Victoria solar rebate news | $1850 from 1 July 2020

Victoria Solar Rebate News emphasizes on those mandatory elements, without which the consumers, as well as the installers, cannot keep pace with the recent updates of the rebate and other important requirements. It will inform us about what the recently reduced rate will be in Victoria alongside manpower required for the battery installation, notification of QR code through apps and mobile, increase of the compliance to the authentic and approved modules, conduct of survey to know the overall profit or loss of the businesses and lastly, resolve the defective installation by the installers.
Every year, the laws regarding the solar energy particularly in Victoria change and so is in this year. Therefore, it is imperative for the retailers, as well as the installers, to point out the prerequisite changes made in this year to the customers so that they might not suffer in the long run in terms of generating the payback-profit. Also, the installers and the retailers must acknowledge the general changes of the laws to avoid any unprecedented hassles while serving the solar homes program.
You all must be well acquainted with the term called “Victoria Solar Homes Program.” However, this program will apply to solar panel rebate, battery rebate, as well as the solar hot water rebate. The first phase of Victoria solar rebate was fully financed until 30 June 2019 or to give chance to 24,000 households to take up this offer for that year before the given deadline expires. Due to a higher demand witnessed by the Victorian in 2019, this accelerated a further initiation of this rebate from July 1, 2019, and so on. However, the rebate’s amount has been declining since last year, but it’s worth it for a long-term savings.
Likewise, the Solar Homes Battery Program in Victoria has been incredibly demandable since its launch from July 2019 with a target to support up to 1000 Victorian households. With a tremendous success, this battery program will relaunch from 1 July 2020 to serve 500 more batteries to the eligible households between July and December 2020. Not only will Victoria as a quintessential state in Australia have to undergo these two changes, but rather Victoria will oversee a slew of major changes implemented from the 1st of July 2010.
The major changes will encapsulate as follows:

1. Don’t forget to scan the QR code

According to one of the Solar Victoria’s terms and conditions, the installer has to scan the QR code of the customers to verify that they are eligible to claim for the solar Victoria rebate onsite during the installation. This process has to undergo a series of stages such as,
1. CEC accredited installers receive registration emails from the Solar Victoria for which they have to register to participate in the Solar Homes program.
2. The installers have to accept the invitation, create a password, receive confirmation emails, and accept the terms and conditions.
3. The installers are then asked to download a free copy of Service Victoria app from any online platform, and then login with their respective credentials.
4. The installer must enter 6-digit pins in the app.
5. The installer must upload a digital copy of his/her license, which states the accreditation number along, with other relevant information.
6. The installer then uses the built-in scanner found in this app to scan the QR code, sent by Solar Victoria to the customer (once the eligibility is confirmed) as in the form of PDF in an email. Check out how the application status indicates the procurement of QR codes.
Therefore, it is a good practice for the installer to notify the customers to have the QR code in possession on the day of installation. Scanning the QR code gives satisfaction to the customers that, their installation has been performed by a group of CEC accredited installers who are qualified to perform this action. Besides, the installers get content when they get assurance that the customer is befitted to claim for the rebate, as well as the loan.
Bear in mind that, you won’t be able to receive the rebate if you fail to show your QR code in an onsite visit. Should there any problems or concerns arise, feel free to contact Solar Victoria to sort out the unforeseen issues.

2. New Notice to Market effective from 1 July

The Solar Homes program is set to maximize the quality of solar products by ensuring the installation of the top-notch products by a team of qualified professionals. Notice to Market takes all of the burdens to subside the sufferings of the customers in terms of low-quality products and ensures the raising of the benchmark of every product dispatched in Victoria. They set out ‘mandatory’ and ‘recommended’ criteria for the retailers as well as the installers, for the benefits of the users of the solar systems.
The mandatory requirements denote to those requirements which by default need to be made compulsory under this solar home scheme, whereas the recommended requirements refer to those essentials without which, the customers can still claim for the rebate, but they won’t benefit from the system to its fullest due to its less productive outcomes. Therefore, the primary aim of the notice to market is to make solar products standard, omniscient, long-lasting, and being in the grasp of the right professionals so that the quality doesn’t compromise.
Moreover, the notice to market expects both retailers and the installers to keep pace with any changes or amendments that have been passed so that the customers won’t have to pay the price for it. The recent changes which will be coming into effect from 1 July 2020 state that, the Solar PV modules from Solar Victoria’s Approved PV Module List should only be installed and that too from the brands that have enlisted in the Solar Panel Validation Initiative.
So, for the sake of the betterment of the customers, both retailers and installers have to keep these requirements in their minds before installing them.

What is meant by Solar Panel Validation initiative (SPV)?

The Clean Energy Council teams up with the government, solar industry, and various peak bodies to execute SPV initiative. Its purpose is to uphold the integrity of the Solar home program so that the customers can stick to its compliances. It allows both customers and the solar industries to analyze and confirm that solar panels:
  • are affirmed and supported by the manufacturer warranties,
  • fulfil Australian standards in terms of quality and performance, and
  • are qualified for the small-scale technology certificates.
SPV is divided into two sections. The first one is to introduce an app to the installers, and the second one is to allow the installers to access the validation database. The serial number confined within the product is scanned by the app and then sent back to the validation database to check the authenticity of the product. It is carried out by checking its validation in the database to see if the validation serial numbers correspond to the approval of the CEC.
The stages of confirming the SPV are as follows:
Solar Panel Validation
1. The installer at onsite uses the app to scan the serial number found with the products and sends it via this app to the database.
2. The database then searches the serial number against the requirement for approval by the CEC followed by sends an email containing a request for validation.
3. After receiving the request for validation, the installer finishes the installation.
4. SPV notifies the customers with a copy of an electronic record stating that their solar panels meet the approval for the validation as a part of SPV.
5. The information mentioned in the record includes make and model of the solar panel, serial numbers, time and date of installation, and the location.
6. The registered agent collects the signed data package to create the STCs for the verified panels and submits it to the CEC regulator.
7. Validated solar panels are processed faster for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).
The SPV generates the following advantages such as,
1. Customers acknowledge from the confirmation that their products meet the highest Australian standard, and are verified via SPV which comes with a warranty.
2. From the confirmation of validation, the installers get to know that they are installing the high-end solar panel systems.
3. Retailers gain confidence and trust from the solar panel communities which boost their targets.
4. It ensures that the customers are no longer fraught with the perilous solar panels.
5. Manufacturers take pride in their formidable products, understand where their products are installed, and gain efficiencies in dealing with the warranty information.

3. New pricing for solar rebates

According to Notice to Market, the declining price of the solar panel rebate Victoria, as well as the battery rebate, is looming up since last year. Therefore, 2020 is no different from that. When the Notice to Market will come to implementation from 1st of July 2020, the following will be seen such as,
  • Occupiers and landlords using the solar PV systems will be able to claim up to $1,850 rebate.
  • The option of a no-interest loan will not wind up for this amended rebate. This loan option will complement the equivalent amount of rebate Victoria ($1,850).
  • Solar battery rebate will dwindle to $4,174.
  • The rebate for the solar hot water will remain $1,000 as before without any change.
  • If you have applied for a valid quote with a valid date with no on-going application, then your application will be invalid after the 30th of June 2020. This will also apply to a draft quote.
  • You will no longer be entitled to retrieve your expired quote either for a solar PV or Battery rebate after 1 July 2020.
  • You can check out Solar Homes Program promotional resources to find out any updated information of post 1st July 2020.
Victoria solar panel rebate is one of the unique examples, in which the Victorian government provides incentives up to $1888 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. This will further slump to $1,850 from 1 July 2020. Therefore, before it changes any further, it will be worth to install a solar energy system at your property.
The Victoria solar panel rebate introduced and implemented by the Victorian-state government is only designated for the households of Victoria. 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 will also provide an interest-free loan equivalent to the original amount of rebate Victoria ($1,850) so that you can repay it within 4 years or 48 months.
Solar battery storage is another optional component that complements the PV solar systems, particularly which are connected to the grids. If you own battery storage to store that excess amount of electric power, then you need not to fret about losing the electricity when its cloudy or night. Besides, the battery storage will help you get the power when there is a malfunction in the electrical grid.
Unlike rebate programs allocated for the PV solar, the battery storage is not covered nationally by the government. However, some of the states do still provide incentives to their customers. Victoria Solar Battery Rebate that currently offers up to $4838 per battery storage will witness a massive drop to $4,174.
How does this rebate apply when purchasing a solar system?
1. As of 30 June 2020, if you buy a solar system worth $3000, then as per the current rebate, you will be eligible to claim for a $1500 rebate.
2. As of 30 June 2020, if you install a system that costs $4,450, then you can claim up to a maximum $1,888 rebate.
3. However, if you buy a system for $6,000, then you won’t be able to claim more than $1,888 as this is the capped amount.
4. From 1 July 2020, if you wish to purchase a system worth $4,450 or $6000, then, in this case, you have to claim for $1,850 in lieu of $1,888.

4. Essential accreditation for solar battery installers

It is imperative for the installers as a part of the solar homes program to undertake special training to become accredited by the CEC to install the battery. This has come as a mandatory requirement by the Notice to Market without which, your payment application can succumb to rejection. You can click the following link to search for the local installer near your place. If you know any specific accredited installer, then you can type the name of the person, and the portal will bring out the installer. You can also search by location to see the availability of the accredited installers.
The reason for it being crucial to have your battery installed by an accredited installer is that they are trained in the most up to date way to become qualified and worthy to do this job. They are aware of all the safety issues, height-related risks, and first aid management, which will enable them to avert any critical injury. Besides, their experience, as well as, thorough training will help them give you the best possible installation of the system so that they won’t end up damaging the battery or failing your whole solar panel systems.
The reason this training for the accreditation is so important because the whole training is free, comprehensive, and extensive to correspond with the solar homes program. Having invested $9 million in the whole solar battery project, this training is a boon for the workforces of the retailers to get enrolled in the depth of this training.
The training package called “22515VIC” is the perfect accredited training course to roll out with, which comprises of five training units, such as VU22744, CPCCWHS1001, HLTAID003, CPCCCM2010B, and finally CPCCWHS2001. The first two courses are mandatory for the installers to participate in this program, whereas the latter three courses are recommended courses, which will give you the best possible outcomes.
Therefore, the installers must undertake the following training based on their requirements such as,
  • To maintain a minimum safety around the place where the installation will take place, all the installers must complete “VU22744 Work Safety in the Solar Industry” by 1 January 2021.
  • To access all other training units, the installers must carry out “VU22744” first. This training will be implemented from 1 July 2020 for those who wish to participate in the Solar Homes program even after 30 June 2020.
  • For the remaining installers who will be installing before 1 July 2020, they must undertake “CPCCWHS1001 Prepare to Work Safely in the Construction Industry (White Card)” by 30 June 2020.
  • Besides the accreditation training by the CEC, the installers must prove that they possess unrestricted (A-Grade) electrical license issued by the Energy Safe Victoria and have no prosecutions under the Occupation Health and Safety Act 2004.
  • For more information regarding the training and accreditation, click the following link to scroll down to page 54.

5. Retailers survey – impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 has halted all the important business sectors all around the world, and the solar homes program is heavily sabotaged by the spread of this pandemic crisis in Australia. Therefore, Solar Victoria has taken the initiative to stress out the important factors that are obstructing the expansion of solar businesses and hence, asks all the registered retailers to fill out a survey form.
This survey form takes only 5 minutes to complete and will inform the Solar Victoria refinement program to help out those retailers to run their businesses spontaneously. It also ensures that both customers and retailers receive support from the governing body.
This survey pertains to the betterment of the solar businesses in terms of gaining these retailers and customers the support and benefit they need the most during this heavy crisis. Most of the questions found in this survey underpin concerns, such as increase or decrease of the volume of businesses (customers’ inquiry, requests for quote, rebate application) for solar panel, solar hot water, residential batteries, the rise or fall of the costing of the installation of the solar system, limitation or availability of workforce, rise or fall of demand for the solar quote, etc.
Most of these questions are multiple types and hence, require you to tick the boxes which give you plenty of options, such as significantly decreased, decreased, no change, increased, and significantly increased. Some questions will present you with options like not at all important, not very important, quite important, and very important. All the answers generated from the survey will help the refinement program to estimate the losses and the intensity of the crisis that directly or indirectly impinge on the solar businesses nationally.

6. Auditors’ top five beefs with Victorian residential solar

The solar homes program initiated by the Solar Victoria is undoubtedly worthy of praise and appreciation since it aims to support 70,000 Victorian residentials to acquire the benefits of the solar panel systems as a part of $1.3 billion programs. Soon enough, this solar rebate in Victoria took the popularity by storm, and that seems evident when you look at the spike of the number of users in Victoria from 2018 to current days.
Every coin has two sides, and the solar Victoria funded solar homes program has some drawbacks too. Over the years, it has come to a spotlight that, many unscrupulous workers, such as retailers and installers only emphasize the marketing strategy over the safety and quality of the installation of the solar PV systems. Their rushing off their feet from the onsite installation may result in a great hamper to a proper installation.
As a result, an audit program has been launched by the Solar Victoria to reprimand the opportunists for impairing the solar panel installation. The credit goes to Ecogeneration magazine, which foreshadowed the malpractice of these workers and thus, highlighted the Solar homes audit program that audits 5% of the total installation. The following outcomes were taken into account for making up about 70% of the findings such as,
  1. Mismatched DC connectors (makeup 36% of findings)
  2. Inadequate earthing of panels (10%)
  3. Possibility of water ingress inside a DC isolator (10%)
  4. Exposed or loose wiring (7%)
  5. Inverters not fixed correctly (6%)
These types of defects often lead the customers to get embroiled in compliance issues with the retailers. The Solar Victoria is aware of the malpractice prevailing within the solar industries. Henceforth, Stan Krpan, the CEO of Solar Victoria, urges to see the solar industry making their code of standards to improve the quality of the service. He further stressed out that he wanted to keep the solar homes program free-from these workers and ensured the best quality, as well as the safe installations for the occupants.
To date, the Solar Victoria led third parties carried out approximately 2000 audits which accounted for 5% of the total installation at a specific time. The purpose of this audit is to bring out these fraud retailers and installers and lay them off from the solar industry. Solar Victoria has worked collaboratively with the Clean Energy Council, Smart Energy, NECA, safety organizations, and training organizations to invent the audit checklist, which will come into effect from the 1st of July 2020.
In essence, it is understandable that all of these changes will bring parity to the Victoria solar homes program, and they will serve for the betterment of both the solar-industry related employees, as well as the customers. However, the decline of the Victoria solar rebate along with the battery rebate can jeopardize the growth of this solar business as more people will become reluctant to spend an extra penny in installing the solar systems.
However, the regulations for the solar PV system are changing, and more amendments are yet to follow. Therefore, I will advise you to remain updated on any recent changes in the Victorian solar homes program. If you have any queries regarding any of the changes aforementioned above, do leave a comment below, and we will get back to you ASAP.
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