PV and solar hot water – Can I get rebates for both?



Jarrah Harburn wrote this excellent piece a while back summarising the benefits of solar hot water systems, and the different types of systems that are available in the market. We here at Solar Choice have received a number of inquiries about whether it is possible to receive rebates for solar hot water systems even if you already have a solar power (photovoltaics or PV) system installed on your home, as well as a number of questions about what types of incentives are available for such systems. This entry answers these questions and provides and overview of the application process for solar hot water rebates.

Solar Hot Water and Solar Photovoltaics – What’s the difference?

It’s probably a good idea to cover this topic briefly before moving forward just in case you are not clear on this point. A solar hot water system usually sits on your roof using the sun’s rays to heat up and then store the water that eventually comes out of your shower or tap. The work done by these systems is usually supplemented with conventional gas or electric heating when your water temperature is below what you desire. Water heated with a solar hot water system cannot be fed into any pipelines for other people to use–the water heated is utilised solely by you.

A solar power (photovoltaic) system, on the other hand, produces electricity which is either fed into the electricity grid and shared for a price under a feed-in tariff scheme (making or saving you money), used directly by appliances in your home, or stored in batteries if your system is not connected to an electrical grid. Power from your solar power system might be used indirectly to heat your water, but generally solar hot water systems do this job much more effectively.

What kind of incentives are available for Solar Hot Water?

We have written extensively about the types of incentive schemes available for PV systems throughout Australia (particularly the Federal Renewable Energy Target rebate scheme and state-by-state feed-in tariffs), but what incentives are still available for solar hot water? There are both Federal and state-by-state incentives for the installation of solar hot water systems. These rebates, as well as the RECs that would become yours if you install a system, have been explained in detail in this previous blog.

Is it possible to get rebates and RECs for both PV and Solar Hot Water?

Provided you meet the eligibility criteria for both, there is no reason that you cannot claim rebates and RECs for both your PV and your solar hot water system.

Written by James Martin

Solar Choice Analyst

© 2010 Solar Choice Pty Ltd