Victoria’s Labor government is pushing to make renewable energy even more affordable. Recently, they have made efforts to broaden the eligibility of their Solar Homes scheme. A further expansion to eligibility criteria of the program will now see new-build homes eligible for a solar PV rebate. This change will open the program to roughly 40,000 new homes built in Victoria every year.
Broadening the eligibility will not only make solar more affordable, but it will also encourage more homeowners to get solar panels on their rooftops. This will help Australia reach its mission of net zero by 2050.
Those building a house on their own land can now apply for a $1,400 rebate to install solar. They may also be able to access a $1,400 interest-free loan to install solar panels during construction. This change can help save homeowners up to $800 on installation costs.
The state energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio said, “We know energy prices are putting pressure on households—expanding Solar Homes to new builds will help tens of thousands of Victorians save thousands on electricity costs and help us cut emissions by 50 per cent by 2030.”
She continued, “We’re putting power back into the hands of Victorian households—driving down energy costs and boosting supply, creating thousands of jobs and cutting solar installation costs for new builds by hundreds.”
The CEO of Solar Victoria Stan Krpan, also said that this new change would make it easier and safer for residents to switch to solar, especially for new homes; “As we move to electric homes and the clean energy lifestyle Victorians are wanting, we appreciate the advice of our Industry and Consumer Reference Group, peak bodies and unions, and progressive builders and construction companies who have advocated for this change,”.
Solar Farms in Victoria
Currently, there are five solar farms in Victoria:
- Gannawarra Solar Farm, 50MW
- Bannerton Solar Park, 88MW
- Women Solar Farm, 88MW
- Karadoc Solar Farm, 90MW
- Numurkha Solar Farm, 100MW
Even if the number of solar farms is less than in other states, these solar farms can power up many homes. Additionally, there are fewer solar farms in the state because of the limited availability of suitable locations for large-scale solar.
With sufficient solar farms in Victoria, you can look forward to safe, renewable, locally-produced energy for your newly-built homes.
Just recently, the 110kW/284kWh Yarra Community Battery started charging with solar PV energy led by the not-for-profit Yarra Energy Foundation (YEF). The Yarra Community Battery can soak up excess rooftop solar energy locally before sharing the renewable energy with a subnetwork of almost 200 properties.
The power from the battery can be used later in the day when there’s high demand and the solar systems are no longer generating. With this, it will help reduce emissions as well as the electricity grid demand and redistribute excess solar energy for homes with rooftop solar.
Indeed, community battery energy storage systems are growing continuously in the country, with the Yarra community battery being the first of a series of community-scale batteries. The Melbourne City Council also announced the installation of a network of coordinated community batteries at council sites across the city.
More People are Turning to Solar in Victoria
A growing number of households and businesses are installing solar systems, and the numbers continue to increase every year. With the changes to the Victorian Solar Homes program, it’s likely that the numbers will even double. It all started when Victoria introduced a rebate scheme that saw thousands of Victorians reduce their energy bills, reduced their carbon emissions, and generated new jobs within the renewable energy sector.
If you are still considering it, here are the reasons you should go for solar power in Victoria now:
Once your solar panels are installed, you will be able to generate clean and renewable energy for your house. In Victoria, a 6.6kW solar system can reduce greenhouse gases by over 250 tonnes in its lifetime.
Save More Money
Who doesn’t want to save more money? In fact, a solar-powered home in Victoria can save you as much as $1,200 to $2,000 per year. Furthermore, the payback period for solar panel systems is an average of four years.
With the new guidelines, plus the existing rebates and incentives, you can definitely get a huge discount on your purchase. You can get a solar panel discount in Victoria, which will typically save you around $3,700.
Who would have thought you could earn money when you go solar? For the excess energy you export back into the grid, you can get paid for every kWh of energy exported through a Feed-in Tariff (FiT) from your electricity retailer.
Easy to Maintain
Once solar panels are installed, there’s little maintenance required. General maintenance, such as panel cleaning, does not have to be carried out too regularly. . You only need to replace the inverter after ten to 15 years, but this is the only additional cost you are likely to experience throughout the system’s life.
Thanks to a solar battery, you can also gain energy independence when you switch to solar. The batteries can store excess solar energy that you can use later; this will reduce your dependency on the electricity grid.
So, are you ready to switch to solar?
Energy Matters has over 17 years of experience in the solar industry and has helped over 40,000 Australian households in their journey to energy independence.