Victorian Solar Homes: Industry calls for expansion of popular solar rebate program

Solar Homes program needs immediate reform say industry bodies.

Victoria’s Solar Homes program filled its monthly quota in just three days when the hugely popular scheme re-opened for business on July 1, 2019.

The speed of the uptake breaks records for the State Government program, prompting the Smart Energy Council (SEC) to call on the government to expand it.

The government should reduce the income eligibility threshold from $180,000 to $90,000 per year per household, according to SEC. The program should also include more solar batteries in its limited designated priority locations.

Solar Homes: July battery applications still open

The scheme used up its entire 3,333 July allocations of $2,225 rebates for rooftop solar systems in the first three days of the month.

Victoria's Solar Homes program sells out in three days.

July’s rooftop solar panel allocations for private households are therefore fully subscribed.

However, rebates are still available this month for rental properties, solar hot water and solar batteries.

Energy Minister calls for more applications

Meanwhile, Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio is encouraging people to apply now for:

  • Rebates up to $1,000 on solar hot water systems;
  • Rebates up to $4,838 on solar batteries like Tesla Powerwall 2; and
  • Subsidies on solar power systems for rental properties.

The Solar Homes program is driving Victoria’s booming solar installations. May 2019 saw the highest monthly level of installed capacity since the popular scheme began last August.

As a result, 185 MW in small-scale solar generators is now installed state-wide. According to Green Energy Markets, this is 19 per cent above the monthly average.

Solar battery uptake slows with Victoria’s Solar Homes program

Victoria’s Solar Homes program demand for rooftop solar panels has outstripped requests for solar batteries so far this month.

This reflects national demand, with rooftop solar uptake far exceeding that of home batteries. In fact, more than two million Australian homes now have solar installations.

Demand for batteries under the Solar Homes program is also pegged by eligibility requirements.

Rebates are therefore only available to those in designated growth suburbs who already have solar panels. You can only apply if you haven’t already accessed a solar rebate.

Growth suburbs are those where at least 10 per cent of homes have solar panels. They must also be areas where the electricity grid can accept the additional power input.

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