Victorian businesses saving big with solar

Victorian small, medium and family businesses are saving on average more than $2,000 per year from their energy bills by installing solar power systems.

Thursday, 11 May 2023 at 1:38 am
Business man happy with solar savings

For every business that adopts solar, the reduction in electricity use is the equivalent of removing a residential household from the grid.

The Solar for Business Program which commenced in 2021 is designed to support Victorian businesses, including Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’s) and Small to Medium Family Businesses (SMFBs) in reducing their energy costs by accessing the benefits of renewable energy.

A recent review of Solar Victoria’s Solar for Business program by the Centre for New and Emerging Technologies (C4NET) found that over 2,290 businesses ranging from cafes to auto repair shops, dentists and doctors are enjoying the savings.

The Greater Dandenong, Kingston and Hume local government areas the top three metropolitan LGAs, and Greater Bendigo, Greater Geelong and Ballarat the top regional areas where eligible businesses have taken advantage of available rebates to cut the cost of installing a solar panel system. As well businesses in the Mildura, Warrnambool and northeast Victorian region have accessed rebates.

The 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. As well businesses can access an interest free loan of up to $5,000 to assist with their installation, in essence, getting a financial boost to save on power bills.

Cheaper Buy Miles provides discounted food and supermarket goods at three locations in Melbourne’s western suburbs, and its latest Footscray shop has solar PV installed using a Solar for Business rebate. Owner Grant Miles said the cost of the installation was around $10,500, after receiving the Solar Victoria rebate.

With the shop using most electricity during the day, when the panels are generating at the highest level, he estimates that the energy saving it provides means the installation will have paid for itself in around two and a half years.

Businesses applying for rebates may also be eligible to access tax benefits such as the Instant Asset write-off incentive provided by the federal government. The recently announced $314m Federal Small Business Energy Incentive will further business savings post 1 July.

The incentive will allow businesses with up to $50m in turnover a 20 per cent tax deduction on solar panels, batteries and other energy efficient electrical devices when they invest up to $100,000 on reducing their reliance on fossil fuel energy.

You can find more information about Solar Victoria’s business rebate at:

You can find a video case study of Cheaper Buy Miles’ solar panel installation here.

Quotes attributable to Solar Victoria CEO Stan Krpan

“Solar Victoria’s rebates mean you are getting money to cut costs for your business. It is a win win situation.”

“Businesses use most of their power during the day, when the solar system is working its hardest, meanings the energy savings can be significant.”

“The Solar for Business rebates and interest free loans, combined with the benefits of an Instant Asset write-off, are a strong support and incentive for small businesses to adopt solar energy.”

Quotes attributable to Grant Miles, owner of “Cheaper Buy Miles”

“Having solar power is a huge saving for us. It was a very simple exercise to decide it was viable and worth spending the money.”

“Part of the application process with Solar Victoria was that I should have permission from my landlord. He met with me and discussed it, and he had no qualms whatsoever about agreeing to us putting solar power in.”

“Solar power helps us to reduce costs, lets us keep our prices very low, and makes us feel good about what we are doing for the environment. We are very proud of what we do and, we would like to continue to do it.”

Solar for Business rebates are available until 6pm, 30 June 2023. To take advantage of the rebate, businesses should first contact an authorised solar retailer to get a quote. Customers will have 120 days from the date the application is approved to complete the installation.