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Solar Credits - The Government Solar Power Rebate

Update: 31 May 2011 - The Government has just announced that they are reducing the rebate by 40% in July 2011. To take advantage of the current rebate, you need to purchase your system before July 2011.

Solar Credits Explained

"Solar Credits" is the name given to the Australian government's latest solar subsidy for homeowners, businesses and community groups. It was passed into law on 20th August 2009.

It subsides the cost of installing a Solar PV System and unlike the scheme before it (which was means-tested at a household income of $100,000) this subsidy is not means tested in any way.

It is the latest in a long list of different schemes, which seem to change more often then Kevin Rudd changes his job.

How the new Solar Credits Scheme Works.

What you really want to know, I'm guessing, is:

a) How much can I get off the price of a solar system?

b) How much is a solar system gonna cost me now?

The short answer is:

If you want 1.5kW or more then you can get approx $3,500 off.

 

So how much does this mean you will have to pay for a system?

Here are some ballpark figures for costs. They will vary by a few thousand either way depending on the brand of panels and inverters each supplier uses, and their overheads, but if these prices are way out of your expectations, then solar may not be for you right now (although adding the system cost to your mortgage can be surprisingly affordable if you take rising electricity costs into account.

 
Typical cost of a 1.5kW solar system: $6,600
Government Rebate: $1,600
Cost to you for 1.5KW of solar power: Approx $5,000(Conditions apply)

 

As you can see, the way the Solar Credits work, the 1.5kW system is actually much better value. You are getting 50% more electricity for only about a 12% greater cost.

The solar credits scheme maxes out at 1.5kW. If you want a system bigger than that your solar credits will max out at about $5,600, but you will be able to claim about $560 per extra kW in Renewable Energy Certificates (RECS).