Government rebates and loans for solar

There are government subsidies, rebates and loan options that can help you pay for rooftop solar or an associated battery for your home or business.

You can save money on a rooftop solar system for your home or business through a range of government assistance schemes. There are also some schemes to help with the cost of a battery.

The Australian Government's Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) reduces the cost of most new residential and business rooftop solar systems.

Rebates and loans are also provided by some state and territory governments and local councils.

Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES)

The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) is an Australian Government program based around tradable certificates called small-scale technology certificates (STCs). Eligible installations of rooftop solar are entitled to STCs, creating a subsidy for households and businesses that install these renewable energy technologies.

Most home and business rooftop solar systems in Australia qualify for STCs. Adding a battery to your system will not increase the number of STCs.

When you install or upgrade a rooftop solar system, you will receive a certain number of STCs. Your solar retailer or installer will normally apply for the STCs and sell them on your behalf. You will see the value of the STCs included in your quote as a discount on the cost of your solar system.

Eligibility

To be eligible for STCs, your system must be installed by a Solar Accreditation Australia or Clean Energy Council accredited installer. The solar panels and inverter must be on the lists of Clean Energy Council approved modules and inverters.

The value of STCs you receive is based on the estimated amount of electricity your solar system will generate until 2030. This amount depends on:

  • the size (kW) of your solar system (up to a maximum of 100 kW)
  • the climate zone where the system is installed.

When you sign your contract with a solar retailer or accredited installer, you sign over ownership of the STCs in return for the discount. Learn more about choosing your solar retailer or installer.

State, territory and local government or council schemes

There are subsidy schemes available in different states and territories, as well as some local government areas, to help with the upfront cost of installing solar and batteries. These are in addition to STCs. 

Depending on where you live, you might qualify for:

  • a rebate, where you receive a payment or subsidy towards the cost of a solar system or battery
  • a loan, where you borrow money towards the cost of a solar system or battery, at favourable rates
  • a rebate swap, where you receive a solar subsidy instead of bill rebates.

The assistance you can access will vary depending on the state or territory where the rooftop solar system is being installed, whether the system is for a household or business, and the specific requirements of each scheme.

The various schemes may change over time.

Find available solar and battery rebates and assistance

Solar and battery rebates

A rebate or subsidy will cover part or all of the upfront cost of buying solar or a battery.

Rebate schemes operated by states, territories and local governments sometimes only apply to particular groups of people or types of housing, such as social housing, rental properties or apartments.

Eligibility criteria may relate to:

  • the size of solar system or battery
  • whether you are a household or business
  • your household income or business turnover
  • the type or value of your property
  • the timing of the installation of your solar system or battery.

Find out what arrangements are on offer in your state or territory.

Interest-free or low-interest loan

A loan allows you to borrow part or all of the cost of your solar system and/or battery.

By reducing or removing the upfront cost, an interest-free or low-interest loan makes solar or a battery more affordable because it can be paid off more quickly, potentially using the bill savings it creates.

Eligibility criteria for loans may relate to:

  • the size of solar system or battery
  • whether you are a household or business
  • your household income or business turnover
  • the type or value of your property.

You usually don’t need to provide any assets as security to apply for a state, territory or local government loan scheme.

Interest-free loans are repaid over a set period (usually in fortnightly or monthly instalments) and depend on the conditions in your state or territory.

Find out what arrangements are on offer in your state or territory.

Example interest-free loan payment plan

You take an interest-free loan for $6,800 for a home rooftop solar system.

You are repaying the loan over 4 years in monthly instalments. This works out to 48 instalments.

$6,800 ÷ 48 = $141.67

Your monthly repayment amount will be $141.67.

The money you save on your electricity bills will help with these repayments and will continue after the loan is paid off.

Combining rebates and loans

Some states and territories may allow you to apply for a solar or battery rebate on top of an interest-free loan. These can complement one another and further reduce the cost of your system.

You will still be able to collect small-scale technology certificates (STCs) under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).

Find out whether these arrangements are on offer in your state or territory.

Rebate swap for solar

With a rebate swap, you agree to give up an energy rebate you currently receive from the government in exchange for a home solar system. Concession card holders or low-income households may be eligible for government energy rebate swaps, depending on where they live.

Rebate swaps are designed to create long-term energy bill savings and return more to you than your old rebate.

The length of time you have to give up your rebate depends on the scheme.

Find out whether these arrangements are on offer in your state or territory.