The Victorian Government is making solar panels more affordable than ever before. Solar power is safe and reliable and by generating your own solar power, you’ll be reducing your electricity bills. Typical households can save $890 per year on their bills by using solar panels.
When does the rebate start?
The rebates are available for systems installed from 19 August 2018 to 30 June 2019. The Package will provide a rebate to eligible households of 50 percent of the cost of a solar PV system, up to a maximum rebate of $2,225.
Am I eligible?
Households will only be eligible for one rebate under the Solar Homes Package (i.e. a household that accesses a Solar PV rebate cannot claim a Solar Hot Water rebate).
To be eligible for a rebate, you must be able to answer 'Yes' to the following:
- Do you have a combined household taxable income of less than $180,000 per annum? (based on the 2016/17 or 2017/18 tax assessment notices for the home owners or alternative proof of income for the 2016-17 or 2017-18 financial year. For example, proof of pension received)
- Are you the owner-occupier of the home?
- Is the home valued at under $3 million?
- I don't have solar PV on my property OR I am replacing my solar PV system that was installed before 1 November 2009*.
When selecting a solar provider you must ensure they will:
- install a Clean Energy Council (CEC) Approved Product
- use a CEC Accredited Installer
- provide you with a completed copy of the Solar Provider Statement certifying that they:
- hold an unrestricted Class A Electrical Licence, registered with Energy Safe Victoria
- have had no prosecutions registered with WorkSafe Victoria in the past three years (or with an equivalent authority in another Australian jurisdiction).
Not-for-profit community housing providers will also be eligible to apply for a rebate on behalf of their tenants.
*Early adopters of solar PV, who meet all other eligibility criteria, are able to claim a rebate for a new or expanded system. An early adopter is defined as a solar system that was installed prior to the commencement of the Premium Feed-In Tariff (PFIT) on November 1, 2009. Your Distribution Network Service Provider can confirm that the date on which your solar PV system was connected to the grid was prior to the start of the PFIT. Other than for early adopters, the solar rebate cannot be used to expand an existing solar panel installation.
Find an accredited installer
The CEC has more than 5,000 accredited installers of Solar PV systems who are certified and trained to ensure your system meets industry best practice standards and all relevant Australian Standards.
CEC accredited installers are individuals, you will need to search the CEC database for accredited individuals in your area.
Find an approved product
The CEC maintains a list of approved modules and inverters that meet Australian Standards for use in the design and installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
Current Approved Products for the Solar Panel Rebate are those approved by the Clean Energy Council (CEC).
We have received alerts that scammers have been targeting Victorian households.
Be alert to callers claiming to be from the Victorian Government or Solar Victoria requesting bank account details. We will never ask you to provide personal details such as banking information over the phone.
If you believe you are being contacted by a scammer or have been contacted by someone engaging in fraudulent of dishonest activities relating to solar rebates please report to ScamWatch and contact Solar Victoria on 1300 363 744. For more information on scams visit the Consumer Affairs website.
True Value Solar exiting the Australian market
We are aware that True Value Solar intends to wind-down its Australian operations. Some applicants to the Solar Homes Package have appointed True Value Solar as their solar retailer.
True Value Solar has obligations under the Australian Consumer Law (Vic) which includes honouring all existing contracts and workmanship.
If customers opt to choose a new preferred installer, they should contact Solar Victoria at firstname.lastname@example.org to provide a new Solar Provider Statement with the details of their new installer.
Your consumer rights
If you have problems with a solar system from True Value Solar, or any other company, see the Solar energy page on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.
There is also information from Consumer Affairs Victoria about requesting a chargeback if:
- you pay for products or services with a credit card, or select 'credit' on a debit card, and:
- the products or services received are not as described
- you do not receive the products or services at all or within the agreed timeframe.
- the business you purchased products or services from stops operating and you did not get what you paid for.
Things you can do
If you have a problem with a product, service or unfulfilled contract from True Value Solar, try to resolve it directly with the company first. Putting your complaint in writing gives you records of your dealings with it.
If you are unable to contact the business, or you do not receive a satisfactory response within a reasonable time, you could lodge a complaint with Consumer Affairs Victoria, who may be able to assist.
You may also choose to take your complaint further by applying to a court or tribunal, such as the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), or seek your own independent legal advice.
Consumer protection and improving Industry standards
Solar Victoria is working with industry to develop a comprehensive system to improve consumer protections and the standards of the solar industry.
The Solar Homes program requires solar panel installers to be accredited by the Clean Energy Council and only install products approved by the CEC. Accredited installers are bound by an installers’ Code of Conduct, which acts to guide the behaviour of accredited installers, and the standards of conduct and professionalism expected of them.
The Clean Energy Council also maintains a Solar Retailer Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct is voluntary, and aims to lift the bar higher than the minimum requirements set by government and regulators and improve professionalism in the solar industry by encouraging solar businesses to show their commitment to responsible sales and marketing activities and solar industry best practice. The Code is authorised by the ACCC. People using companies who’ve signed on to the code can be confident that they're working with a reputable retailer.
The Smart Energy Council also provides helpful information regarding the quality of solar panels at https://www.smartenergy.org.au/about
Before choosing a solar retailer it is a good idea to ask them what the expected timeline is for installation and connection, what manufacturers warranties are provided on each system component, and what system monitoring capabilities are provided by the inverter.
If you are dealing with a solar retailer, you will need to ask them whether their installers are accredited by the CEC to ensure that the eligibility requirement is met.
When speaking to a prospective solar company, make sure they can provide the documents needed to claim a rebate. This includes electronic and paper copies of the following documentation:
- The Solar PV STC Assignment Form
- The Distributor's Solar Connection Form, Micro Embedded Generator Connection Form or Service Order Reference Number (obtained via the distributor or retailer)
- Electrical Work Request,
- The Certificate of Electrical Safety
- Tax Invoice / Receipt from the installer detailing the size, cost and date of installation of the solar PV system