Victorian Solar Homes: Andrews Government to honour ‘ineligible’ solar rebate applications

Solar Homes program needs immediate reform say industry bodies.Solar Victoria needs reform, industry says.

The Victorian government has decided to pay solar rebates to around 600 households who meet the Solar Homes requirements but failed to apply for an eligibility number.

These households installed solar power systems without first getting an eligibility number from Solar Victoria as required under the Solar Homes program. As a result, Solar Victoria rejected their applications.

Those affected can now reapply to Solar Victoria by June 14. However, the government says it will only process future rebate applications if they have a valid eligibility number.

Solar Victoria to pay solar rebates under new deadline

Requirements were confusing during the first phase of the popular solar rebate scheme last year.

Victorian Government agrees to pay solar rebates to consumers missing an eligibility number.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews with Energy & Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio (right).

Some applicants failed to register their interest with Solar Victoria, the body which runs the scheme, before buying their solar panel system.

Solar Victoria subsequently rejected households caught in this application loophole. However, they can now reapply for the solar rebate by June 14 through the one-off retrospective deal.

This decision to pay solar rebates only applies to rejected residents who bought a solar panel system between August, 19 2018 and April 12, 2019.

Solar Victoria is asking solar retailers to contact customers. This will ensure eligible consumers have a chance to resubmit their solar rebate payment applications. Enquiries can be directed to Solar Victoria’s rebate team.

Second phase of solar rebate scheme starts July 1

Some solar installers are reporting a drop in business and fewer solar quotes as customers wait for the scheme to reopen on July 1.

Solar Victoria announced on April 12 that rebates were fully subscribed for the 2018-19 financial year. A fresh round of solar rebates will now apply when the new financial year starts July 1.

Some customers also received misleading advice from solar providers. They rushed to buy a solar installation before the closing deadline without contacting Solar Victoria for an eligibility number first.

It’s important to note that getting a solar quote now is still valid for installations after July 1. That won’t affect solar rebate payments.

Solar battery storage rebates added to second round

It’s important to apply for a Solar Homes rebate through a respected provider. Eligible Victorian households will receive a $2,250 solar rebate payment or 50 per cent off the cost of your new solar power system, whichever is lower.

Solar Victoria has extended the second phase of the scheme to include:

  • A new solar battery rebate worth up to $4,839;
  • Solar panels rebate for renters worth up to $2225; and
  • Interest-free loans for solar power system, repayable over 4 years.

Eligible homeowners could save $4,850 on installation of an 11 kWh battery unit. As a result they would save up to $650 a year on top of savings from their solar panel generation.