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Free solar panels for NSW households: What’s the catch?


Swap your NSW energy rebate for solar and save $600 a year.

The Energy Bill Buster program will be announced in treasurer Matt Kean's upcoming state budget. It will give low-income households in NSW a chance to save on their energy bills – a reprieve given power prices are dramatically rising across the country.

You can swap your energy rebate for a solar system and save $600 a year. That's plenty more than the annual $285 low-income household rebate you might currently be receiving.

The caveat is you will need to forego your rebate for 10 years. However, it'll benefit you to do so if you wish to save more money.

We've broken down your savings if you keep the energy rebate or switch to solar over 10 years.

YearsSavings with the energy rebateSavings with a solar PV system

Who's eligible for the free solar system in NSW?

The first eligibility criteria to keep in mind is that you need to be a owner-occupier. You also can't already have a solar PV system installed.

Other things to keep in mind:

  • You should currently be receiving the Low Income Household Rebate
  • Agree not to receive the rebate for 10 years
  • Hold a valid Pensioner Concession Card or Department of Veterans' Affairs Gold Card
  • You need to live in one of the following NSW locations:
    • Regional NSW (eligible postcodes in the Central Coast, North Coast, Illawarra – Shoalhaven and South Coast)
    • Greater Sydney (eligible local government areas)

Other locations will be announced in July 2022.

Good to know. If you are not the registered homeowner but your spouse is, you could still potentially be eligible.

NSW energy bill support: Find out if you can claim $1,600.

Which households are eligible for appliance upgrades?

If you aren't eligible for solar panel installation at your property, then consider swapping your rebate for appliance upgrades instead.

This can include renters, apartment dwellers and social housing tenants.

You will be privy to a free, no-obligation energy assessment to help you suss out potential savings from energy-efficient appliances or minor home upgrades.

There's the option for customers to swap an energy rebate for one or more of the recommended upgrades, valued up to $4,000.

You can register your interest online and wait for someone to get back to you once the program is officially launched.

Worried about the energy crisis? Compare the cheapest electricity in NSW or NSW gas plans to save on your household bills.

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