The solar rebate is back. Here’s what you need to know

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When the Victorian government announced the solar rebate program in 2018, demand was much higher than expected. The original 24,000 available rebates were quickly exhausted, as were the 8,000 extra rebates made available after that. 

The overwhelming demand resulted in long application processing delays, dodgy retailers taking advantage of desperate customers and unsafe working conditions for installers under pressure to meet deadlines.

As a result of this, the Victorian government has announced additional restrictions on the the program when it returns on 1 July. In this article we look at what the new restrictions are and what they mean for you.

Solar power rebate is coming back

Old eligibility criteria carries over

If you were eligible under the old criteria, you are still eligible when the rebate returns.

These criteria are:
  • Have a combined household Taxable Income of less than $180,000 per annum
  • Is an owner-occupier of a home valued at under $3,000,000
  • Does not already have a solar panel system installed on their property
  • Is an early adopter of Solar PV looking to replace or expand their system

New and changed eligibility criteria

When the rebate was in July 2018, the floodgates were opened and several dodgy retailers saw an opportunity to make a quick profit, leaving customers high and dry.

Six of these retailers, accused of exploiting vulnerable customers and exposing workers to unsafe conditions, have since been referred to Consumer Affairs Victoria for prosecution.

To prevent other dodgy solar power retailers from again abusing the solar power rebate, customers will now have to choose:

  • a Clean Energy Council Australia (CEC) approved product
  • a CEC accredited installer that can provide a statement that they have had no significant contravention history, or prosecutions registered with WorkSafe Victoria.
  • And new for 1 July 2019: a CEC approved solar retailer

If you would like to know more about the Clean Energy Council Australia, we’ve written an article about them here.

(RELATED: Make sure you don’t fall victim to a dodgy solar power retailer and read our article on ‘How to avoid dodgy solar power retailers‘ here.)

Availability restrictions

In addition to the new requirements regarding your solar power retailer, the biggest changes to the solar rebate program comes in the shape of availability restrictions.

When the first 24,000 solar power rebates became available, it was first come, first served. Many applied for the rebate in just the first months, resulting in long delays in processing of the applications (you can read more about that here) and the rebate program running out early.

Because of that, the Victorian government is limiting the solar rebate to 3,333 rebates per month. Once exhausted, homeowners will have to wait until the next month to try again.

It’s important to remember that you need to get your application approved before you are allowed to install your solar power system. If you want to apply for the solar power rebate and you aren’t part of the 3,333 approved applications for that month, you will not be able to install your solar power system that month.

The rebate amount will be reduced every 6 months

At the time of writing the Victorian government will help you pay for a solar power system, with a rebate of up to $2,225. This limit, which is currently $2,225, will be reduced every 6 months.

On 1 January 2020, the $2,225 will be reduced by $337 to $1,888.

On 1 July 2020 this $1,888 will again be reduced by another $38 to $1,850.

Other rebates available

Several other solar rebates are becoming available to Victorians in the new financial year:

  • Solar Hot Water rebate
  • Solar battery rebate (more details available here)
  • Solar for rental properties (more details available here)
  • Interest free solar power loans (more details available here)

It’s not possible to combine rebates. Meaning that if you choose to get the solar rebate, you will not also be able to get the solar battery rebate and vice versa. To read which solar power rebate to get, click here.

In addition to these rebates, the Victorian government as also announced interest free loans for solar power. These loans can be combined with the solar power rebate. To read more about these interest free loans, click here.

Solar Power Co aims to empower and educate consumers with the right knowledge about solar power and help them to find the best product to suit their individual needs. We assess and review all installers we recommend and only work with providers who meet high standards of experience, customer satisfaction and quality.