As a homeowner, there are many expenses one has to bear to keep the house functioning. The bills can pile up and eat into the budget. Electricity bills are often the highest among other kinds of property bills.
However, thanks to solar energy systems, you can save a ton of money in power bills over the next twenty years by simply installing solar panels.
Granted that the one-time investment to install the solar panels may be high, but there are multiple incentives offered to residents of New South Wales (NSW) to motivate them.
If you live in NSW, you may be eligible for specific incentive schemes to help you save a lot of money in installation costs.
Furthermore, you can even send the additional energy generated by your solar energy systems to electricity providers and earn feed-in tariffs. Currently, the solar feed in tariff NSW ranges from 6 to 22 cents/Kwh.
Solar Incentives offered in New South Wales.
The Small Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) is offered to eligible households to incentivize solar panels in New South Wales. Under this scheme, individuals can reduce the net cost of solar panels by up to 30%.
Solar energy systems with a maximum output capacity of 100kW are eligible for incentives under the SRES scheme.
The SRES scheme does not offer direct cash benefits but awards a Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC) to eligible homeowners. STCs are awarded based on estimated electricity production from 2021 to 2030. The price of one STC in NSW is $38.
In addition to the STCs, the state government offers two incentive programs exclusive to NSW only.
- Empowering Homes Solar Battery Loan Program
Under the empowering homes solar battery loan program, the NSW government provides interest-free loans on solar batteries. They offer up to $14,000 as a loan for installing solar panels along with batteries.
Whereas, if you already have solar panels but need a loan for batteries only, you are eligible for a loan of up to $9000. The loan for a new combined system is repayable in eight years, while the loan for the batteries with an existing solar energy system must be paid within ten years.
- Solar for Low-Income Household scheme
Eligible households can get solar panel systems with a maximum output capacity of 3Kw for free. This is a trial scheme offered only to three thousand homes in select regions such as North Coast, Central Coast, Sydney-South, Illawarra-Shoalhaven and South Coast.
- Virtual Power Plant
Homeowners who have proper solar batteries in their home solar systems in NSW can also participate in a Virtual Power Plant (VPP).
A VPP links many batteries together, allowing them to function as a single power source. When you join a VPP, your local electricity provider is given access to your private solar batteries, and you are compensated in return.
Depending on your local electricity provider, you can earn an additional $100 to $200 each year under VPP programs.
Feed-in tariffs in NSW
The feed-in tariff (FiT) is paid to eligible households for sending surplus power from a solar system back to the grid. It is a form of solar incentive wherein unused power is incentivized for homeowners.
The NSW government has not dictated a minimum FIT, but, Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has set the benchmark tariffs that range from 6.0 to 7.3 cents/kWh. However, the local electricity provider may offer as high as 22 cents/kWh in some areas.
For instance, if you have installed a solar energy system of 5kW that generates up to 7000kWh, but you only consume 5000kWh, then the remaining power can be sent to the grid. Considering the average solar feed-in tariff in NSW, you can earn $120 to $320 annually.
To be qualified for the incentives and feed-in tariff, you must have the system installed by a Clean Energy Council-accredited company (CEC). In addition, all the components of your solar power system must be approved by CEC.