without any restriction. Therefore, the cost will be capped at approximately (5,525-1850) or $3,675. This is the amount you can pay with the help of third-party finance where you have to pay with 7% interest per month. From this estimation, you can find out how much you need to pay to your allocated third-party finance company such as Rate Setter, with an interest.
In addition, if you wish to pay the interest-free loan worth of $1,850 in each month for 48 months, then it can also be added to the payment of the third-party finance. But don’t worry, you don’t have to pay the interest-free loan payment per month, but rather you can pay it at any time as long as it is paid over the course of 4 years. Therefore, you will have nothing to pay for the upfront cost of your solar installation. However, if you don’t wish to take advantage of the third-party finance, then it’s also okay. You can then pay the remaining amount with the upfront cost at once.

Qualities of a Retailer You Should Check

CEC Approved retailer: Is a retailer that abides by the code of conduct set by the Clean Energy Council. The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is the governing body of solar and other renewable energy. The retailer also needs to pay the designated fees to get approved. Besides, the retailer should also carry out any necessary paperwork to show compliance with the essential procedures.
Read about Cyanergy, one of the best CEC Approved solar retailers in Australia.
Accredited Installer: Refers to those individual installers who undertake special training in a solar panel installation to avoid any aftermath, as well as to ensure adequate safety both for themselves and equipment. The accredited installers need to have an electrical license, height certification, and public insurance of at least 5 million dollars. They also must carry out a certain number of CPD s (continuing professional development) in order to keep themselves up to date.
CEC Approved Product: All the equipment or products (modules, inverters, and batteries) used for the successful installation, as well as design for the solar and battery storage, should maintain the highest standard set by the CEC to avert any faulty or defective products.
Certificate of Electrical Safety (CES): According to the Electricity Safety Act 1998 and Electricity Safety Regulations 2009, it is compulsory to get a CES for any solar installation work that has been conducted by an accredited installer. A registered electrical contractor sign off the CES followed by an independent inspection is carried out by a licensed electrical inspector to finally connect the system to the electricity supply.
Payback Period Calculation: You should crosscheck with your retailer regarding the calculation of your payback period. The less the payback time is, the more you can save the costing of the solar panel. Payback time refers to the amount of time required to recover the cost of the installation. You can reduce the payback period using the STCs, different solar rebates, and most importantly, feed-in-tariff.
Previous Prosecutions: It is better to give a thorough searching to a retailer from who you are taking the solar contract rather than get ting deceived later by the retailer. Check if the retailer has any bad reputation or any previous allegation or prosecution before moving ahead with them.
Provide Grid connection Info: Your Net meter will tell you how much excess electricity you have drawn out of the grid, and your consumption meter will tell you how much electricity you use overall. Therefore, it is imperative that you must hand over all the important information to your retailer.
Take care of your Feed-In-Tariff Earning: Always make sure with your retailer how much payment you will receive from them as a part of feed-in-tariff ( FiT ). Different retailers have different rates set for the FiT. It is worth noting down FiT rates from different retailers online so that you might get the best rate as possible.
Considering a solar panel installation has always been a costly decision owing to not being able to change it once installed and getting the return on investment in a short time. However, government incentives, along with other rebates, make it easier to install a system. Therefore, it is our utmost duty to inform you about these incentives lest you shouldn’t miss any of these opportunities. I hope this article will help you receive the maximum benefit from an investment in solar panel systems and comprehend the motive of the solar panel rebate Victoria as well.



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