What are the different types of rebates & incentives for solar power?
In Australia there are, in essence, two types of financial incentives schemes designed to encourage the uptake of solar power and other types of renewable energy.
Federal Solar Incentives
All solar systems under 100 kilowatts (kW) in capacity are eligible for a direct incentive under the federal Renewable Energy Target (RET) as long as they are installed by accredited professionals using accredited products. This incentive – which is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a ‘rebate’ – is applied directly to the price of your solar system when you purchase it, and generally shaves anywhere from a quarter to a third off the cost of a system, depending on your location .
You do not need to fill out any additional paperwork to receive this incentive, and all you need to do when comparing offers from different installers is to look at the final out-of-pocket cost for your system (we publish indicative prices here). For reference, the average size of a home solar system in Australia is about 5kW.
Solar PV systems with a capacity of 100kW or greater are not eligible for an up-front incentive, but do receive an ongoing benefit in the form of Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs).
In addition to the federal incentive, solar feed-in tariffs are also available to solar system owners in all states & territories. A feed-in tariff is the rate that solar system owners are paid for each unit of power that they export to the electricity grid. Eligibility for solar feed-in tariffs depends on your location, the size of your system, and what is on offer through the company that sells you your electricity.