What you need to know about solar rebates for your house

Now let’s add a little sweetener to the many great reasons to install home solar: government rebates and interest-free loans.

For several years now, the federal government has helped residents cover the cost of rooftop-solar installation. The government’s contribution is designed to steadily decrease over time before concluding entirely in 2030. So, to take advantage of this assistance, you should act sooner rather than later.

Here is everything you need to know about the federal government’s contribution plus two other forms of subsidy: feed-in tariffs and the NSW State Government’s interest-free loans.

Federal solar incentives

The federal government covers part of the cost of all solar installations under 100kW (an average household installation is 5kW but smaller systems are still effective). This contribution is automatically applied to the cost of a solar system at the time of purchase and doesn’t require any further action by residents. Advertised or quoted prices for solar systems usually include the federal government incentive. At present, the government covers up to one-third of the installation price, but this amount is falling, so it makes sense to act now.

Photo: Jessica Lindsay

State government interest-free loans

In February 2019, the NSW state government announced the Empowering Homes program, which will offer interest-free loans to households in NSW to install rooftop-solar systems with batteries or to add a battery to an existing system. Loans of up to $9000 per battery system and up to $14,000 per solar-plus-battery system will be available. The government claims the scheme will assist up to 300,000 households over 10 years.

Feed-in tariffs

Home-solar users can also save money by selling any surplus electricity they generate but can’t use in their house. All major energy retailers now offer to purchase this energy from residential customers. The rate at which users are paid for each unit of energy they export to the electricity grid is known as a feed-in tariff. The tariff varies from retailer to retailer, so consider shopping around using the NSW Government’s Energy Switch tool when you install solar at home.

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