Section 1: Overview

This section explains the purpose of the Notice to Market, highlights new requirements this edition and provides an overview of the development of our programs and available rebates.

For the purposes of this Notice to Market, please read 'battery rebates' as 'battery loans'. Solar battery rebates closed on 30 June 2023.

1.1 About the Notice to Market

This Notice to Market provides industry with a clear overview of all rules and expectations for participation in the Solar Homes and Solar for Business programs from 1 July 2023.

Participation in the Solar Homes and Solar for Business programs is governed by the requirements set out in this Notice to Market, as well as Solar Victoria's terms and conditions such as those for retailers and for installers.

Retailers, installers and other workers must comply with the requirements in this notice for rebates to apply to solar PV, solar battery and energy efficient hot water systems.

1.2 New and updated requirements and recommendations in this edition

There are five new mandatory requirements and seven new recommendations in this 2023–24 edition of the Notice to Market. New requirements and recommendations seek to support stability of the energy grid and Victorians’ transition to all-electric homes, ensure systems installed under our programs are future-ready, and strengthen consumer protections.

We have also changed the status of some requirements and recommendations and made updates to others to ensure the Notice to Market remains current and relevant, and to improve readability.

New mandatory requirements

The new mandatory requirements relate to:

  • Hot water heats pumps requiring timers – under our hot water rebate stream (see section 6.2.1). Effective from 1 March 2024.
  • Retailers recording serial numbers – under our rebate streams for all products (see sections 4.1.1, 5.1.1 and 6.1.1).
  • Retailers being signatories to the New Energy Tech Consumer Code – under our rebate streams for solar PV (see section 4.1.1) and battery (see 5.1.1).
  • Increased consumer protections through whole-of-system warranties provided by retailers – under our rebate streams for solar PV (see section 4.1.1), battery (see section 5.1.1) and hot water (see section 6.1.1).
  • Increased consumer protections through whole-of-product warranties provided by the manufacturer – under our rebate streams for solar PV inverters and modules (see sections 4.2.1 and 4.2.3), battery (see section 5.2.1) and hot water systems (see section 6.2.1).

New recommendations

To give industry adequate time to prepare, Solar Victoria will periodically introduce recommendations ahead of mandating them.

The new recommendations relate to:

  • Hot water heat pumps being fit-for-purpose for climate – under our hot water rebate stream (see section 6.1.2)
  • Power quality response region settings for inverters – under our rebate streams for solar PV (see section 4.2.2) and battery (see section 5.2.2).
  • Retailers and manufacturers providing guaranteed performance warranty for PV panels – under our solar PV rebate streams (see sections 4.1.2 and 4.2.5).
  • Manufacturers providing guaranteed battery performance as per AS 5374:2023 – Energy storage system performance – under our battery rebate stream (see section 5.2.2).
  • Manufacturers enabling customers to view both solar generation and energy consumption via a software solution supplied as part of the installation – under our battery rebate stream (see section 5.2.2).
  • Hot water heat pumps being appropriately sized systems – under our hot water rebate stream (see section 6.1.2).
  • Retailers and installers in all rebate streams recommending customers use the Victorian Energy Compare website and solar energy calculator (see sections 4.1.2, 4.1.4, 5.1.2, 5.1.4, 6.1.2 and 6.1.4). This was previously mandated for retailers and installers in our solar PV rebate streams only.

Requirements upgraded to mandatory

Upgraded from recommendation to mandatory this edition:

  • Solar PV inverters being compliant to IEEE 2030.5-2018 and Common Smart Inverter Profile (CSIP)-AUS – under our solar PV rebate streams (see section 4.2.1). Effective from 1 March 2024. This change was flagged in the Solar Victoria Notice to Market 2022–23.
  • Smoke alarms installed in the same room as an energy storage system (ESS) are mandatory where an ESS is installed under the same roof or in a roof attached to the residence. It is recommended that the smoke alarm should be hard wired and be interconnected with other residence smoke alarms or have some secondary alert system within the residence – under our battery rebate stream (see section 5.2.1).

Other updates and changes

Other updates and minor changes to requirements this edition:

  • End-of-life product management requirements should meet the updated AS 5377:2022 - Collection, storage, transport and treatment of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment – under our rebate streams for solar PV (see sections 4.1.2, 4.2.2 and 4.2.4), battery (see sections 5.1.2, 5.2.4 and 5.2.6) and hot water (see section 6.1.2).
  • Mandatory hot water installer accreditation requirements included have been updated in consultation with the Victorian Building Authority – under our hot water rebate stream (see section 6.1.3).
  • Certificate of compliance for hot water installations being issued only by licensed plumbers was clarified in consultation with the Victorian Building Authority – under our hot water rebate stream (see section 6.1.3).
  • Change of name to Arc Circuit Fault Interruption (ACFI) to IEC 63027:2019 - DC arc detection and interruption in photovoltaic power systems where a string inverter is installed – under our solar PV rebate streams (see section 4.2.2).
  • Compatibility standards and inclusion of an open communication protocol to provide greater choice of products for consumers – under our solar PV, battery and hot water rebate streams. See sections 4.2.2, 5.2.2 and 6.2.2.
  • Completion of the accredited safety training unit VU22744 Work safely in the solar industry has changed from a mandatory requirement to a recommendation for heat pump installers and other heat pump workers participating in the hot water rebate stream. Solar Victoria will review its training requirements to ensure suitability for workers involved in the installation of hot water systems.

1.3 About Solar Victoria’s programs

The $1.3 billion Solar Homes Program is one of several Victorian Government initiatives aimed at reducing Victorians’ energy costs and the state’s reliance on non-renewable sources of electricity.

Over 10 years, the program will help hundreds of thousands of Victorian households to install solar PV, energy efficient hot water or solar battery systems. It is a significant contributor to the Victorian Renewable Energy Target, which aims for 50 per cent of the state’s power supply to be sourced from clean energy by 2030, and the long-term Emissions Reduction Target of net zero emissions by 2045.

Since its launch in August 2018, nearly 240,000 households have claimed a Solar Homes rebate. In February 2023, Solar Victoria passed the significant milestone of 250,000 installations completed across our solar PV, solar battery and hot water rebate steams, as well as the Home Heating and Cooling Upgrades Program. As of April 2023, more than 1.5 gigawatts of PV panels across homes and businesses have been installed through the program. For our monthly program reports, see Solar Homes Program reporting.

Since May 2021, eligible Victorian businesses have been able to apply for a rebate to install solar PV at their business premises through the Solar for Business Program. This program is supporting thousands of small to medium Victorian businesses to reduce their energy costs through the subsidised installation of solar panels.

Solar Victoria is committed to ensuring customers are treated fairly and receive the highest standards of consumer protection when purchasing solar. We are setting nation-leading standards to protect customers who purchase a solar system under the Solar Homes and Solar for Business programs.

1.4 About our rebates

For more detailed information about our rebates, including rebate values and eligibility criteria, see Solar Victoria rebates.

For rebate release dates, see Rebate values and release dates.

1.4.1 Solar PV rebate

Solar Victoria provides rebates to homeowners with existing homes, homes under construction, rental properties, community housing providers and business owners towards the cost of installing an eligible solar panel (PV) system, up to a maximum amount as listed on our website.

1.4.2 Solar battery rebate

Our battery rebate offers eligible households a rebate of up to a maximum amount, as listed on our website, on the cost of an eligible solar battery.

Households can have their solar panel (PV) system and battery installed at the same time and receive the battery rebate. However, eligibility requirements limit battery rebate applicants to only one Solar Victoria rebate meaning that an applicant having a solar PV system and battery installed will need to choose between solar PV rebate or a solar battery rebate.

See Solar battery rebate.

1.4.3 Hot water rebate

Our hot water rebate offers eligible households a rebate of 50 per cent up to a maximum amount, as listed on our website, on the installation of a solar hot water or heat pump system.

The hot water rebate is available for owner occupiers who are replacing an existing hot water system which is at least three years old. It is available for existing properties and not for homes under construction or rental properties.

New and existing solar PV customers can also apply for a hot water rebate, in conjunction with a solar PV rebate, if they meet the eligibility criteria. Solar Victoria also has a process for emergency hot water installations, so Victorians don’t have to wait if their system has broken down.

See Hot water rebate.

1.5 Acknowledgements

We consulted with key stakeholders in developing the Solar Victoria Notice to Market 2023–24 and carefully considered feedback in designing the recommendations and mandatory requirements.

Direct interviews with chosen representatives from key peak bodies and relevant government agencies were invaluable in designing requirements. We are confident they will help ensure safety and continue to achieve quality standards within the solar industry.

Representatives from the following agencies contributed to the Notice to Market 2023–24:

  • Energy Safe Victoria
  • Clean Energy Regulator
  • Clean Energy Council
  • Smart Energy Council
  • Fire Rescue Victoria
  • National Electrical and Communications Association
  • WorkSafe Victoria
  • Australian Energy Market Operator
  • Consumer Action Law Centre
  • Victorian Building Authority
  • Master Plumbers Victoria
  • Australian Renewables Agency
  • Energy Networks Australia.

We also conducted targeted engagement through the Solar Victoria Industry and Consumer Reference Group and with selected manufacturers, retailers and installers participating in our programs.