The election win by the Andrews Labour government on Saturday has sealed the deal for a huge solar boom in Victoria. First announced in August, the energy policy promises 650,000 Victorian household access to a half price rebate for a 4kW solar set upalong with an interest-free loan for the balance. Now that the Andrews Government has won another four in office year – it’s set to happen.
Interest in solar running hot
The first wave of the scheme runs till June 30 2019 and gives 24,000 eligible households a rebate of up to $2,225 on new solar. Effectively, this halves the cost of buying a new 4kW solar system. So far, more than 10,000 people registered their interest in the three weeks after the program was announced. At the same time, solar installation companies were hit with a huge number of inquiries.
Nothing to pay upfront from June 2019
In the second wave, the government will pay $4,450 upfront for the installation of solar – covering the average costs of a 4kW solar panel system. Households will then have to repay half the cost of the panels back through interest-free loans available from July 2019. Electricity bills are projected to be reduced by around $890 a year for a Household with a 4kW solar system. So, the money saved through the new rooftop solar will effectively pay it off in about three years. After this, solar owners will continue to enjoy ongoing savings. Full details of the loan scheme are yet to be released.
Rooftop solar scheme trumps electricity price promises
Renewables and the massive solar rebate were a signature policy for the Andrews government. In contrast, the opposition Liberal Party had vowed to scrap the VRET and instead set their focus on lowering electricity prices. With both political parties failing to grapple with rising electricity prices over the last decade – it’s little wonder that an offer to install 4kW of rooftop solar would outweigh yet another promise to cut electricity costs.
Who is eligible?
Around 90 per cent of owner-occupied homes in Victoria are eligible for the first wave of the scheme. Household income must not exceed $180k pa. Also, your property must be valued at less than $3m and owner-occupied. And, you must not already have solar installed. You’ll need to use CEC approved solar products. Plus your solar must be installed by a CEC accredited installer who provides a warranty and is free from WorkSafe infringement notices in the last three years.
Claiming the solar rebate
To find more information on how to claim the rebate see www.solar.vic.gov.au