Power Up Your Savings: Government Incentives and Tax Breaks for Solar Panel Installation

Are you considering installing solar panels? Financial incentives can significantly reduce your upfront costs. Learn about federal and state government rebates, Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs), and tax breaks to make going solar more affordable. This comprehensive guide will help you understand Australia's current solar power incentives and schemes.
Government Incentives and Tax Breaks for Solar Panel Installation

Australia boasts abundant sunshine, making solar power an attractive and environmentally friendly option for homes and businesses. To encourage the switch to renewable energy, the government offers a range of financial incentives and tax breaks to help offset the upfront cost of installing solar panels. Let’s explore the ways you can save money and embrace solar power.

Are you looking to save money on your electricity bills and reduce your carbon footprint? Solar energy is the perfect solution! Energy Matters can help you get up to 3 FREE solar quotes from pre-qualified and vetted solar firms in your area. 

Energy Matters has been a leader in the renewable energy industry since 2005 and has helped over 40,000 Australian households in their journey to energy independence. With Energy Matters, you can be sure you’re getting the best possible deal on solar energy. We only work with reputable solar firms with a proven track record of delivering high-quality solar systems.

Australia's government solar grants and incentives

Here’s an overview of the key programs available who are looking to install solar panels in Australia, batteries and others:

1. Federal incentives: Renewable Energy Target (RET)

The Australian government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) programme seeks to boost renewable electricity production while lowering greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity industry. The Renewable Energy Target (RET) will supply 33,000 GWh of renewable energy between 2020 and 2030. 

The RET establishes a market to encourage the production and use of renewable energy. This facilitates the shift to a less carbon-intensive and more sustainable energy system. RET administers two schemes and renewable energy certificates

  • Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES): This program issues tradable certificates (STCs) based on your system’s expected electricity generation. You can sell these certificates to retailers, reducing the upfront cost. 

The number of STCs you receive depends on your location and system size. STCs, or small-scale technology certificates, are solar incentives available for systems up to 100 kW in size.

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  • Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET): The Federal Government also oversees the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET), which aims to produce large-scale renewable energy through power plants.  The LRET provides incentives for developing renewable energy power plants by establishing and selling certificates known as Large-scale Generating Certificates (LGCs). The government introduced Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs), which are required for commercial solar installations larger than 100kW. 

2. State, territory, and local government solar schemes

  • Solar rebates: Direct subsidies to reduce the cost of solar system installation.
  • Loans: Financing options with favourable terms to cover the cost of solar systems.
  • Rebate swaps: Options to exchange bill rebates for solar subsidies.

The availability and specifics of these incentives can vary greatly depending on your location and the type of installation—residential or commercial. Here are some examples:

  • New South Wales (NSW): Eligible homeowners can exchange their Low Income Household Rebate for a free 3 kW solar system installation through the rebate swap for the solar programme, often known as solar for low-income households. They can now obtain reasonably priced, eco-friendly energy, lowering electricity costs.
  • Australian Capital Territory (ACT): Zero-interest loans between $2,000 and $15,000 are available under the Sustainable Household Scheme for energy-efficient home improvements. Up to a total value of $15,000, qualifying households can select from various equipment, such as solar panels, battery storage systems, heating and cooling systems, and more. Ten years is the repayment period, and depending on the results of credit checks, borrowers may be eligible for amounts over $15,000. However, interest may be charged. 
  • Victoria: There is a zero-interest lending option available up to $1,400 for new and existing residences.
  • South Australia: If you live in South Australia and are interested in solar energy, incentive programmes are available. The City of Adelaide provides incentives for concession/senior card users and rented residences, and incentives for solar PV systems are available to households and landlords for up to $5000.

National programs

  • Home Energy Support Program (HESP): Concession cardholders may be eligible for rebates of up to $2,500 for installing solar panels, along with additional rebates for energy-efficient upgrades.
  • Solar battery rebate: Are you looking to store excess solar energy? Some states offer rebates for installing solar batteries alongside your panels. Check with your state’s energy department for details.

Ready to upgrade your solar systems and take your energy savings to the next level? Embrace the energy efficiency revolution by upgrading your solar systems and adding a battery or solar inverters with Energy Matters.

Tax breaks

Instant asset write-off: For small businesses with a turnover below $50 million, the cost of your solar system can be instantly deducted from your taxable income in the year of installation (conditions apply). Source: Australian Taxation Office.

Finding the right incentives

The specific incentives you qualify for will depend on your location, system size, and property type. To find the most up-to-date information and applicable rebates, check our pages.

government incentives solar panel installation

Beyond rebates and incentives

While rebates and tax breaks offer a welcome upfront saving, don’t forget the ongoing benefits of solar:

  • Reduced electricity bills: Generate your clean power and significantly reduce your reliance on the grid, leading to lower electricity bills.
  • Increased property value: Homes with solar panels are often more attractive to buyers, potentially fetching a higher price.
  • Environmental benefits: Solar power is a clean and renewable energy source, helping to reduce your carbon footprint and combat climate change.

Taking the next step

Researching the available incentives in your state and getting quotes from qualified solar installers is the first step towards harnessing the sun’s power. With government support and long-term benefits, installing solar panels can be a smart financial and environmental decision for your Australian home or business.

Remember: This article provides a general overview. Eligibility requirements and rebate amounts can vary. Consult the Clean Energy Regulator and your state or territory government for the latest information on solar incentives and tax breaks. Check out our page for What You Should Do After Solar Panel Installation.

Going solar: A bright investment

Installing solar panels can be a financially sound decision for Australian homes and businesses by taking advantage of government incentives and tax breaks. Not only will you reduce your electricity bills and environmental impact, but you’ll also benefit from government support for this sustainable energy source.

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*Prices quoted are to be used as a guide only and do not factor in state and other rebates and incentives. Includes STC discount.

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