Victoria’s 2019/20 solar rebate program opens, save $2,225 on solar, $4,838 on batteries

If you want to put solar panels on the roof of your home, or a battery to store that energy, then you’d love to have the cost of that...

If you want to put solar panels on the roof of your home, or a battery to store that energy, then you’d love to have the cost of that investment subsidised by the Government. Good news Victoria, the solar rebate scheme is now opened again for 2019/2010.

This program offers up to $2,225 on solar systems, $4,838 off batteries like Tesla’s Powerwall 2, and even A$1,000 off solar hot water systems.

To further reduce installation costs, householders can apply for an interest-free loan, for an amount equivalent to their rebate amount. The loan is required to be repaid over four years.

The is a gotcha when it comes to the battery scheme, it’s only available to certain postcodes (mine’s not one of them unfortunately). You can check this and the other eligibility criteria at https://www.solar.vic.gov.au/solar-battery-rebate.

If you’ve decide to live an all-electric life, powered by solar + batteries, and are replacing your car with a Tesla, please support techAU and use our unique referral link for 1,500km of free Supercharging – https://ts.la/jason45054

If you do decide to buy a Tesla Powerwall, you’ll be up for around A$12,350 for the total cost of the battery + supporting hardware, so with the discount, you could have a Powerwall for a much more affordable $7,512. Then you have to pay for installation, something Tesla estimates as between A$1,450 up to A$4,400.

The Government is pretty sensitive about this money being spent wisely and the work being done safely, so Solar Victoria have introduced tough new requirements for the state’s top 150 solar retailers, beginning today.

Two-thirds of these solar retailers are now Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailers and ready to participate from today. The Clean Energy Council has rejected 23 applications, with most already reapplying to ensure they meet the high standards.

“We’re holding solar retailers to the highest standards. Victorians want to be assured solar retailers will adhere to all legislation and regulations, and that sales representatives will act ethically, and honestly,”

Solar Victoria Acting CEO, Jonathan Leake

The Clean Energy Council requires solar retailers to:

  • provide a standard minimum five-year warranty on the operation and performance of the whole solar system including workmanship, products and documentation to confirm this
  • provide information in writing to enable full education about a purchase before entering a contract
  • Respect customers’ legal rights relating to cooling-off periods and refunds, and provide the opportunity for customers to cancel a contract and obtain a full refund if changes are made that are not approved in writing
  • address any problems arising during the warranty period   
  • be fully accountable for the actions of any subcontracted parties, including CEC-accredited installers/designers  
  • maintain a fair and transparent complaints process, and respond to customers within 21 days of a complaint being made.

Mr Leake said companies not prepared to abide by those requirements would not be accredited and could not be part of the Solar Homes program.

“This is part of a suite of requirements designed to ensure Victoria’s booming solar industry delivers quality service at the point of sale, during and following installation. Committing sales staff, their employers, and installers to high standards will ensure consumers get a better outcome, and support the quality businesses that do the right thing.

In a very competitive market, our objective is to protect consumers from those who prey on people with little knowledge or experience with solar.”

Solar Victoria Acting CEO, Jonathan Leake

Lower volume solar retailers are required to gain accreditation as CEC Approved Solar Retailers by1 November 2019.

Mr Leake said Solar Victoria was on the lookout for dodgy behaviour by solar salespeople and installers, referring them to Consumer Affairs Victoria and the Clean Energy Council.

“Solar Victoria is committed to delivering a quality program and to do that we must ensure solar retailers understand what is required of them.

We have referred 19 businesses to Consumer Affairs Victoria for investigation. These include online operations that have no commercial substance, but which make spurious claims and generate leads for other businesses.

Lifting standards will establish a level playing field for all companies and add to the work already being done with Energy Safe Victoria, WorkSafe, the Victorian Building Authority, Essential Services Commission and Consumer Affairs Victoria.”

Solar Victoria Acting CEO, Jonathan Leake

All solar retailers that are not yet signatories are encouraged to apply for approval now.

More information on the Solar Retailer Code of Conduct can be found at solar.vic.gov.au or www.solaraccreditation.com.au/retailers.html.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.
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