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Solar Power Rebates 2020

Author: Cam Macaulay
February 18, 2020

In Australia, there is a national rebate program called the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. The benefit applies for solar panels, solar water heaters and heat pump systems. Depending on the state or territory where you live, additional incentives may be available from the local government.

If the sales price of the 6-kW solar system is $9500, the net price after the rebate is only $5860.

Overview of Solar Rebates in Australia for 2020

Australia offers a mix of favourable conditions for solar power. The country is very sunny, which makes solar panels more productive. Local electricity rates are also among the highest in the world, which increases the savings per kilowatt-hour produced. In addition, there are many solar rebates and incentives that make solar panels more affordable and easier to purchase.

Find out more about Australian solar rebates in 2020

What Is the Australian Government Solar Rebate?

There is a wrong belief that Australian solar rebates ended in 2019. Actually, the government only lowered the rebate amount slightly, but the program will continue to exist until 2030. The annual reduction in rebates is a normal part of how the program works.
The rebate depends on the total energy output between the year in which the solar system starts operating, and the end of 2030.
For solar power systems installed in 2019, the rebate was based on 12 years. Since the start of 2020, the deeming period for the rebate has been reduced to 11 years. However, this only represents an 8.3% reduction.
For every 1,000 kilowatt-hours of estimated production, the system gets a small-scale technology certificate or STC. These STCs can then be sold at a price of around $35-$40 each.

For example, a 6-kilowatt solar power system in Queensland earns around 91 STCs if installed in 2020. Assuming each STC is sold at $40, the total rebate is $3640, which is equivalent to $607 per kilowatt. If the sales price of the 6-kW solar system is $9500, the net price after the rebate is only $5860.

The STCs earned by your solar power system depend on two things: the system size and your location. Larger installations get more STCs, simply because they produce more electricity. Assuming an equal capacity, solar systems in sunny places get more STCs for the same reason – the extra sunshine makes them more productive.

2020 Solar Rebates by State

In addition to the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, some incentives are available at the level of states and territories. These are determined by local governments, and they are applied independently from the national rebate program. The following table summarises the solar rebates by state, along with other incentive programs and benefits.

Local Rebates and Incentives Programs

New South Wales solar rebate

  • The NSW Empowering Homes program offers loans of up to $14,000 for solar battery systems, and up to $9,000 for adding batteries to existing solar PV systems. The benefit is available for households with an income of up to $180,000 per year.
  • Solar for Low Income Households is a program currently on trial, which will give 3-kW solar systems to 3000 homes in specific areas of NSW. The program is available for holders of a Pensioner Concession Card or a Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card.

Queensland solar rebate

  • The QLD Solar for Rentals program offers rebates of up to $3,500 for landlords, if the installation is completed before June 30, 2020. However, this is a trial program with limited funding. The GLD government also offers interest-free loans for solar power and energy storage systems.

Victoria solar rebate

  • VIC offers a solar panel rebate of up to $1888, a solar battery rebate of up to $4838, and a solar hot water rebate of up to $1000. The benefit applies for households with an income below $180,000 per year, and an assessed property value below $3 million.
  • The solar rebate can be combined with an interest-free loan up to $1888, which must be paid within four years. There are no equivalent loans for solar batteries and hot water systems.

Western Australia solar rebate

  • WA does not offer solar rebates and incentives, beyond the federal STC program.

South Australia solar rebate

  • SA offers a rebate of up to $6000 for energy storage, through the Home Battery Scheme. Low-interest loans are also available to complement the battery subsidy.

Northern Territory solar rebate

  • NT does not offer solar rebates and incentives, beyond the federal STC program.

Tasmania solar rebate

  • TAS does not offer solar rebates and incentives, beyond the federal STC program.

Australian Capital Territory solar rebate

 

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