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Solar battery loans

The interest-free solar battery loan will help eligible Victorian households to reduce the upfront cost of installing a battery on their home.

Solar battery loans remaining for 2023-24:

Solar Victoria solar battery loans will reduce the upfront cost of installing a solar battery, with repayments made over a four-year period.

There are 4,500 interest-free loans of up to $8,800 available in 2023-24.

Eligibility Criteria

As a Victorian householder, you could be eligible for a solar battery loan if you meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • you are the owner-occupier of an existing property where the system is to be installed
  • the combined household taxable income of all owners is less than $210,000 per year
  • the property is valued at under $3 million
  • the property address has not previously received a solar battery rebate
  • the property has a solar panel system with an inverter capacity equal to or greater than 5kW,or will have one installed in conjunction with the solar battery installation.
  • the energy storage solution has a capacity equal to or greater than 6kWh and is listed on Solar Victoria’s battery product list and the property does not have an existing energy storage system.
  • pre-approval is obtained from your Distributed Network Service Provider (DNSP) to safely connect a battery to the grid
  • the owner/s agrees to receive information from their Distribution Network Service Provider about taking part in battery trials to maximise the value households get from them.

Battery storage may not be suitable for all households and circumstances, and we recommend doing research as the first step on your battery journey, to check if a battery will be suitable for your household. The solar battery rebate is not available to homes under construction.

You should begin your research now and contact an authorised retailer when you are confident a battery is the right investment for your home.

Step 1: Do your research and assess suitability

There are many reasons to install a solar battery and some of the most common are:

  • Reduce energy costs
  • Tackle climate change,
  • Achieve energy independence,
  • Back up in case of a black out; and
  • Transition to an all-electric home

Installing a battery is also a significant investment for most households.

It is important to do your research, and before you begin you should answer the following questions to understand what product is right for your needs.

  • How do you use energy in your home?
  • What system size should you choose?
  • What is the installation cost vs expected savings?
  • What else should you consider?
  • Are you ready for a battery?

You also need to consider whether you want the battery to operate in “standalone” mode, your energy needs in such a situation and whether any additional wiring or electrical upgrades may be required.

  • Do you use energy during the day or does your peak usage happen in the morning before you leave for work and again in the evening when you get home?

    It is worth considering your own energy usage patterns to determine if a battery can benefit your home. You should also consider your future needs.

    Ideally, you would be able to use the energy generated by your system in real time throughout the day. Consuming the power generated by rooftop PV is the best way to save on energy bills.

    That said, peak solar generation occurs during the day when many of us are at work, school or out and about. Peak energy usage often comes in the late afternoon or evening (especially in summer) when solar PV is not generating. Timers can help with scheduling the use of appliances during these times, however that is not an option for all households or all appliances.

    Batteries give households the option to store the energy generated throughout the day for use in the evenings. Not only does this increase self-consumption, it reduces energy bills as you will be drawing less power from the grid (often during peak tariff times).

    "The average home with solar panels consumes approximately 28% of the power generated by their system. Self-consumption increases to around 60% with the addition of a battery.”

    Consuming what you create will optimise your savings, however if your system is not producing enough to fully charge your battery each day you also have the option of charging your battery from the grid at a time of the day that aligns with your off-peak energy tariffs. This means you can charge your battery when your rate is the cheapest and use the power in your battery at times of the day when your grid charges may be higher.

    Your battery retailer can talk with you about configuring your system to optimise your usage. You should also discuss whether you want the battery to operate in “standalone” mode when you are disconnected from the grid for whatever reason and whether any additional wiring or electrical works may be required.

  • Choosing the right battery size for your needs will mostly depend on the size of your solar electricity system, how much energy you typically consume overnight and whether you want backup during a power outage. You may also wish to prepare for future energy usage if you are considering purchasing an electric vehicle or upgrading your gas appliances to electric.

    To save the most on electricity bills it is generally best to buy a battery that you will regularly charge and discharge to the recommended level. You want to be able to store any excess solar electricity generated each day and ensure that the majority of that stored energy is used later on.

    At the same time, it is wise not to overuse a battery, for example by fully charging and discharging two or three times a day. Doing this might shorten its lifespan.

    You can usually set this up in an Energy Management System or similar app that helps to optimise the system.

    You should also consider any changes you might want to make further down the track, such as switching from gas hot water to an electric heat pump or adding more PV panels to cover the needs of a growing household.

    The best way to choose the right battery for your needs and budget is to get an independent assessment from an energy expert, accredited installer or authorised retailer.

  • Solar battery prices vary depending on the size, quality, and installation location. You can expect to pay approximately $1,500 per kilowatt hour (kWh).

    Based on this calculation, a smaller 6kWh battery would cost you approximately $9,000 ($1,500 x 6 = $9,000). The larger the battery, the higher the purchase cost.

  • Batteries can be relatively expensive when compared to the energy bill savings they can deliver and, in many cases, the monthly repayment for a Solar Victoria interest-free loan will not be fully offset by the savings made on your energy bills.

    While a Solar Victoria interest-free loan will reduce the out-of-pocket costs at the time of installation, the loan repayments are a four-year commitment of up to $183.34 each month.

    Adding a battery can enhance your solar bill savings by storing solar-generated electricity for use later in the day, however the monthly interest-free loan repayments may be more than the savings realised each month.

    If your main reason for installing a battery is to lower your energy costs, we strongly recommend that you get at least three quotes of roughly the same system size and functionality.

    Make sure the installer is an A Grade electrician, Clean Energy Council (CEC) Accredited with Battery Endorsement, and that the company is a Solar Victoria Authorised Solar Retailer.

What else should you consider?

  • Grid-connected solar PV systems, with or without a battery, are designed to switch off during a power outage, to protect those potentially working on nearby electricity lines. Standard solar battery systems also do not provide backup power when the grid fails.

    Some solar PV systems can continue to work during a power outage, if they have a battery designed to provide backup power supply. This system disconnects the house from the grid for safety. The ability to provide energy when the grid is down depends not just on the battery, but also the rest of the system design and which inverter is used.

    Designing a solar battery system with battery backup is becoming more common, but make sure you tell your installer that’s what you want, so the system can be designed properly with the right components. You may also need wiring or electrical upgrades to allow this function.

    Your installer will be able to provide you with more guidance; just make it clear what your requirements are when looking for a system.

  • Once a battery system is installed, households may want to consider joining an Aggregation program or a VPP (where several rooftop solar panels and battery storage systems are linked) and using smart technology to meet local demand for grid electricity. Many VPP programs offer additional financial incentives as part of their offering.

    The benefits of participating in aggregation projects or a VPP program are that you can:

    • receive compensation for sharing your stored solar energy with the VPP network
    • make the most of the solar power you generate
    • balance the supply and demand of energy for fewer disruptions
    • reduce network costs for all Victorians
    • increase grid resilience
    • enable greater uptake of Distributed Energy Resources (DER)

    Most aggregation and VPP programs have specific product requirements, so you will need to review these to ensure the system you are installing can participate in your preferred VPP.

  • There are other ways to get more out of your solar system if a battery isn’t for you just yet.

    While a battery allows you to store your solar energy for use at a later time, if you can shift some of your biggest electricity usage to the middle of the day, you can make much better use of the solar energy you generate without the need for a battery.

    A good example of this is to use a heat pump hot water system and use a timer to run it in the middle of the day. This allows the hot water system to store the excess solar energy in the form of hot water—effectively making your water heater a form of battery.

    The same applies to other loads, such as a heat pump hydronic heating system, which can store solar electricity as heat in a large water tank for use in the evening. Or you can simply shift other loads such as washing machine and dishwasher use to the middle of the day.

    While the latter isn’t a form of energy storage, it does make effective use of solar electricity at the time of generation, reducing the need for battery storage. Many appliances have in-built timers making it easier to shift run-times without the need for additional timers.

Step 2: Find an authorised solar retailer

Once you have done your research and are satisfied that a battery is for you, you can find retailers to provide designs and quotes for your system.

To be eligible to apply for a solar battery loan, your installation must be completed by a Solar Victoria authorised solar retailer. Authorised retailers meet Solar Victoria’s requirements to participate in the Solar Homes program and are bound by terms and conditions. They employ A Grade electricians, who are Clean Energy Council (CEC) Accredited and hold a Battery Endorsement.

We strongly recommend that you get at least three quotes for roughly the same system size and functionality.

Before you sign a quote acceptance with any supplier, carefully research the company, look up their customer reviews and ask as many questions of them as you need to feel comfortable that the proposed battery system is a good investment for your specific circumstances.

Solar Victoria does not recommend signing a quote acceptance or paying a deposit before receiving confirmation that your solary battery loan application has been fully approved, and that you have fulfilled all eligibility and credit check requirements.

As a minimum, you should confirm with your retailer that any deposit you pay is fully refundable.

Your authorised solar retailer will need to provide you with a written quote that contains the information you need to make an informed decision. They will also upload your quote into the Solar Victoria Portal which will start the process of your initial eligibility application.

Pre-approval for battery connection to the grid

Your retailer must obtain approval for grid connection from the Distribution Network Service Provider (DNSP) before they can upload your quote to the Portal.

DNSPs are the organisations that affect whether your solar panels or solar battery can be connected to the grid. Find out more about DNSPs by reading Distributors – what are they and why are they important?

You should check with your retailer that pre-approval has been given and whether any solar export constraints have been imposed. Export constraints impact feed in tariffs available to you and your ability to take part in Virtual Power Plants, so it is important to be informed about this.

When you retailer has uploaded your quote to the Portal, you will receive an email notification containing a link to complete your initial eligibility application.

Step 3: Complete your initial eligibility application

When your retailer has uploaded your quote to the Portal, you will receive an email notification containing a link to complete your initial eligibility application in the Portal. You can check the eligibility criteria at the top of this pageExternal Link .

Applying for more than one Solar Homes product?

If you are applying for a solar panel rebate and interest-free loan AND a solar battery loan you will receive a separate email for each quote. You will be required to complete a separate eligibility application for each of the products. If you would like to apply for a hot water rebate, you will need to confirm you meet the eligibility criteria for that rebate and submit a separate application.

Documentation required to prove eligibility

You will need to provide proof of identity, income and property ownership when you apply via the Solar Victoria Portal, so be sure that you have your paperwork handy when you’re ready to apply.

Proof of identity

You will need to enter the details from any 2 forms of ID. These can be a:

  • Driver's licence or Learner permit
  • Medicare card
  • Australian passport
  • Australian birth certificate
  • Australian citizenship certificate
  • Foreign passport. This should be a foreign passport with a valid Australian Visa.
  • Immicard

You’ll need to make sure the names on both documents are the same.

You can find out more about your Australian citizenship by visiting the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs (citizenship website)External Link .

Proof of property ownership

We require evidence of property ownership. This is provided via your local council rates notice for established properties.

If you do not have a council rates notice for an established property, please contact Solar Victoria for assistance.

Proof of income

We require proof of income documentation for each person named as an owner on your local council rates notice or copy of your Certificate of Title.

For instance, if there is more than one owner of the property, we require proof of income for all listed owners. If there is more than one listed owner, you will need to provide proof of income documents for each person from the same financial year.

Depending on your financial situation, see options for proof of income documents here.

This initial eligibility check must be completed by you, the customer, and not the solar retailer. For information on how to apply please refer to the guide below.

Apply now

To begin your eligibility check for a solar battery loan, click on the button below.

When you have completed and submitted your initial eligibility application you will receive an email from Solar Victoria confirming your eligibility and outlining the process to complete your loan application.

Apply now

Step 4: Complete your loan application

When you receive your email from Solar Victoria we will provide information to complete your loan application. You will be required to provide the following documents.

Credit check

You will be required to complete a credit check through EquifaxExternal Link .

Equifax offers free credit checks and takes around 10 minutes to complete. For information on how to complete a credit check you can review the guide below.

The MoneySmart websiteExternal Link can provide you with further information about the purpose and use of credit checks and credit reports.

Financial self-declaration and supporting documents

You will also be required to provide information on your financial position and complete a self-assessment of your living expenses and income. You will provide this information through a financial self-declaration form we will send to you.

We require this information to ensure that you have capacity to make regular payments for the interest-free loans and to ensure that applicants will not experience any hardship when completing payments.

Responsible lending

Solar Victoria is a responsible lender and considers each applicant’s financial circumstances to assess whether the proposed loan may be suited to their circumstances. Before you consider entering into a loan agreement, we recommend you visit the MoneySmart websiteExternal Link for advice on how you can manage loan repayments

You can also find more information on what this means to you in our FAQs.

Once your information is submitted Solar Victoria will assess your loan application and let you know the outcome.

Step 5: Arrange your installation

Once Solar Victoria has confirmed that your loan application has been approved, you can contact your retailer to book your system installation.

On the day of installation, your installer is required to scan the QR code contained in your loan confirmation email.

Customers will have 120 days to complete the installation from the date the loan application was approved.

Once installation is complete, pay the retailer the amount you owe them. This is the total amount minus the interest free loan amount and any other Solar Victoria rebates you may have applied for.

Loan repayments will be debited from your nominated account and will take place 30 days after the installation is approved by Solar Victoria.

Step 6: Make the most of your system

Hear from battery owners across the state


Reviewed 08 September 2023

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