From 1 July 2019 onwards, the Victorian government is providing interest free loans for solar power in addition the $2,225 solar power rebate. Allowing homeowners to get solar power at little to no up-front cost. In this article we look at what exactly is being offered and what you need to know.

Solar power on rooftops

What’s being offered

At nearly $2,000 per year for many households, electricity is a big fixed cost. And that bill seemingly goes up every year, despite us swapping out our lights and appliances for more energy efficient ones.

The government acknowledges that the only real way to make an impact on that front is by installing solar power on homes, but it also knows that not everybody might have the financial means to buy a solar power system outright. Even with the $2,225 rebate.

To further reduce the barrier to entry, the government is now offering interest free loans of up to $2,225 when installing solar power. This is in addition the $2,225 rebate, allowing you to install a solar power system of up to $4,450 at $0 up-front cost.

Here’s an example of the cost breakdown:

ItemExample cost*
Up-front cost$0
Cost of system and installation$4,450
Government solar power rebate- $2,225
Government interest free loan- $2,225

*These costs are indicative only. Your actual quote might look different.

What if the solar power system you want is more than $4,450

When shopping for a good quality and reliable solar power system, you’ll find that they often cost more than $4,450. In those cases, the government will only provide a rebate of up to $2,225 and an interest free loan of up to $2,225.

You will have to pay for the remaining amount yourself.

Here’s an example of the cost breakdown in such a situation:

ItemExample cost*
Up-front cost$4,000
Cost of system and installation$8,450
Government solar power rebate- $2,225
Government interest free loan- $2,225

*These costs are indicative only. Your actual quote might look different.

What are the conditions of the interest free loan being offered

The interest free loan is paid directly to your solar retailer by the Victorian government. This ensures you do indeed have no, or lower up-front costs when installing solar power.

If you are eligible and decide to use the interest-free loan offer, make sure this is reflected in the quote you receive from your solar retailer. 

You have up to 4 years to re-pay the $2,225 and you can expect your solar power system to return at least that amount in savings. So you don’t have to sacrifice anything to get solar power installed.

Eligibility criteria for the interest free loan are the same as for the $2,225 rebate:

  • Have a combined household Taxable Income of less than $180,000 per annum
  • Is an owner-occupier of a home valued at under $3,000,000
  • Does not already have a solar panel system installed on their property
  • Is an early adopter of Solar PV looking to replace or expand their system
  • a Clean Energy Council Australia (CEC) approved product
  • a CEC accredited installer that can provide a statement that they have had no significant contravention history, or prosecutions registered with WorkSafe Victoria.
  • a CEC approved solar retailer

You can read more about the eligibility criteria in this article.

Alternatives

If you’re not eligible, or want to finance a solar power system that exceeds the amounts provided by the Victorian government while still having no up-front costs, you have plenty of options.

Many retailers offer $0 deposit financing options and depending on how fast you want to pay off that loan, you can do it with the savings you get from your solar power system. 

We recommend talking to your solar power retailer to find out which options are available for you.

Other rebates available

Several other solar rebates are becoming available to Victorians in the new financial year:

It’s not possible to combine rebates. Meaning that if you choose to get the solar rebate, you will not also be able to get the solar battery rebate and vice versa. To read which solar power rebate to get, click here.

MySolarDirect aims to empower and educate consumers with the right knowledge about solar power and help them to find the best product to suit their individual needs. We assess and review all installers we recommend and only work with providers who meet high standards of experience, customer satisfaction and quality.