Solar Rebates in Australia

Information verified correct on October 21st, 2016

To encourage more people to install solar panels as an alternative energy source, the government offers significant rebates to qualifying homeowners. Learn about what you may be entitled to.

The credit amount refunded depends on the size of the solar unit and the location of the home or business, but is very much worthwhile for those who make the move to solar energy.

The promise of a rebate has attracted many people to take up solar power in the past few years, but as can happen with matters handled by government, changes are bound to happen. This is why it's so important to regularly check resources like this if solar energy is something you're interested in investing in.

Residential rebates

Solar Rebate House

Small-Scale Technology Certificates

The federal government currently offers Small-Scale Technology Certificates, or STCs, to reward homeowners who use renewable sources. When homeowners invest in an eligible solar power system, wind power unit or solar hot water device, they will receive STCs based upon the size of the energy efficient system and their location. These STCs are then sold to those who generate electricity through fossil fuels, either through you or your solar panel installer and are used to offset the price of your solar panel installation. STC prices can fluctuate depending on the market—the more there are the less you'll receive.

The number of STCs you can receive depend on where you live and which zone that falls into. There are four zones. The lower your zone number, the more sunshine you receive and therefore the more you can claim. For example, zone 4 is comprised of areas of Australia which receive the least sunshine such as Melbourne and Tasmania.

According to AGL Solar Energy, a 1.5 KiloWatt (kW) system in Melbourne would receive 26.6 STCs for installing their system.

At the time of writing STCs are being traded at a spot price of $38.05, which means an offset of $1012.13. According to, a 1.5 kW system might cost approximately $4,500, so this is a significant saving.

The last things to remember about this incentive is that systems must be less than 100 kW in size, use approved solar PV panels and the system must be installed by an approved professional.

Installation of slar panels

Feed-in tariffs

Homeowners may also qualify for a feed-in tariff, which is a sum your state government forces electricity companies to pay you for electricity fed back into the grid. The government establishes the amount based on each KiloWatt per hour (kWh) a homeowner's solar system feeds back into the electricity grid. However, the amount will vary according to the energy provider and the state. In addition, the program permits homeowners to receive their credit through gross or net metering.

With gross metering, all of the solar electricity a home's system generates is sent into the grid. The homeowner receives reimbursement based on every kWh of solar electricity their system produces.

Net metering, the homeowner receives funds according to the difference between the home's usage and the solar electricity produced.

The amount of time it takes for a solar system to pay for the homeowner's initial investment is based upon the size of the unit, the home's consumption requirements and patterns and how the homeowner paid for the system. Weather patterns and the feed-in tariff eligibility can also affect the time it takes the homeowner to recoup his or her initial system expense.

Commercial rebates

When business owners install a grid connect solar power system, they can obtain considerable savings through the country's solar credit discount, which offers them an upfront refund. Under the program, small businesses with an annual turnover of less than $2 million are eligible for a $6,500 tax break which includes solar power systems.

Similar to residential solar systems, businesses can also sell STCs to offset the costs of establishing their systems and make use of feed-in tariffs to reduce their electricity bills or even create surplus energy.

What to avoid when seeking solar rebates

Be careful when obtaining quotes for a solar panel system. Many companies will work the rebate into their final price, which can be a good thing if they're a good company, but a bad thing if they're unscrupulous.

One crucial question to ask the quoting professional is what STC price has been used in the quote. Many times a quote will include a high STC price, but as mentioned above, this price might fluctuate. If a quote includes a rebate using an STC price of $40, but the current market price is actually only $25, you'll be hit with a much larger bill once your installation is completed.

Regardless of this, solar panel installation can be a good money saver. Even in the winter, Australia receives an excessive amount of insolation – about 4kWh of sunlight exposure per square metre each day, with the northern regions receiving an estimated 6 kWh of insolation per day. Our country's sunlight exposure levels greatly surpass the normal levels recorded in North America, Russia and Europe, so why not take advantage of it?

Information on solar power

Marc Terrano

A passionate publisher who loves to tell a story. Learning and teaching personal finance is his main lot at Talk to him to find out more about home loans.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

9 Responses to Solar Rebates in Australia

  1. Default Gravatar
    Theresa | August 2, 2016

    I have solar panels on my house and would like to know what the best option is after December 31 2016 (when the govt stops/substantially reduces the solar rebate)

    what are my options?

    • Staff
      Shirley | August 3, 2016

      Hi Theresa,

      Thanks for your question.

      As a third party comparison service, we are not in position to recommend any products or services.

      We recommend that you get in touch with one of our energy consultants to discuss your solar options after 31 Dec 2016.

  2. Default Gravatar
    Concerned | April 17, 2016

    What REAL incentive is there for ORDINARY Australians to go SOLAR?
    With all the newcomers into Australia each year, those who choose to go solar should NOT be charged a SERVICE FEE “to cover the cost of cables running past your home”.
    The cables running past our homes have been paid for over and over again …
    Its just the same as ordinary Australians wanting to rely on their of water source (tanks) … we still have to pay a service fee “for the water piped past our properties”.
    Surely with all the newcomers, this “service fee” could be dropped and not missed by the SUPER BUSINESSES who just want MORE AND MORE from us ordinary Australians.
    We want a FAIR GO!

  3. Default Gravatar
    Meg | March 4, 2016

    What is the govt rebate for installation of home solar panels in Victoria for pensioners?

    • Staff
      Shirley | March 7, 2016

      Hi Meg,

      Thanks for your question.

      There’s a renewable power incentive for solar energy under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. You can read more about it here.

      Hope this helps.

  4. Default Gravatar
    Jake | March 2, 2016

    I work as an appointment setter with one of the solar provider in AU. And we are really not that equipped about the product. I just want to clarify something. I got one client who told me that the government no longer support solar. This client is from Melbourne. Is it true or does it depend on the state where you are in.

    • Staff
      Shirley | March 2, 2016

      Hi Jake,

      Thanks for your question.

      To our knowledge the Australia government does support solar systems installed into homes. It depends on the individual situation but typically solar credits will apply to the first 1.5 kilowatts (kW) of capacity installed.

      Hope this helps.

  5. Default Gravatar
    Marie | July 24, 2015

    Is there a register of those who do not have solar panels? I DO NOT want them, NOR do I want to receive phone calls from soliciting companies. Is there a related list that I am on? Get me OFF.

    • Staff
      Shirley | August 3, 2015

      Hi Marie,

      Thanks for your question.

      There are a few ways to make the calls stop, the most efficient way is to say “Please put me on your do not call list”.

      You can also register on the ‘do not call list’ – hope this helps.


Ask a question