Frequently Asked Questions For Solar Rebate

Solar Panel (PV) Rebate

The Essential Services Commission regulates energy prices in Victoria 

https://www.esc.vic.gov.au/electricity-and-gas

Solar customers that install small-scale batteries as part of their current PV system will continue to be eligible to receive feed-in tariffs for the electricity generated and exported by their system to their retailer.

This also means that you can install a battery and still receive the PFiT as long as you maintain your eligibility requirements as outlined in your contract.

To ensure the safety, performance and reliability of solar systems installed under the Solar Homes Program, all solar systems installed under the program must be listed on the Approved Products Lists below to qualify for a rebate.

Rebates for Solar PV, Battery and Rentals will be released fortnightly in line with the dates and times outlined at Solar Homes Program key dates. All rebate releases will occur at 12pm. 

Solar Homes rebates are additional to the federal STC scheme. Rebates will be calculated after the STC discount has been applied.

No. The Victorian Government has said that it will provide a rebate on the cost of solar panels (PV) system, up to a maximum rebate of $1,850. You will need to speak to your solar retailer to ensure the size of your system meets any other restrictions that may be in place.

Not everyone will be able to feed excess energy into the grid and your local distribution network service provider should inform you if this is the case.

Yes, but the rebate is calculated on the cost of the solar PV system alone. The Victorian Government has said that it will provide a rebate on the cost of a solar PV system, up to a maximum rebate of $1,850.

Lists of approved products and approved installers are available via links to the Clean Energy Council (CEC) approved lists on our Quality and safety page to ensure people can easily determine what is approved and therefore eligible.

Approximately 350,000 solar systems have been installed in Victoria.

According to Solar Victoria, installing solar PV will save a typical household around $890 per annum off their electricity bill. For more information please visit: https://www.solar.vic.gov.au/

They can if meet the Solar Homes criteria for community housing organisations.

To find out if your organisation is eligible please contact us to discuss the requirements.

Solar Batteries

For The Householder

Like many new technologies, the price of batteries is coming down, however the Solar Homes’ solar battery rebate is making them more affordable, however they are a significant investment. If you are interested in buying a battery to support your solar PV system research the topic in-depth, go for quality over price and have a clear understanding that it is what you really need, and can afford.

Batteries must be on Solar Victoria’s approved Products List. They must have a minimum whole of system warranty of five years, with a five-year warranty on workmanship, and a minimum performance warranty of seven years under daily-cycling operation.

Product manufacturer, supplier, retailer and/or installer offers end-of-life management program with service provider/s certified to “AS/NZS 5377: 2013

Do your research and learn about batteries to decide whether a battery is right for you. Contact several solar retailers for a quote and they will put the quote in the Solar Victoria Retailers Portal. You lodge your eligibility confirmation details in the Solar Victoria Customer Portal and indicate your preferred quote.

When your eligibility is confirmed your installation can go ahead. The rebate will be taken from the invoiced cost and the retailer reimbursed.

A virtual power plant (VPP) is a network of individual distributed energy resources, such as solar PV and batteries that are located in different places. Through aggregation in a VPP, these systems may be then be able to participate in trading in the electricity market and providing network services and grid support.

Participating in a VPP may provide additional revenue to battery owners and help lower electricity costs for all consumers through reduced wholesale electricity costs, reduced ancillary service costs, and through the provision of network support.

Participating in a VPP may provide additional revenue to customers and help lower electricity costs for all consumers through reduced wholesale electricity costs, reduced ancillary service costs, and through the provision of network support.

Batteries are required to be on Solar Victoria’s Approved Battery List comprising energy storage solutions that are ‘Virtual Power Plant (VPP) capable’ with technical capabilities aligned with the Australian Energy Market Operators National Electricity Market VPP Demonstration Program Minimum Capability Specifications. These systems are on the Clean Energy Council’s list of Approved Energy Storage Devices and have been assessed for capabilities including performance, safety, internet accessibility, security, and remote registration, monitoring and control, enabling batteries to provide network support services, participate in virtual power plants and/or future Distributed Energy Resource marketplaces.

Some in the solar and energy industry say the uncontrolled addition of batteries can influence grid stability, however Solar Victoria’s battery program is designed to address this by limiting the number of applications to specific growth area postcodes identified with industry and energy distributors.

Solar storage batteries must be installed by A Grade electricians with a CEC endorsement for solar batteries. Safety is the responsibility of the installer and the manufacturer. Newly installed batteries must also be signed off by a Licensed Electrical Inspector. Solar Victoria’s safety inspection program will include battery installations.

Consumers should carefully consider what benefits a battery could provide and the associated costs. The program requires installers to provide estimates of the costs and value of having a battery in their circumstance.

Before applying, it is recommended that households should also:

The Solar Homes battery rebate requires households to be connected to the grid and to stay connected for a period of ten years.  The Solar Homes battery program requires retailers to obtain a connection pre-approval from the Distribution Network Service Provider (DNSP) prior to installing a battery to ensure that the local network can safely sustain the addition of a battery.

If you want a battery to deal with this situation, seek advice from an installer who will develop options that suits your needs.

If you want a battery to deal with this situation, seek advice from an installer who will develop options that suits your needs.

This will depend on the nature of the VPP. These arrangements are outside the scope of the Solar Homes Program.

Virtual power plants and going off grid

Yes. This is negotiated with the VPP provider and/or your electricity retailer.

This will depend on the nature of the VPP.

Off-grid installations are not part of the program

No, the eligibility criteria for the Battery Rebate requires an existing solar PV system that has not been funded through the Solar Homes program.

The first year of the Battery Program is targeted at early adopters who installed solar PV prior to the Solar Homes program. For this reason, you need to have an existing solar PV system that was installed prior to applying for a battery rebate.

You can apply for a battery rebate so long as your existing solar PV was installed prior to getting the quote for your battery.

VPP is an acronym for Virtual Power Plant. As defined by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), battery systems that are ‘VPP ready’ meet a set of technology requirements that include:

  • being able to respond to remote requests to charge/discharge the battery (e.g. requests to charge battery at peak solar photovoltaic [PV] export time);
  • being able to communicate state of charge, voltage and measure power flow at battery terminals (e.g. communicate to the AEMO on battery charge level to assist forecasting); and
  • being able to assist network security and reliability (e.g. advanced ride through settings to support system security in the event of unscheduled outages).

For the Installer

Retailers are obliged to check with the relevant DNSP whether a battery pre-approval is required. If pre-approval is required, retailers are obliged to obtain pre-approval from the local DNSP before completing the Provider Statement on the Solar Victoria Portal. DNSPs need to consider the total size of the proposed system and whether it can be connected to export electricity at that location without compromising the local network. At some locations, the DNSP will need to set technical requirements including limits on exports or system size, to maintain power quality, reliability and system security. In some cases, approval may not be granted. The pre-approval process varies between different DNSPs. Note that depending on the size of the total system, a negotiated connection may be required which could take up to 65 days and incur a charge.

Solar for rental properties

For the Landlord

No, you cannot increase the rent as a direct result of installing a solar system on the property.

Landlords who access both a rebate and an interest-free loan can reduce the upfront cost of their system by $3,700, adding value to their property and potentially increasing renter retention as the renter enjoys access to affordable and clean energy.

Contribution by the renters must be agreed to upfront by both the renters and the landlord.

Landlords can still move forward with an installation without a contribution from the renters.

The addition of an interest-free loan can significantly reduce the upfront cost on an installation should a landlord decide to move forward without a contribution from the renter.

No, the Landlord-Tenant Agreement is not valid after the renter vacates the property.

Subsequent renters are not responsible for contributing to the interest-free loan repayments.

No. Applicants must be listed on the rates notice to be eligible for a rebate and interest free loan.

Rates notices which list the property in the name of a Trust, Superannuation Fund or Business do not satisfy the eligibility criteria for the program.

Ultimately, the landlord is responsible for the repayment of the interest-free loan as they are the party who have entered a contract.

If either party does not follow through with their responsibilities under the Landlord-Tenant Agreement, you can contact the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV) for free advice on dispute resolution, and potential options for mediation.

For the Renter

No, the landlord cannot increase the rent to cover the cost of installing the solar system as set out in the Tenant-Landlord agreement. The full liability for the loan remains with the landlord as the property owner.

No, 50% of the monthly interest-free loan repayment is the maximum amount you can be asked to contribute. This equates to $19.27 per month over the four-year term of the loan or until you vacate the property, whichever is sooner.

You may agree to make a small contribution, such as 15% or 25% of the loan repayment.

General

The eligibility QR code is provided to the landlord (as the applicant). Within the Tenant-Landlord Agreement (4A), the renter acknowledges that they’ll be required to give consent for access to the property to the landlord (or a person authorised by the landlord) for the purposes of both installing and maintaining the solar system.

Within the Tenant-Landlord agreement (5C), the landlord is required to notify the renter in writing when the solar system has been installed and commissioned. This is when the loan repayments should begin (if applicable).

Within the Tenant-Landlord agreement (4A), the renter acknowledges that they’ll be required to give consent for access to the property to the Landlord (or a person authorised by the landlord) for the purposes of both installing and maintaining the solar system.

The renter will have access to system data to monitor usage and performance and can opt for all parties to have access to system monitoring if they wish. The renter can provide their email details to the solar supplier before or during the installation process, so they can set up access to the solar monitoring portal or mobile app.

The landlord is required to install and commission connection of the system to the grid.

The landlord is responsible for paying grid connection costs as the owner of the property and solar system.