About the program
The Solar for Business Program is an initiative designed to support Victorian businesses to reduce their energy costs by accessing the benefits of renewable energy.
This initiative will bring down energy bills for eligible businesses by reducing the upfront cost of the installation of an approved small-scale solar PV system up to 30kW inverter capacity.
Rebates cover up to 50 per cent of the cost of a rooftop solar system with businesses eligible for a maximum rebate of $3,500 to reduce the upfront cost of installing solar on their business premises, plus the option of an interest-free loan.
This means the total rebate amount will be capped at 50% or $3,500 of the cost on any approved system. For example, if the net costs of solar are $10,000, then the rebate value applied is $3,500 (not $5,000) or if the net costs are $4,000, then the rebate value applied is $2,000 (not $3,500).
Am I eligible?
All entity types, including charities and not-for-profit organisations, are eligible for the Solar for business rebates providing they meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Be the owner of a business that employs at least one person, not including the business owner, and less than 50 full time equivalent (FTE) employees
- Operate from premises that are .
- Operate from premises that are individually metered
- Have not previously received a Solar for Business rebate
- Have your system installed by a as detailed on Solar Victoria's website
- Install a solar system with an inverter capacity size up to 30kW, and detailed on the
Businesses who own their premises and those who rent can apply for the Solar for Business rebate. A rental provider/landlord of the business premises cannot apply for the rebate on a business’ behalf.
The rebate is only available for installations that occur following the program opening for applications on 28 May 2021. Systems installed prior will not be eligible for a rebate.
If your home is your main place of business and you meet the eligibility criteria for the residential program, you may be eligible for a Solar Homes rebate.
To further reduce costs, business owners can apply for an interest-free loan. The loan amount is based on the quote you provide to Solar Victoria. Loans offered start from $1,000 up to a maximum amount of $5,000. You have the option of paying over 12 or 24 months or can be repaid sooner in one lump sum.
Solar delivers Post Office savings
"Planning to install solar for a business that’s running mostly during the day is a no brainer because 95% of our power use is at the same time the sun is out."
The Solar for Business Program offers eligible businesses a rebate that covers 50 per cent of the cost of installing a rooftop solar system up to $3,500.
This is the first time solar rebates will be available for Victorian small businesses, which can now join the thousands of households that have become part of the government’s Solar Homes Program.
The program will keep the application process as simple as possible for businesses, using common verifiable documents that are readily available to business owners.
Businesses will need to provide the following when they apply:
- a quote from an approved solar retailer
- Contact details of the business representative
- The business Australian Business Number (ABN)
- WorkCover Employer Number - this can be found at the top right corner of your WorkSafe Renewal Notice or by logging into the WorkSafe Online Portal
- Certified Rateable Remuneration as reported to WorkSafe Victoria for the prior financial year (or this financial year if no renumeration was reported last year) - this can be found by logging into the WorkSafe Online Portal or by contacting your WorkSafe Agent directly to obtain this information.
All entity types (excluding government organisations) can apply for a Solar for Business rebate provided they meet the eligibility criteria.
A business must operate from eligible premises determined by its Australian Valuation Property Classification Code [AVPCC]. Your premises AVPCC can be found on your Council Rates Notice.
A list of eligible AVPCC can be found below.
If no one resides at your business premises and the AVPCC is not on our list please contact our customer service centre on 1300 376 393 for more information.
Solar Victoria has identified three different categories of business owners who are eligible to apply for the rebate. They are:
- Owner occupier – You own the property in the same name as your business.
- Associated entity – You own or control the property under a different name to that of your business
- Renter – You rent the property from an entity you’re not associated with
Please note that associated entities and renters must provide a copy of Solar Victoria’s Landlord and Tenant Guidelines and Consent Form.
No, only business owners, or a nominated representative from the applying business, can apply for the Solar for Business rebate.
No, an eligible business can only receive one rebate per ABN.
Employees are counted by full time equivalent (FTE). FTE is derived from the total hours worked by your business’ full-time, part-time or casual employees, divided by your business’ standard working week in hours. This calculates the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. For example in a business with a 35 hour standard working week, two part-time employees working 17.5 hours a week would be the equivalent of one full-time employee, or 1 FTE.
The 30kW is based on inverter size.
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.
Properties with existing solar systems installed after 2009 are not eligible for a Solar for Business rebate.
All entities, excluding government organisations, can apply for the rebate. This includes businesses operating under a company, trust, partnership or not-for-profit structure.
Your premises must be connected to the grid and have its own National Meter Identifier (NMI).
Yes, provided that the property has an eligible AVPCC and the farming business will receive the benefit of the energy generated from the solar system.
Yes, provided that they are different addresses and your business operates from eligible premises.
A franchisee will have a separate ABN to the franchisor. As a business is identified by their ABN under the Solar for Business Program, the number of employees would be calculated per franchisee.
To be eligible for the rebate businesses will need to install a solar system with an inverter capacity size up to 30kW. The Clean Energy Council's Design Guidelines for Accredited Installers state that the capacity of the inverter must not be less than 75% of the solar array capacity. So, for a 30kW inverter the maximum capacity size for solar panels would be 40kW.
However you should talk to your approved solar retailer about what size solar system best meets your energy needs. You should also ask whether you will be able to add solar panels to your system if your energy needs change.
Interest-free loans FAQs
The Loan will be provided by DEECA and State Trustees will be the administrator on behalf of DEECA.
The loan amount will complement the rebates payment. The loan will be offered as an option in the application, subject to eligibility. Once the customer opts for the loan, the amount will be processed along with the rebates payment and paid directly to the solar retailer.
The repayments will be debited from the business’ account via direct debit. The business representative will provide the business’ financial institution 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 .
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 for the business.
Eligibility will be subject to a satisfactory credit check when you apply.
No, there are no upfront fees and no collateral is required.
Yes, the business will need to be pre-approved and have entered into the loan agreement before the installation can take place.
The rebates and loans are all part of the same application and will be approved simultaneously. Once the 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 installer will receive rebate and loan payments from DEECA on behalf of the business. The business 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.
Reviewed 12 January 2023