The Australian state of Victoria is extending the eligibility criteria for the state’s Solar Homes program.
When residents move, they will be able to claim a $1,400 rebate for solar panels and a $1,000 rebate for solar hot water systems even if they already claimed the rebates on their old property. Previously, homeowners could only claim the rebates once.
Furthermore, the rebates are no longer only for new solar systems. Victorians can now claim the rebates if they’re replacing solar panels that are more than 10 years old.
The government highlights that the use of solar panels can potentially lead to a $1,200 reduction in annual energy bills. Meanwhile, approved heat pumps and hot water systems can save up to $400 per year.
In addition to rebates, the Solar Homes program offers Victorians interest-free loans to cover the installation costs of a household battery system. These loans are worth up to $8,800. In some cases, they can completely offset upfront installation costs.
On Thursday, Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio told journalists that the Solar Homes program aims to continuously improve and adapt to the changing circumstances of Victorian households.
Household energy bills have been soaring in Victoria. Wholesale energy prices more than doubled in just two years, rising from $51 in 2021 to $114 today. Energy bills have become one of the most stressful expenses for many Victorian families.
As a result, the Victorian government recently raised the household income threshold for the Solar Homes program to $210,000 per year. The previous threshold was $180,000 per year.
According to Yahoo! Finance, over 260,000 Victorian households have already switched to solar panels, batteries, and energy-efficient hot water systems.
Victoria offers more generous solar rebates than much of the rest of Australia. Queensland, Western Australia, and Tasmania do not currently have any statewide rebates at all.