2019 Rebates

See our 2020 Rebates Article here

In this article, we’ll cover Australian federal and state solar panel and battery storage rebates in 2019. As they say in the classics: there is no time like the present.

Currently, there are many valuable government-driven financial incentives for domestic solar customers.

Solar Rebates State by State

There are more rebate plans going forward into 2019, including new, election based rebate promises. However, the solar rebate situation in Australia, be it federal or state by state, should always be considered fluid. Solar rebates and incentives are likely to be around for some years to come in some form or another. However, as the solar industry is quickly establishing independent energy market competitiveness, these subsidies will likely diminish. For example, the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme is winding down over the next 12 years.

Government solar rebates came into existence, by and large, to establish affordable solar products for Australians and the Australian solar industry. The system worked well. Australia now has a burgeoning solar industry and Australians have taken to domestic solar-like proverbial ducks to water. Eventually, and possibly sooner rather than later, the solar industry will be doing just fine without the need for ‘welfare’. Even now there are calls coming from some commercial energy suppliers, political bodies, and organisations such as the ACCC to abolish government solar incentive as soon as possible.

Respective motivations for ending rebates vary from group to group, with their usually disparate positions founded on economic, logistical, ideological and political reasoning. It’s important for solar customers to keep in mind that solar rebates can change as governments change. We can only advise that solar customers stay abreast of political developments and their respective energy policies from state and federal governments. The following article is a guide to Australian domestic solar panel and home battery storage rebates going forward into 2019. We’ll include proposed (election determined) incentives as well as the current rebates. Other energy incentives such as feed-in tariffs will not be addressed in this article. We’ll focus on rebates for domestic solar panel and battery customers only.

Federal Solar & Battery Storage Rebates for 2019

Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (STC’s) –  The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme is the main federal solar panel rebate scheme that most of us are very familiar with, and that millions of Australians have used to their advantage already. It’s still in full swing and available to all Australians through 2019. This STC’s scheme is the flagship Australian solar rebate program.

While we stated in the introduction that there are strong calls for the rebate to be abolished, the scheme will be in place until 2030. However, as this date approaches, the value of the rebate will be a mere shadow of its former self. The financial benefit of STCs will be reduced over this period until phased out altogether. It is important to note that the actual financial benefit of the rebate frequently fluctuates depending on market forces, irrespective of the legislated rebate wind down.

Currently, the rebate value is high at $35 per STC. Coupled with cheaper panel costs, the time is VERY good for investing in solar.

Important note – There are eligibility requirements:

  • The rebate is capped at a 100kw system
  • The rebate is also available for commercial operations provided the system is less than 100kW
  • The rebate is available for other approved renewable appliances such as wind turbines and solar hot water systems as well as solar arrays.
  • The value of the rebate is regional, or ‘zoned’. The ultimate rebate value will depend on the zone in which you live
  • It’s very important to note that over the next 12 years, even if the STC price was to remain at $35, your real rebate benefit will decrease each year until the rebate is abolished in 2030. Acting now is likely a wise choice.
  • Further to the last point, the difference between signing up for a 6 kW solar system now, this year, instead of delaying till January 2019, will save you around 200 odd dollars on an identical 6kW system, given the STC price remains at $35. It’s very important to note that you don’t have to understand all of this information. Your local solar supplier is well placed to advise you and will use current price data so you can make informed choices.
  • The key things to note are that the rebate is certainly available through 2019 and that the value of the rebate is currently high, therefore making it a good time to invest in solar.

Proposed Federal Labour Home Battery Storage Subsidy (Election Determined)

While this subsidy is proposed only – will be determined by an election and is not slated to commence until 2020 – it rates a mention now as solar/battery customers will factor this into solar/battery purchase deliberations.

Here are the basics:

  • The rebate amount is $2000
  • It will be available to 100,000 households only
  • It’s means-tested. Household income must be less than $180,000
  • If you have already received a battery subsidy from your state, you’ll not be eligible
  • Low-cost finance will be available to cover the outstanding balance of the battery system

The Aussie States and Territories at a Glance

1. NSW Domestic Solar / Battery Storage Rebates For 2019

  • The NSW government has a swathe of rebates and discounts related to energy consumption.
  • There are two recent announcements about NSW specific rebates for solar panels and batteries for NSW residents going into 2019 but they are reasonably limited.
  • Up to 3,400 NSW households will be able to apply for a free 2.5kW solar system if they agree to forgo their Low Income Household Rebate. The trial program will be isolated to Sydney – South, Central Coast, North Coast, Illawarra – Shoalhaven and South Coast. For eligibility information follow this link.
  • NSW residents who invest in smart energy technologies, such as solar batteries or smart air-conditioners, will be eligible to receive a NSW Government incentive of up to $1000 over a 3 year period. There are eligibility criteria and participants must agree to contribute to the grid when it is most needed. Check this link for more information.

2. VIC Domestic Solar / Battery Storage Rebates For 2019

  • With the recent election of a Victorian Labour government, there are rebates available for solar panels, battery storage and solar hot water under the Andrews government Solar Homes Package scheme.
  • The Solar Homes Package will see up to 650,000 Victorian homes eligible for a maximum 50% rebate on solar panels, up to $4,838 on the installation of a battery storage unit for 10,000 homes and a $1000 rebate for 60,000 solar hot water systems.
  • Eligible Victorian households can now apply for a rebate to cover half the cost of a new rooftop solar system, up to a maximum of $2225
  • There is a $1000 rebate available (to approved purchasers) for the purchase of approved hot solar water systems. The initiative is based on the fact that not all homes will be suited to solar panels. The rebate allows those without the possibility of installing a solar array to still take part in the solar boom and enjoy electricity savings via solar energy
  • 10,000 eligible Victorian homeowners will be able to get a 50% rebate for the installation of a battery storage unit. The rebate is capped at $4,838 in the first year. This cap will reduce over the life of the scheme as home battery systems become more affordable
  • Eligibility criteria include but are not limited to income caps of $180,000, home value caps of $3 million and access to only one rebate
  • In a very positive double benefit outcome, those Victorians accessing any part of the Solar Homes Package will still be able to access the federal STC’s rebate program.

3. QLD Domestic Solar / Battery Storage Rebates For 2019

  • Interest-Free Loans and Grants for Solar and Storage
  • Like NSW, the Queensland government delivers a host of energy rebates and discounts for eligible customers. While there are no solar battery rebates as such, there are interest-free loans and/or grants for solar and battery storage.

At a glance:

  • There are eligibility requirements
  • Having an existing solar system will impact your eligibility
  • Receiving the Solar Bonus Scheme 44 cent feed-in tariff will impact eligibility
  • The scheme is not impacted by Federal STC rebates
  • The scheme would offer $3000 grants and $10,000 loans for 1000 combined solar and battery systems
  • $3000 grants and $6000 loans for 500 batteries. This follows a scheme which began in June, to offer interest-free loans of up to $4500 for solar systems
  • Applications will close once funding has been exhausted or on 30 June 2019, whichever occurs first.

4. WA Domestic Solar / Battery Storage Rebates For 2019

  • Western Australia has a very limited energy rebate scheme for struggling West Australians finding it difficult to pay energy bills. There are no solar panel or battery rebate schemes.
  • In fact, the Western Australian Government believe solar subsidies should be scrapped.
  • Participating solar citizens in the west can still enjoy benefits from feed-in tariffs, but there are no upfront solar/battery rebates beyond those available through the federal government.

5. SA Domestic Solar / Battery Storage Rebates For 2019

  • South Australia leads the way in the transition to renewable energy. So it stands to reason there would be a number of renewables rebate schemes on the boil into 2019.
  • There are solar panel rebates and battery rebates under the banner of The Sustainability Incentives Scheme. Of course, there are more rebates, loans discounts and incentives, but we’ll focus on the batteries and solar panels.
  • South Australian residents can receive up to 20% for solar panel systems with outputs 1.5kW to greater than 20kW. Rebates are capped at $5,000 for systems greater than 20kW. Rebates are categorised based on system output and other criteria. You can check the basics and eligibility here. The program is open to all South Australians. Those who lease their solar arrays or acquired it via power purchase and WILL NOT own the system at the end of the contract are ineligible.
  • The Home Battery Scheme was launched in 2018. South Australians can claim up to 50% on the purchase of a home battery storage system, capped at $5000. Of course, there are eligibility requirements, but exclusions like the solar panel rebate exclusions, are very limited. Most South Australians will have access to the Home Battery Rebate.

6. TAS Domestic Solar / Battery Storage Rebates For 2019

  • The Tasmanian government has no current domestic solar/battery rebates or plans to introduce such going into 2019.
  • Currently, the Tasmanian Energy Efficiency Loans Scheme (TEELS) provides interest-free loans through Westpac Bank for energy-efficient appliance purchases. The scheme is available to individuals and business.
  • The maximum loan amount is $10,000 (minimum $500) for households and must be repaid within 3 years. Eligibility is determined by Westpac. The scheme finishes end of April 2019.
  • There is a similar program called NILS for low-income families.
  • Feed-in tariffs are currently under review. Results of the review will be implemented Jan 1st, 2019.

7. ACT Domestic Solar / Battery Storage Rebates For 2019

  • The ACT is a proactive renewables LGA.
  • They currently have a number of programs under the Efficient Energy Improvements Schemes to facilitate uptake of solar and battery storage.
  • The ACT currently has a battery storage rebate program in collaboration with a number of select home battery suppliers.
  • There is also a solar program for low-income households.
  • Traditionally, much of the ACT is warmed via wood fires. There is a rebate program to support the change from combustion heating to reverse cycle air-conditioning.

Low Income Solar Rebate at a Glance:

  • Eligible participants for the low-income households solar program are able to access a subsidy of up to 60% (capped at $3000) of the total cost of a solar system. There is a 3-year interest-free loan to cover the balance
  • There are a number of eligibility requirements including, but not limited to holding an Australian Government Pensioner Concession Card; being a homeowner in the ACT and not already having rooftop solar PV installed.

Household Battery Storage:

  • Under the Next Generation Energy Storage program, the ACT Government is supporting up to 5,000 battery storage systems in ACT homes and businesses. The value of the rebate is $825 per kilowatt (kW) up to a maximum of 30 kW. This equates to about $4000 benefit for a 5kW system
  • The program is delivered through eight battery storage providers, which were selected by the ACT Government after a competitive selection process
  • There are a number of eligibility requirements including, but not limited to holding an Australian Government Pensioner Concession Card; being a homeowner in the ACT and not already having rooftop solar PV installed.
  • Check out this link for more ACT energy initiatives.

8. NT Domestic Solar / Battery Storage Rebates For 2019

  • There are no solar/battery storage rebates specific to The Northern Territory. The NT government did have a Smart Energy program for various energy-efficient projects, with eligible applicants receiving grants of $100 to $1000. Feed-in tariffs are still available in 2019 for suitably equipped NT solar residents.



2019 will be another positive year for solar rebates across Australia. The STC value remains high and the feds aren’t likely to abolish the STC this coming year. A Federal Labour win will see a new battery rebate hit the solar market, should the Labour party win and keep their promise.

South Australians, ACT residents and Victorians can look forward to even greater rebate benefits as their governments appear to be more solar incentive pro-active. Coupled with the STCs from the feds, residents of these states can look forward to a potential rebate double dip.

The West and the NT are really dragging the chain with incentives with no improvement apparent in 2019. While Queensland and NSW have some domestic solar work ahead of them, they are at least off the starting blocks.

Because of her Hydro grid dominance, Tassie is already profoundly green, so it’s kind of hard to criticise the lack of solar rebate incentive.

While the federal STC rebate scheme remains buoyant, Aussie solar consumers stand to benefit going forward into 2019. The suggestion for those yet to take advantage of solar rebates is this; make hay while the sun shines. 2019 appears to be a good time for making a solar investment, reducing your carbon footprint, saving the planet and saving a pocket full of cash as well.


Photo credit: Depositphotos

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