Last updated: April 2020
Financial incentives are currently provided by the Federal Government and some states across Australia.
The Federal Government scheme is known as the small scale renewable energy scheme.
For each kilowatt of panels you install, a certain number of small-scale technology certificates (or STCs) are generated. Because these STCs are bought by electricity retailers who need them to meet their renewable energy obligations, you receive money for each certificate.
You can expect to sell each STC for about $30. For a 5kW system, this equates to approximately $3000 off the cost of the system. Most prices you’ll see will already have taken into account the STC discount, so unfortunately, you can’t claim an additional $3000 off the price.
But the good news is, this process is entirely managed by your solar installer, so there’s no need to worry about selling the STCs yourself (though it’s an option if you’d like to do so).
It’s important to note that this scheme is currently being phased out until 2030, so the value of STCs is declining by 7% at the start of each calendar year (January 1st).
Here’s a summary of all financial incentives currently offered by the states.
The ACT Government is currently providing a solar panel incentive for pensioners. Eligible households can claim a rebate of up to 50% off a solar power system. They can also claim an interest-free loan to pay back the remaining costs over a three year period with no deposit. For more information please see the ACT Government website.
The NSW Government has announced their Empowering Homes program – a scheme which will provide interest-free loans for solar-battery systems to eligible NSW residents. Interest-free loans of up to $9000 for a storage battery or up to $14,000 for a solar PV and battery storage system will be available. Eligible households include owner-occupiers with an annual household income of up to $180,000. This scheme is currently running as pilot in the Hunter Region. For more information, please see the NSW Government website.
Applications for the Queensland Government’s interest free loans for solar and storage scheme have now closed. No other state rebates are currently offered in Queensland.
The Solar Homes program provides eligible Victorian households with a rebate of up to $1,850 of the purchase cost to install solar PV panels. Eligible households can also claim an interest-free loan equivalent to the amount of the rebate.
A rebate of up to $1,850 is also available for rental properties. Eligible landlords can also claim an interest-free loan equivalent to the amount of the rebate. For more information, please see the Solar Victoria website.