Victorian Solar Battery Rebate Charges Up

Solar battery rebate - Victoria

Victoria’s Andrews Government last week expanded its Solar Homes battery rebate scheme to a total of 247 eligible postcodes – and it’s not done yet.

The rebate currently offers up to $4,838 off the cost of a solar battery system in eligible postcodes. There are a few conditions, including the property must already have a solar power system installed with a capacity equal to or greater than 5kW, and it’s not available to households that have already received a Solar Homes rebate.

Details of some of the systems eligible for the rebate can be found on the SolarQuotes battery comparison table – they are indicated by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) logo appearing in the “Australian Approvals” row.

When the rebate originally kicked off, it was only available in a couple of dozen postcodes and uptake was very slow. It was then expanded to an additional 80 postcodes in November last year; but there still wasn’t a huge amount of interest. The Victorian Government says there have been 359 approved applications since the rebate became available in July 2019, with 219 of those systems installed to date.

An original aim of the program was to see 10,000 battery systems installed over the 10 years the Solar Homes program is operating.

Last Monday a further 143 postcodes were added, with 70 per cent of those in regional Victoria. Some of the regional centres now eligible include Bendigo, Shepparton, Mildura and Bairnsdale. Approximately 35% of Victoria’s residential postcodes are now eligible for the rebate – a list current as at March 2 can be found here.

At the time of publishing, 526 out of the 585 rebates for the current release were still available.

Expected Savings Claim

A Victorian government release published on Saturday states:

“Households with an average 11kWh battery around can expect to save around $650 a year on their electricity bills, in addition to savings they are already making with solar panels.”

Using the default settings on the SolarQuotes solar and battery calculator for a few eligible postcodes showed the additional savings provided by a battery of this capacity to be nowhere close to $650 a year. Victorian solar households considering taking up the battery rebate offer based on potential financial benefits should do their sums before pursuing a purchase to determine if installing a battery is worthwhile in their specific situation.

Other savings figures mentioned in promotional material regarding the program were also put under the spotlight recently by SQ’s Ronald.

Another Expansion On The Cards

It appears the Andrews Government hasn’t finished fiddling with the dials of the incentive yet. The release also notes:

“To further strengthen Victoria’s electricity grid, the Labor Government will look to expand the battery rebate program to controlled batteries, microgrids and virtual power plants from July 2020.”

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