While solar panel rebates have been in hot demand since Day 1, the Victorian government’s Solar Homes program has seen sluggish demand on the home battery side. But this could be about to change with the expansion of the battery scheme to 80 additional postcodes.
Up to November 1, the battery scheme, which offers up to a $4,838 rebate on a battery system, was only open to residents in 24 postcodes. On Friday, Solar Victoria CEO Stan Krpan announced residents of 80 additional postcodes with high rates of population growth and rooftop solar penetration could now apply for a battery rebate.
The expansion will unlock battery rebates to Victorians living in a total of 59 regional and 45 Melbourne regional postcodes. In Melbourne, new areas open to the solar battery program include the western and northern suburbs, the outer-east and the south-eastern growth corridor. Regional areas to become eligible include postcodes near Ballarat and Bendigo, the Bellarine Peninsula, around Paynesville in East Gippsland, much of West and South Gippsland and Wodonga in the north-east.
“This battery expansion will mean more Victorians can access a generous rebate and be part of our transition to a low-carbon future,” Krpan said.“Many households in regional Victoria will be able to participate in the battery program for the first time and there are now more opportunities for our solar businesses.”
In this round, 456 rebates are available, with a further 400 available in March 2020. At the time of writing, there were 444 battery rebates remaining by the end of February. The government aims to deliver 10,000 home batteries under the scheme over 10 years.
Householders seeking to apply for a rebate must obtain approval for a battery from their distribution network service provider (DNSP) before installation, have an existing solar PV system larger than 5kW, and meet other eligibility criteria. Importantly, one of the eligibility criteria states that the battery rebate is not available to solar households that have already taken part in the Solar Homes program.
Solar panel rebate demand
According to the Solar Victoria website, 351 of the 4,524 solar panel rebates from the November 1 release are still available at the time of writing, which is the longest a release has lasted since the revamped program kicked off in July.
The number of PV rebates scheduled for the latest release was 3,250, so the additional 1,274 most likely came from the applications which had failed to materialize in the previous allocation.
Solar Homes targets adding 2.6 GW of rooftop PV to Victorian households. According to data released last month, the program has seen 46,000 rooftop PV installs.
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