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What Is the NSW Government Solar 2021 Rebate and what do you get for free?

Firstly the NSW government doesn’t really like us referring to the rebate as a rebate and technically, they are right. It is correctly called the Small Technology Incentive Program or the STC incentive which is part of the net-zero emissions by 2050 scheme (let’s try for sooner).

The small-scale technology certificates are a market-based subsidy meaning the value of the certificate can rise or fall. The bottom can and has dropped at any point changing the value of each STC. Currently, the STC price hovers around the $37-$38 mark but has slumped to $17 in the past. Most definitely an EEK moment.

As solar PV (solar panels or modules, also called photovoltaic or PV) is vastly applicable as a renewable energy source across the state and country, homes and businesses who take the dive and install solar do make a big difference in achieving this goal.

It also makes a significant difference to the overall price of buying solar panels and the entire system, literally saving $1000’s off the final amount – that’s the awesome free part. It does however come with a slight caveat in that it is a deeming period reducing by one-fifteenth until Jan 1, the year 2031 when it will be no more.

An STC (small technology certificate) is calculated on the amount of energy the system can produce eg: 6.6kw. Then the number of STC’s you are entitled to be depicted by how much energy the solar system will generate over its expected lifespan. So, if you purchase a larger solar system you will receive a greater incentive (fill the roof you say??!).

The location also plays a card here and the value adjusts depending on where your home is within Australia which is split into 4 sun zones, Sydney / East coast being Zone 3. The more sun you get the better the STC solar rebate!

Long but interesting story short, when you purchase a solar system from a Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited installer like us, using CEC accredited hardware like what we use, you as the consumer receives the money as a point-of-sale discount equalling much happiness! Depending on which type of solar system design you choose (or is suited for your home) the benefits can be as much as 30% off the total RRP.

String systems offer the better value when it comes to STC rebate amount as it has the least number of components involved to build the system. The more hardware required like optimisers or microinverters the incentive starts to have slightly less of an impact due to system costs being that much higher.

As a quick example, if a typical system costs $9600 and the STC incentive is $3465 then out your pocket you’ll pay $6135. Simple.

So in light of the STC Incentive, the deeming period, and the technology is more advanced and affordable than ever before there really actually hasn’t been a better time to invest in solar for your home. Not to forget that solar PV is one of the few investments you can make that will give you a considerable rate of return that’s guaranteed. I’m sorry why am I not doing this???!


Empowering Homes (Solar and Battery Loan Program)

The next question I hear you say is… are Solar and Battery systems included in the NSW solar incentive subsidy? The answer is yes but only in certain postcode locations. This of course may and probably will change as more locations should become available.

Launched in 2019 as a pilot scheme the Empowering Homes solar battery loan offer is an NSW Government initiative designed to help eligible homeowners cut their power bills by transitioning to clean, renewable energy.

There are 2 interest-free loans available:

  • up to $14,000 towards a solar PV and battery system (repayable over a range of terms up to 8 years)
  • up to $9000 towards retrofitting a battery system to an existing solar PV system (repayable over a range of terms up to 10 years).

Loan applications are assessed against normal lending criteria.

NSW home owner-occupiers are eligible who:

  • live in one of the eligible postcodes which can be found here LINK
  • have a household income of no more than $180,000 per year
  • own their grid-connected home, live in it, and have the authority to install the system
  • satisfy the loan criteria.

Further good news is the NSW solar and battery rebate is expected to assist in the installation of over 300,000 systems over the next 10 years. It does seem to be a ‘keep you posted’ scenario on eligible locations so it is worth keeping your eyes on this. Another win towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, let’s see more of these!

There are also incentives/subsidies with solar for low-income households in NSW…. In an NSW government initiative designed to help reduce power bills (by up to $600pa), the NSW government will provide free, 3kw solar systems to eligible NSW residents in certain areas of the state.

These areas currently include the Central Coast, Sydney South, North Coast, Illawarra, and the South Coast.

Again, there are a few caveats here… To be eligible you must already be on the low-income household rebate then agree to not receive it for 10 years should you go ahead. Seems a little double-edged doesn’t it?! Seeing as the rebate is $285pa you should come up trumps!

Not already having a solar system, owning your one home, agreeing to the NSW government being responsible for paying your power bills and if you’re a pensioner or veteran you’ll be in the running for this.

So, there is a fair amount of free money being thrown around in the renewable energy world incentivising you the consumer across all spectrums to rush out and buy a new solar system, and why not?! By investing in solar you will not only help your bank account for the long term, stimulate the old economy but also and most importantly, help the big house that we all live on and hopefully won’t destroy, planet Earth!

Please read our reviews and reach out to discuss how we can help you find the right solar and battery solution for your home. We’d love to hear from you and help wherever we can.

Thanks for reading.


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