To further reduce the up-front cost of solar panel (PV) systems, eligible householders can also apply for an interest-free loan equivalent to the amount of their rebate.
You will be notified of your eligibility for a loan as part of the rebate application process via the Solar Victoria Portal. If you are eligible, you can select whether you would like to take up the loan option.
Interest-free loans must be paid within a four-year period, or sooner if you choose to do so.
These loans are not available for solar hot water or solar batteries.
Under the new application process, the rebate and loan amounts will be deducted from the cost of your system – ensuring you only have to pay any outstanding balance once the system is installed.
Your solar retailer will then be reimbursed for the rebate and loan amounts.
In line with the existing rebate, the new interest-free loan can be applied up to an amount of up to $2,225. If your system costs less than $4450 , there will be no upfront cost.
Cost for solar panels (PV) with a no-interest loan
By installing solar panels, households will typically save up to $890 per year on their electricity bills.
Example of how the rebate and loan can work for solar panels:
|Item description||Indicative cost|
|Cost of system & installation||$4,450*|
|Rebate amount (paid directly to the solar provider via the Solar Victoria Portal)||$2,225|
|No-interest loan amount (paid to the solar provider via the Solar Victoria Portal. Loan amount to re-paid by the householder over 4 years)||$2,225|
|Up-front costs to householder||$0|
*Prices are indicative only
To be eligible to a receive an interest-free loan, Victorians households must be eligible to receive a solar panel (PV) rebate. If households do not qualify for the rebate they also do not qualify for the no-interest loan. Victorian households are eligible to receive a rebate for installing a solar PV system if they meet the following criteria:
- they are the owner-occupier of the property
- the owners have a combined household taxable income of less than $180,000 per year (based on last year’s Australian Tax Office Notice of Assessment)
- it is an existing property, valued at under $3 million
- they do not have an existing solar PV system*
Once you’re confident that your property fits the eligibility criteria, you should start researching solar retailers who are authorised to participate in the Program and can meet your energy needs.
*Early adopters who installed their system prior to 1 November 2009 are eligible to replace or expand their existing system. However, those receiving the Premium Feed-in Tariff should consider whether they will be better off if they replace their existing system.
In addition to the rebate criteria above, the eligibility of a loan will be contingent on the new solar panel (PV) system’s net benefit. This means that your system will need to save you as the householder more than the loan repayment amount.
For example, if your rebate amount is $2,225 then your loan amount will be $2,225 and the proposed system will need to save you more than $2,225 in energy costs over the life of the four-year loan.
Your authorised solar retailer is obligated to provide visibility of the expected savings. This information will be entered by the authorised solar retailer into the Solar Victoria Portal and used to determine your eligibility for a loan.
Obtaining a quote and applying for eligibility
We’ve updated the rebate process to make it even easier for Victorians to take up solar.
Before you sign a contract for the installation of solar panels, you should be sure that you understand the process and eligibility criteria.
Under this updated process – and once you have researched and identified the authorised solar retailer you want to use – contact them to obtain a quote.
The solar retailer will then upload your quote into the Solar Victoria Portal, triggering your application for eligibility.
Once you have successfully completed this application via the portal you will be issued with an eligibility number.
You must then provide this number to your installer as it will confirm that they can go ahead with your installation. Without this eligibility number, the installation cannot proceed.
You should only sign a contract with an authorised retailer and proceed with installation once you have received your eligibility number. Remember, do not sign a contract unless you are confirmed as eligible and have received your eligibility number.
If you are confirmed as eligible, you will receive an eligibility number that your installer will then use to proceed with your installation.