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It’s no surprise that around 30% of Australian households have solar panels,1 since they’re eco-friendly and can save you money in the long term. However, the initial purchase price and solar installation costs can reach thousands of dollars.

Fortunately, financial help from the government is available. So, whether you want to know how solar rebates work or if there’s one available in your state, we’ve got you covered with this guide to solar rebates.

How does the government solar rebate work?

While the rebate amounts may vary, the government initiative typically comes in two forms:

  • Small-scale technology certificates. A federal government initiative, the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme offers small-scale technology certificates (STCs) to eligible households and businesses for installing a solar panel system. STCs act like currency and are used to recoup some of the set-up costs. The amount of STCs you receive is based on several factors, including how much energy your new system will generate.
  • State government grants and incentives. Depending on where you live, you may be eligible for a range of incentives, including grants and interest-free loans.

You can also discuss rebates and what you’re eligible for with energy retailers and installers when shopping around for a good deal on solar power. Learn more about energy concessions and rebates here.

What about the feed-in tariff?

Once your solar panel system is installed, you can sell some of the excess electricity you generate back to the grid and receive a credit on your electricity bill. This process is known as a feed-in tariff (FiT) credit. The FiT is an ongoing rate which varies between companies, so it’s worth comparing electricity retailers to see if you can find a competitive rate.

Solar rebates by state

The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme doesn’t cover solar batteries, which are a separate system to solar panels. As of September 2022, only a select few Australian states offer a rebate.

New South Wales

As part of the NSW Government’s initiative towards net-zero emissions, they offer several ways for residents to get solar. Eligible low-income owner-occupiers are able to receive a free three-kilowatt solar system in place of their usual household rebate.2

Australian Capital Territory

The ACT Government offers subsidies for solar battery systems for both homeowners and businesses. This rebate is part of a Next Gen program aimed at supporting solar energy storage and is only available through approved Next Gen energy providers.3


As part of the Solar Homes Program, the Victorian Government offers solar panel rebates and subsidies for solar batteries. In addition, there are also rebates for solar hot water or heat pump systems.4

Man on roof installing solar panels

How do I apply for the solar rebate and install a solar panel system?

First, you’ll need to check you meet the eligibility requirements. In Victoria, for example, you must be the owner of a property valued at less than $3 million, and the combined taxable income of the household must be below $180,000 per annum.5 You can check your eligibility for STCs via the Australian Government’s Clean Energy Regulator website, and your state’s eligibility requirements via their government website.

Second, you need to find a provider or installer. They can also confirm eligibility, rebates, system sizes, connecting to the grid and overall cost. The Clean Energy Council recommends you choose an Approved Solar Retailer6; you can find a list of state-accredited solar installers and solar retailers on their website. Gather multiple quotes (many companies offer prices with rebates) and compare before you select. Most of these retailers will offer an additional warranty on the whole system.

Ten steps to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system with the government solar rebate

  1. Check rebate eligibility with the federal government and your state government.
  2. Do your research and ask yourself: is a solar PV system right for me?
  3. Use our free comparison tool and compare energy providers for a suitable energy plan and feed-in tariff.
  4. Apply for STCs via the Clean Energy Regulator website and apply for other incentives via your state’s government website.
  5. Get multiple detailed quotes from Approved Solar Retailers via the Clean Energy Council website. Select an option you find suitable.
  6. On installation day, your installer will set up the racking/mounting, panels, inverter and a new metre.
  7. Connect to the grid once your solar meter has been registered in the national meter register. You should discuss this with your installer before installation day.
  8. Shop around and compare energy plans to find a solar FiT that better suits your changed circumstances.
  9. Consider changing your electricity habits to become more energy efficient. For example, run your dishwasher, pool pumps and other high-energy appliances during the day when you’re generating solar power.
  10. Enjoy your new solar power system!

The benefits of a solar panel system

  • Solar energy is renewable. Using solar power instead of fossil fuels (e.g. coal power) reduces carbon emissions, which is great for reducing your impact on the environment.
  • Long-term money saver. How much you save will depend on the size of your solar system, your electricity usage and the average amount of daylight you get in your area. For one, using solar during the day, and at night if you have a battery, will positively affect your energy bill savings.
  • Reduce dependence on the grid. Rely less on the power grid, where the majority of Australians still receive their electricity supply.
  • Increase home value. A product worth thousands of dollars and reduces your energy bill could be very attractive to potential buyers in the future.

The disadvantages of a solar panel system

  • Set-up costs. The initial cost of buying a solar energy system – even with government rebates – is high, but continues to reduce.
  • Aesthetic. Depending on your tastes, you may not like the ‘look’ of solar panels on your roof or the amount of space they inhabit.
  • Ongoing maintenance costs. An annual or bi-annual maintenance inspection is advisable to ensure all parts of your solar system are in good working order.

Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to install a solar panel system?

The price you pay will depend on several factors, including:

  • The size of the system
  • Your state and terms of the rebates and incentives it offers
  • The provider or installer you choose
  • The average number of daylight hours in your location
  • If you include a battery system.

It’s recommended you gather multiple quotes from Approved Solar Retailers and select the right option for your circumstances.

Is going solar worth it?

The answer to this question will depend on your circumstances. Although, if you can afford the upfront costs or repayments, it can be a money-saving option in the long term. What’s more, from a broader perspective, you’re shrinking your carbon footprint and, if you have a battery, reducing your strain on the grid.

If you can’t afford up-front costs, there may be solar rebates available to help cover some of the necessary fees. Another option is to go through retailers that offer to install solar panels for you, with the condition that you agree to be locked into a contract with them for a fixed number of years with an accompanying electricity plan.

Do solar panels require maintenance or make noise?

Conveniently, solar panels don’t make noise and require very little maintenance. You just need to ensure dirt, leaves, debris or overhanging trees aren’t throwing shade over your panels and obstructing the sun’s rays. So, a periodic light cleaning might be in order.

A good solar panel that’s maintained should last you about 25 years.

When does the federal government solar rebate end?

The federal government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme ends in 2030. The initiative has made an impact in many states. For example, the solar rebate in Queensland has proved a good incentive for households with one in three Queensland homes now with rooftop solar.7

In addition, according to the Australian PV Institute (APVI), there were peaks in monthly installations of solar PV systems over the course of the scheme leading up to changes to the solar multiplier that would decrease the number of Renewable Energy Certificates eligible to new systems.9

Do I need a solar battery?

If you want 100% clean energy, a battery may be the solution for you. A solar battery will help you lower your electricity costs further by storing energy, which reduces the need to pay for energy usage from the grid at night when you’ve stopped generating your own electricity. However, your solar panel system can work fine without a solar battery system.

Solar batteries are expensive, and only a few select states offer a rebate for them, so it’s worth weighing up your options. There are also different size options for battery storage, which will influence the cost and the amount of solar power you can store for home use.

What about solar hot water rebates?

The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme also offers STCs for solar hot water systems and heat pumps. Victoria is the only state government that offers additional incentives for this type of system, up to $1,000.8

Learn more about hot water systems.

Compare solar energy plans

When purchasing a solar PV system or battery, it’s a good idea to compare solar energy plans and solar feed-in tariffs against multiple electricity providers. Through our free online comparison tool, you can compare plans from a range of energy providers all in one place.

Simply enter a few details, compare options and if you decide to switch, we’ll handle the paperwork.


1 Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water – Australian Government. Solar PV and batteries. Accessed September 2022.

2 Energy saver – NSW Government. Apply for solar for low income households. Accessed September 2022.

3 Everyday climate choice. Next Gen Energy Storage Program. Accessed September 2022.

4 Solar Victoria – Victorian State Government. Save with solar. It’s that simple. Last reviewed August 2022. Accessed September 2022.

5 Victorian State Government. Apply for a Solar Homes rebate. 2022. Accessed September 2022.

6 Clean energy council. How do I choose a solar retailer and installer? 2022. Accessed September 2022.

7 Department of Energy and Public Works – Queensland Government. Households. Last updated September 2022. Accessed November 2022.

8 Solar Victoria – Victoria State Government. Solar hot water rebate. Last reviewed August 2022. Accessed September 2022.

9 Australian PV Institute (APVI) Solar Map, funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Australian PV market since April 2001. Accessed from pv-map.apvi.org.au January 2023.

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