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FAQs: Solar batteries

Questions about the Solar Homes Package, how the rebates loans work and the impact for individuals, installers and retailers.

For the Householder

  • A solar battery is a significant investment. If you are interested in buying a battery to support your solar PV system, we recommend you research the product in-depth, go for quality and value over price alone and have a clear understanding of what you really need, how you use energy and what you can afford.

  • Batteries must be on Solar Victoria’s Products List and have the correct grid support parameters configured. Systems must be installed in compliance with AS/NZS 5139:2019 - Electrical installations - Safety of battery systems for use with power conversion equipment.

    These systems have been assessed for capabilities including performance, safety, internet accessibility, security, and remote registration, monitoring and control and will enable the battery to provide network support services, take part in virtual power plants and/or future Distributed Energy Resource markets.

    They must have a minimum whole of product warranty of five years on all major components by manufacturers, and a minimum of whole of system warranty of five years including quality of work and a minimum performance warranty of seven years under daily-cycling operation by retailers. Battery system must be registered on the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Distributed Energy Resource Register after the installation.

    Please check more details about eligibility of battery products in the Notice to Market 2023-2024.

  • Battery installers must hold a current Clean Energy Council accreditation with Battery Endorsement (Including “Work Safely at Heights” certification), an unrestricted (A Grade) electrical licence issued by Energy Safe Victoria or equivalent, no prosecutions registered with Worksafe Victoria (or equivalent authority in another Australian jurisdiction) in the past three years, a construction industry ’White Card’/construction induction card and evidence of completion of the VU22744 Work safely in the solar industry training and any other training or mentoring as required by Solar Victoria.

    This approach is intended to maximise program benefits including savings to participating households, reduced costs for non-solar customers, and support the future grid.

  • Do your research and learn about batteries to decide whether a battery is right for you. Contact several Authorised solar retailers for a quote and they will put the quote in the Solar Victoria Retailers Portal. You lodge your eligibility confirmation details in the Solar Victoria Customer Portal and indicate your preferred quote.

    When your eligibility and loan application is confirmed, your installation can go ahead. The loan amount will be taken from the invoiced cost and the retailer reimbursed.

  • Yes. Existing solar panels (PV) and hot water customers can also apply for a solar battery interest-free loan as an owner occupier for the property they are currently living in.

  • Solar storage batteries must be installed by A Grade electricians with a CEC endorsement for solar batteries. Safety is the responsibility of the installer and the manufacturer. Newly installed batteries must also be signed off by a Licensed Electrical Inspector. Solar Victoria’s safety inspection program will include battery installations. Solar Victoria also ensures that authorised installers have completed all the required trainings to conduct installations safely.

  • Consumers should carefully consider what benefits a battery could provide and the associated costs. The program requires installers to provide estimates of the costs and value of having a battery in their circumstance.

    Before applying, it is recommended that households should also:

  • The Solar Homes Program requires households to be connected to the grid and to stay connected for a period of ten years. The Solar Homes battery program requires retailers to obtain a connection pre-approval from the Distribution Network Service Provider (DNSP) prior to installing a battery to ensure that the local network can safely sustain the addition of a battery.

  • If you want a battery to deal with this situation, seek advice from an installer who will develop options that suits your needs.

  • If you want a battery to deal with this situation, seek advice from an installer who will develop options that suits your needs.

  • Yes, you can arrange to have both installed at the same time. You can then apply separately for a solar (PV) panel rebate and loan, and a solar battery loan if you meet the eligibility criteria for each.

  • Off-grid installations are not part of the program.

  • A virtual power plant (VPP) is a network of individual distributed energy resources, such as solar PV and batteries that are located in different places.

    Through aggregation in a VPP, these systems may then be able to participate in trading in the electricity market and providing network services and grid support.

    Participating in a VPP may provide additional revenue to battery owners and help lower electricity costs for all consumers through reduced wholesale electricity costs, reduced ancillary service costs, and through the provision of network support.

  • Batteries on Solar Victoria’s battery product list are required to comprise energy storage solutions that are ‘VPP capable’. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), defines battery systems that are ‘VPP capable’ as meeting a set of technology requirements that include:

    • being able to participate in VPPs and/or future Distributed Energy Resource marketplaces.
    • being able to respond to remote requests to charge/discharge the battery (e.g. requests to charge battery at peak solar photovoltaic [PV] export time);
    • being able to communicate state of charge, voltage and measure power flow at battery terminals (e.g. communicate to the AEMO on battery charge level to assist forecasting); and
    • being able to assist network security and reliability (e.g. advanced ride through settings to support system security in the event of unscheduled outages).
  • Yes. This is negotiated with the VPP provider and/or your electricity retailer.

  • This will depend on the nature of the VPP. These arrangements are outside the scope of the Solar Homes Program.

Interest-free loans

  • The Loan will be provided by the State of Victoria.

  • To comply with responsible lending requirements Solar Victoria must assess your capacity to pay off the loan. All personal information you provide to Solar Victoria will be subject to the Privacy Act 1988. You can review our privacy statement here.

  • For your loan application you will need to submit a credit check through EquifaxExternal Link . This is a free service, and your credit check can be completed in around 10 minutes.

    When you receive the credit support from Equifax you will need to submit it to Solar Victoria.

  • This will depend on your home’s energy usage, however for many households they will not. Depending on system size, Victorians with both PV and a home battery could save more than $1,400 per year on energy costs. Annual payments for the maximum interest free battery loan value are $2,200 per year.

  • The loan application will take place after your eligibility check. The loan will be offered after your credit and financial checks are reviewed. Once you pass the review, the amount will be processed and paid directly to the authorised solar retailer.

  • The repayments will be debited from your nominated account via direct debit. You will need to provide your financial institution’s details in the application. State Trustees Ltd will act as loans administrator on behalf of DEECA and will run scheduled direct debits against your account. Please read the Direct Debit Request Service Agreement.

  • We will set up a monthly direct debit from your account which will be subject to change upon request.

  • The outstanding difference will be an out-of-pocket expense.

  • No, there are no upfront fees, and no collateral is required.

  • Yes, you will need to be pre-approved and have entered into the loan agreement before the installation can take place.

  • Once the loan application is approved, the retailer will complete the installation and submit the necessary documents to Solar Victoria for installation approval. After the installation is approved, the retailer will receive the loan payment from DEECA on your behalf. You will start the repayments of loans 30 days after the installation is approved.

  • After the application is approved, the loan approval will be valid for 6 months before it expires.

  • In case of non-payments, we will proactively assist you in meeting your loan agreements via our structured hardship policy and procedures.

  • Please contact Solar Victoria customer service on 1300 376 393 if you are facing financial hardship and finding it hard to meet your loan agreement. You will get the outcome of your hardship application in 10 working days.

    For more information on our hardship policy please see Hardship support for customers.

    You can also seek further information at the National Debt HelplineExternal Link . If you have entered into a Buy Now Pay Later agreement to cover your out-of-pocket costs you can find advice at the Australian Finance Industry AssociationExternal Link .

For Retailers and Installers

  • Retailers are obliged to check with the relevant DNSP whether a battery pre-approval is required. If pre-approval is required, retailers are obliged to obtain pre-approval from the local DNSP before completing the Provider Statement on the Solar Victoria Portal. DNSPs need to consider the total size of the proposed system and whether it can be connected to export electricity at that location without compromising the local network. At some locations, the DNSP will need to set technical requirements including limits on exports or system size, to maintain power quality, reliability and system security. In some cases, approval may not be granted. The pre-approval process varies between different DNSPs. Note that depending on the size of the total system, a negotiated connection may be required which could take up to 65 days and incur a charge.

  • The Notice to Market 2023-24 sets out the requirements that retailers and installers, systems and products must satisfy to participate in our programs. It also includes recommendations.

    For solar battery loans Section 5: Requirements for solar battery rebates is now applicable for solar battery loans.

    Further requirements to participate in the Solar Homes Program are set out in the Retailer Terms and Conditions and Installer Terms and Conditions.

  • Yes, if a customer applies for both, and only one inverter is required for the installation, retailers can provide one quote for both a battery and PV system,. The quote must be itemised to clearly show the costings for both battery and PV and must be submitted for each application with a different quote number for each (for example BL1234 for a battery loan and PV1234 for a solar panel (PV) rebate).

    Retailers are also required to provide the Total System Cost and relevant quote number to the customer for each application.

    If a solar panel (PV) system and solar battery system both require their own inverter, the inverter costs should be included in each quote for the systems they are required for.

Reviewed 24 October 2023

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