Victorian Solar Homes rebate extended to early adopter solar power systems

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The Victorian Government’s plans to install subsidised solar power systems in homes over the next 10 years have been extended to include some homes with pre-existing installations, so-called early adopter solar power systems.

According to the web site for the Victoria Solar Homes program the State Government states tha eligibility for the program has been extended to anyone who is an early adopter of Solar PV looking to replace or expand their system.

In a nutshell, an early adopter is anyone who had a solar PV (photovoltaic) system before the Premium Feed-in Tariff (PFiT) was introduced in November, 2009.

If an early adopter solar power system, these panels can be replaced under Victoria's half-price subsidised solar power systems

If an early adopter solar power system, these panels can be replaced under Victoria’s half-price subsidised solar power systems

What is a early adopter solar power user?

The Victoria Solar Homes site goes on to explain it’s definition of an early adopter:

*Early adopters of solar PV, who meet all other eligibility criteria, are able to claim a rebate for a new or expanded system. An early adopter is defined as a solar system that was installed prior to the commencement of the Premium Feed-In Tariff (PFIT) on November 1, 2009. Your Distribution Network Service Provider can confirm that the date on which your solar PV system was connected to the grid was prior to the start of the PFIT. Other than for early adopters, the solar rebate cannot be used to expand an existing solar panel installation.

In another change to the plan, the Government specifies that not-for-profit community housing providers will also be eligible to apply for a rebate on behalf of their tenants.

Under the $1.24 billion scheme, households pay half the initial cost of a solar power system up-front, with the rest paid over four years with an interest-free loan.

This could save a typical Victorian household up to $2,225 on the installation of an average 4 kW solar panel system.

Many existing solar power users disappointed

Many existing solar users were disappointed that they would not be covered by the program of rebates.

The reasoning behind the extension of the program to early adopter solar power systems is that in the first decade of the century systems were were much smaller scale than the latest technology allows. Whereas the typical system installed today is around 5kW, before 2009, even a  system as big as 2kW would be very rare.

To find out more about the new plan see our Victorian solar rebate / subsidy and interest free loan page.