On Tuesday 23rd May, the Treasurer released Victoria’s State Budget for 2023-24. Energy was a focus, with commitments to bring back the State Electricity Commission (SEC), establish a centre of training excellence for renewable energy and the development of the Victorian Energy Jobs Plan all realised through funding commitments to the transition to renewables, investment in businesses, training new workers, and building new infrastructure that will create thousands of jobs.
At a community level, the 100 Neighbourhood Batteries Program will play a critical role in delivering energy equity and easing bill pressures, storing clean cheap energy when it’s abundant during the day, and feeding it back into the grid, when it’s needed at night – keeping lights on and power bills down. At the same time, it will help to alleviate grid challenges created by the rapid growth of residential solar in Victoria.
The Solar Homes Program will continue to provide Victorians with support to transition their homes to renewable energy and enable electrification through the provision of rebates and interest free loans for solar panels, battery storage and electric hot water.
Solar panel rebates and interest free loans will continue this year with 53,000 rebates allocated for delivery. Rebate value will remain at $1,400 for the rebate and an additional $1,400 for the interest free loan. Hot water rebates of $1,000 will continue to be delivered with 4,500 available in 2023-24.
The battery rebate program will continue to accelerate renewable energy uptake with a shift in program from rebates to interest free loans. The budget has allocated funding for the delivery of 4,500 interest-free loans of up to $8,800 each to be delivered through the Solar Homes Program. $16 million dollars has been allocated to the enable the delivery of the interest-free loan program for 2023-24.
Applications for battery rebates will no longer be accepted from 30 June, with the loan offering to be launched after 1 July 2023, once program design is complete. Rebate applications received prior to 30 June will be processed and those approved will be provided with adequate time to have their battery installed and rebate paid. Solar Victoria is working towards a seamless transition from one incentive to the other and program design is already underway.
Applications for the Solar for Business program will be open until 30 June, bringing the program to the end of its expected delivery timeline.
Applications submitted prior to 30 June will be processed and approved applicants will have 120 days to have their system installed. The program has seen good uptake across the state and has supported Victorian businesses to save up to $2,000 per year on their energy bills. The recent incentives announced by the Commonwealth Government will see continued support for businesses delivered in the renewable energy space.
Since 2018, the Solar Homes Program has been delivering to help more Victorian households to take the first steps towards electrification, take control of their energy bills and move to a cleaner renewable energy future through the installation of solar panels, batteries, and hot water. We look forward to furthering this work in 2023-24.
Reviewed 26 May 2023