Frequently Asked Questions:
What documents can I prove my income with?
The document you use for proving your income depends on your income status and how you pay your tax. We’ll remind you which one you need when you apply and show you what it looks like.
Your income status
Proof of income document
Employed, paying above the tax free threshold
Notice of Assessment from the Australian Taxation Office
On a government payment, i.e. Newstart, Old Aged Pension
Retired, no pension or self-funded
Statutory Declaration of income witnessed by a Justice of the Peace
Record of non-lodgement with the Australian Taxation Office
What is the QR code?
What is the loan offer?
The loan the Victorian Government offers eligible Solar Homes participants is:
- administered by State Trustees
- fee free and interest free
- repaid by direct debit from your chosen account
- over 48 months.
It’s paid in monthly instalments, starting 30 days after workers finish your installation. We won’t offer you a loan if you’re not eligible for one
Can I apply for a solar hot water rebate?
Not right now. Currently, the only rebates available are for solar panels (PV) and batteries. Visit Solar Victoria for details on solar hot water rebates.
When should I pay money to my solar retailer/installer?
Don’t pay any solar provider until Solar Victoria confirms your eligibility.
Do I have to change energy providers to get solar?
No, you don’t. However, some providers offer better solar-feed-in-tariffs, so shop around for the best deal.
How can I make sure I do not receive unwanted phone calls from solar companies?
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) runs a ‘Do Not Call Register’. It’s a free service for registering your contact numbers to reduce unsolicited calls.
Will people who already have solar panels be able to benefit from this program?
Early adopters of solar panels who meet all other eligibility criteria can claim a rebate for a new or expanded system. You’re an early adopter if you installed your solar panel (PV) system before 1 November 2009. The solar panels rebate can’t be used for expanding existing installations.
From 1 July 2019, eligible households may be able to get a solar battery rebate.
What about people living in social housing or public housing?
Not-for-profit community housing providers may apply for rebates on behalf of their tenants. Find out more at Solar Victoria .
I live in an apartment – what am I eligible for?
Owner-occupiers of apartments can be eligible, but it can be difficult or impossible to install solar in high rise structures. If this applies to you, consult with your Owners’ Corporation.
Can I claim a Solar Homes rebate if I am part of a solar scheme run by a local Council or through another Victorian Government program?
Yes. However, the value of the rebate you’re entitled to is calculated on the residual cost of the installation after the benefit of any other schemes is applied. For example, Solar Homes rebates require that the installation is eligible for Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs), but the Solar Homes rebate value will be calculated minus the benefit of STCs.
Find out more at Solar Victoria .
How do I choose a good solar panel (PV) system?
All systems listed as Clean Energy Council (CEC) approved products meet Australian Standards. To be eligible for a rebate, products must be on this list. Check out the CEC approved products list.
How does the Solar Homes rebate impact the federal Small Technology Certificate scheme?
Solar Homes rebates are additional to the federal STC scheme. Solar Homes rebates will be calculated after the STC discount has been applied.
Is there a maximum/minimum size solar panel (PV) system that is eligible under Solar Homes?
No. The Victorian Government will provide a rebate on the cost of a solar panel (PV) system, up to a maximum rebate of $2,225.
Speak to your installer to be sure the size of your system meets any other restrictions that may be in place.
How much will I save on energy bills by installing solar panels?
A typical household will save around $890 per year off their electricity bill.
If I have already lodged an existing solar panels application, can I access the no-interest loan option that started from July 2019?
No, only new applications submitted after 1 July 2019 can apply for the no-interest loan. Households can only access one rebate or element under the Solar Homes program.
Is now the right time to buy a battery?
The price of batteries is coming down. The solar battery rebate makes them more affordable, however they are a significant investment. If you’re interested in buying a battery to support your solar panel (PV) system, do some research. Go for quality over price and make sure you understand what you really need and can afford.
Is now the right time to buy a battery?
Targeting the Solar Homes battery rebate program to Melbourne’s growth areas maximises the value of the program. It will offset future investment and support growing areas and the development of Virtual Power Plants (also known as ‘microgrids’).
What does the rebate cover?
The rebates will cover up to 50 per cent of the cost of a typical 11 kilowatt-hours (kWh) battery system. This is $4,838 in 2019-20, reducing to $3,714 by 2026 as the price of batteries drops.
The program is capped at 1,000 rebates in 2019-20, in line with the number of installations approved through the 2019-20 State Budget process.
Who is eligible for a rebate within the designated areas?
- live in a Solar Victoria listed postcode eligible for a battery rebate
- have pre-approval from their Distributed Network Service Provider to host an Energy Storage System
- not have an existing battery, and
- must have an existing solar panel (PV) system with a nameplate rating greater than 5kW.
What types of batteries can they install?
Batteries must be on the Clean Energy Council’s list of Approved Energy Storage Devices, and be assessed as ‘VPP-capable’ with technical capabilities aligned with AEMO’s NEM VPP Demonstration Program Minimum Capability Specifications. 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" Battery installers must hold current Clean Energy Council accreditation and Battery Endorsement (Including “Work Safely at Heights” certification), an unrestricted A Grade electrical licence issued by Energy Safe Victoria or equivalent, no prosecutions registered with Worksafe Victoria (or equivalent authority in another Australian jurisdiction) in the past three years, a construction industry ’White Card’ and training by the Original Equipment Manufacturer on the specific energy storage solution that is being installed.
These systems have been assessed for capabilities including performance, safety, internet accessibility, security, and remote registration, monitoring and control and will enable the battery to provide network support services, take part in virtual power plants and/or future Distributed Energy Resource markets.
This approach to the battery program is intended to maximise program benefits including savings to participating households, reduced costs for non-solar customers, and support the future grid.
How do I get a battery if I live in a designated area?
Do your research and learn about batteries and decide whether they’re right for you. Solar Victoria has information about batteries here .
Contact several solar retailers for a quote. They’ll 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.
Can I apply for a solar battery rebate if I have already received a rebate for solar panels or solar hot water?
No. Only one rebate is available under the program.
Why can’t I get a battery if I live outside a designated area?
Batteries are targeted at areas with supply issues and the best potential for developing Virtual Power Plants (see below). The areas selected for 2019/20 have been selected in conjunction with the energy distribution companies.
What is a virtual power plant (VPP)?
A microgrid or Virtual Power Plant is a small network of electricity users with a local supply of power that can function independently of the electricity grid. A VPP delivers energy security, sustainability and cost savings for those in the network.
VPPs will provide benefits to the electricity network and help Victoria reach its renewable energy targets of:
- 25 per cent by 2020, and
- 40 per cent by 2025.
If I live in a designated area for the battery program do I have to be part of the microgrid / VPP if I’ve paid for the battery?
No. In 2019/20, the first year of the battery pilot program, you don’t have to be a part of the VPP or microgrid. Batteries part-funded under the program are required to have VPP capabilities so you can join a VPP later.
You can’t buy a solar storage battery under the Solar Homes program until your eligibility is confirmed.
Will batteries become available more broadly under Solar Homes later?
The first phase of the battery program opens on 1 July 2019 with 1000 battery rebates available across the year. The Solar Homes program will provide 200 rebates from 1 July, 400 from 1 November, and 400 from 1 March. This is a 10-year program and changes in the distribution mix are possible over time.
I’ve got solar panels but live outside a designated area. Can I get anything under the Solar Homes program?
If your panels were installed before 1 November 2009 you can have them replaced or expand your system. Otherwise a $1000 rebate for solar hot water is available for eligible people.
Can people in rental properties claim a battery rebate if they already have solar panels?
No, rental properties aren’t eligible for a battery rebate.
What is Solar Victoria doing to ensure that batteries are installed safely?
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.
Batteries are very expensive. Why is the government offering rebates on so few?
The Solar Homes program supports the installation of 10,000 batteries over 10 years. This will help bring down battery prices, helping more people buy them.
How do I know what the costs/benefits of installing a solar battery will be?
Consumers should carefully consider whether they need a battery if they can afford one. The program requires installers to provide details of the costs and value of having a battery in your circumstance.
Why not roll out more batteries now rather than across the ten years?
The staged rollout allows many important developments to take place. This includes:
- a reduction in costs
- improved technology over time, and
- the development of a more sustainable energy grid.
Installing 10,000 batteries all at once would not achieve these goals.
My power company says my rooftop solar system is too big for the grid. I should be able to store the excess in a battery.
If you want a battery to deal with this situation, seek advice from an installer who will suggest options suited to your needs.