Solar and battery incentives 2021

Published: 19 April 2021

We’ve collated the solar and battery incentives available in 2021 to help homeowners make the switch!

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2021 Solar incentives in Australia

There are now more than two million homes with rooftop solar power in Australia, representing 21% of all households. Since the federal incentive program for solar power will last until 2030, that number is only expected to rise. In states and territories with local incentives, solar power offers an even higher return on investment. 

In this article, we have consolidated the nationwide and state-based solar incentives available in Australia in 2021.

Australia-wide solar incentive in 2021: Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme

The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme awards Small-scale Technology Certificates (STC) for solar installations below 100 kW, which can be sold to help cover the installation cost.

  • To calculate the number of STCs, the program considers the estimated electricity production from your solar system, from its installation date until the end of 2030.
  • For every 1,000 kWh of estimated production, your solar power system gets one STC.

Electricity retailers and other major electricity buyers in Australia have a legal requirement to support renewable energy, and this includes purchasing STCs. The market price of STCs is constantly changing, but it generally stays below $40/STC. For example, if an 8-kW solar installation gets 110 STCs that are sold for $39 each, the total incentive is $4290.

The STC incentive makes solar power systems more affordable, but you must meet certain requirements to be eligible. The solar installation must be completed by a Clean Energy Council Accredited Installer, and the solar panels and inverters must be in the CEC-approved list, among other requirements.

Since this incentive program is available Australia-wide, it can be combined with the state-based incentives described below.

More information about the SRES available here: Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme

Victoria solar incentives in 2021

VIC has some of the lowest solar installation costs in Australia, since the federal STC program is combined with the Solar Victoria program from the state government. Solar Victoria not only covers solar panels, but also solar hot water and battery systems. The incentives are reviewed at regular intervals, and the following apply until 30 June, 2021:

  • Up to $1,850 for solar panels.
  • Up to $4,174 for solar battery systems.
  • Up to $1,000 for solar hot water systems.

Solar Victoria has several eligibility criteria and an application process. However, you can learn more by reading our blog post on ‘How to apply for Solar Victoria incentives’

More information about VIC solar incentives available here: VIC Solar Incentives & FIT 2021

South Australia solar incentives in 2021

SA offers two solar incentive programs which complement the nationwide STC rebate: the Home Battery Scheme, and the City of Adelaide Sustainability Incentives Scheme.

The Home Battery Scheme was created to help South Australian homeowners purchase energy storage systems. As of April 2021, the incentive rate is $300 per kWh of capacity for energy concession holders, and $200/kWh for other homes. In both cases, the maximum incentive that can be claimed through the program is $3,000 per battery system.

Strictly speaking, the SA Home Battery Scheme is not a solar panel incentive. However, solar PV systems become more valuable when batteries are added, since their electricity can be stored for any time of the day – even nighttime.

The City of Adelaide Sustainability Incentives Scheme covers many types of building upgrades, including residential solar power. The benefit is available for concession card holders and landlords, and it can be claimed before 30 June, 2021. The incentive covers 20% of solar PV system costs, with a limit that depends on the installed capacity:

  • 1.5 – 5 kW solar systems: $1,000 limit
  • 10 – 20 kW solar systems: $2,500 limit
  • Solar systems over 20 kW: $5,000 limit

More information about SA solar incentives available here: SA Solar Incentives & FIT 2021 

New South Wales solar incentives in 2021

NSW homeowners can claim two solar incentives in addition to STCs. These are offered through the Empowering Homes and Solar for Low Income programs.

The Empowering Homes program offers interest-free loans for home solar systems with energy storage. The loan amount is up to $9,000 when adding batteries to existing solar panels systems, and up to $14,000 when both components are new.

The Solar for Low Income program is available for qualifying homes in specific NSW regions. The program is deploying 3-kW solar power systems in 3,000 homes at zero cost.

More information about NSW solar incentives available here: NSW Solar Incentives & FIT 2021  

Australia Capital Territory solar incentives in 2021

The ACT government offers two types of solar incentives as part of the larger Actsmart program: Next Gen Battery Storage and Solar for Low Income.

The Next Gen Battery Storage program has the goal of deploying 5,000 solar batteries in ACT homes and small businesses, with a total budget of $25 million. The incentive is $825 per kilowatt of sustained battery output, covering up to 30 kW in homes and 50 kW in businesses. This means a homeowner can claim up to $24,750, while a business can claim up to $41,250.

The ACT Solar for Low Income program is different from the NSW version. In this case, eligible homes get a subsidy that covers 50% or solar costs, up to $2,500 per system.

More information about ACT solar incentives available here: ACT Government – Actsmart

Northern Territory solar incentives in 2021

The Northern Territory has some of the sunniest regions of Australia, which means that solar panels earn more STCs per kilowatt of installed capacity. The NT government also offers incentives locally through the Home and Business Battery Scheme.

The Home and Business Battery Scheme provides a grant of $6,000 for installing a new solar panel system with batteries, or adding batteries to existing solar systems. Homeowners who are also business owners can get the grant for both locations, and batteries must have a capacity of at least 7 kWh to be eligible. The current round of incentives is open until 30 June, 2021

More information about NT solar incentives available here: NT Government – Home and Business Battery Scheme

States and territories without local solar incentives in 2021

Not all Australian states and territories have local incentive programs for solar power. Despite this, going solar is still an excellent incentive without them. With the abundant sunshine and high electricity tariffs of Australia, solar panels can achieve a payback period of less than 5 years with the STC incentive alone. State-based incentives simply shorten the payback period. 

As of 2021, the states and territories without local incentives are Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia.

More information about QLD solar incentives available here: QLD Solar Incentives & FIT 2021 

More information about WA solar incentives available here: WA Government Website 

More information about TAS solar incentives available here: TAS Government Website

Am I eligible for a solar incentive? 

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