Battery grant and loan scheme expanded by Queensland government as interest surges

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The Queensland government is adding more grants and interest-free loans for solar and battery storage systems to its subsidy scheme, after it was nearly exhausted in less than two weeks after its announcement.

With about 1200 applications lodged for the original 1500 packages, the government has announced adding another 1000 packages amid overwhelming interest.

Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said interest-free loans and grants for solar and storage first released two weeks ago were estimated to be taken up by 15 December.

“My advice is to get your quote and apply before it’s too late,” he said.

Under the scheme announced in November, Queensland homes and small businesses are able to to choose between two types of packages: grants of $3000 and interest-free loans of up to $10,000 over 10 years for up to 10,000 combined solar and battery storage system, as well as grants of $3000 and interest-free loans of up to $6,000 for 500 batteries. Due to the success of this program the government has added an extra 1000 packages.

In terms of savings, the scheme envisages that a high energy-use household that contributes $2000 to $3000 towards the upfront cost of their solar and battery system may save $400 a year, even after taking into account their interest-free loan repayments.

In case of eligible households, at least one person applying must be the owner or joint owner of the home, and not have an existing solar array installed at the premises. Small businesses are able apply only for a grant, provided they consume not more than 100 MWh a year and employ fewer than 20 full-time employees.

The state’s Energy Minister Lynham said Queenslanders could still apply and be placed on a waitlist, in case existing applicants did not install a system, or opted to take just a grant without a loan.

This solar-battery scheme comes on top of the scheme that started in June offering interest-free loans of up to $4500 families receiving Family Tax Benefit B to install solar systems.

The government has launched a dedicated website for online applications, and released a list of eligible battery systems, comprising Alpha ESS, Evergen Equinox, LG Chem Resu, Redback Technologies Smart Hybrid, SolaX Triple Power, Sonner Batterie eco and Tesla Powerwall 2.