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Switching To Renewable?

You're at the right place. Check your government rebate eligibility here.

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    Current Solar Incentives, Check Your Rebate, Subsidies, Loans & Offers

    Federal Government, Renewable Energy Target

    The Renewable Energy Target is an Australian Government scheme designed to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in the electricity market, and to encourage the generation of electricity from sustainable and renewable sources.

    These incentives are managed under the Small-scale (STCs) & Large-scale (LGCs) Renewable Energy Schemes. Residential Solar installations are covered by the small-scale scheme, which provides an upfront discount on the cost of a solar installation.

    Check Your Rebate

    Victorian Government, Solar Homes Program

    “Victorians are taking control of their energy bills, creating jobs, tackling climate change and providing a cleaner, better future for all Victorians through the Solar Homes program.”

    For eligible households, the scheme provides a solar panel rebate, interest free loans, solar battery rebate and solar for rental properties.

    Virtual Power Plant (VPP) pilot program

    We are connecting Victorian households to create and share power, save money on energy bills and reduce reliance on the grid, together.

    Rebates in the Virtual Power Plant pilot program remaining:

    1,960
    Introduction

    The Solar Victoria Virtual Power Plant (VPP) pilot program is a new initiative designed to connect Victorian households and reduce their energy costs by making the most of renewable energy from solar panels and batteries.

    The VPP pilot program will run for the next two years, however Check Your Rebate will only be offered until 30 June 2022.

    If you are interested in applying for a rebate you should start you research now. You can find more information on VPPs and how they work below, and on our Solar Hub Page.

    About the program

    In a first for Victoria, Solar Victoria is offering a ground-breaking opportunity to take part in powering our energy future, by making it easier for Victorians to join a Virtual Power Plant. We are expanding the Solar Homes solar battery rebate to include an option to join an approved virtual power plant program. Virtual Power Plants, or VPPs, deliver a range of different networks for solar battery systems to share power.

    These networks offer individual deals with a range of benefits and program structures, that will enable you to power up your panels and put you in the driver’s seat with other Victorians to manage your power.

    The VPP pilot program offers higher solar battery rebates at a fixed rate of $4,174 towards the upfront cost of a solar battery and installation to eligible Victorians who join an approved VPP program.

    This will put you on the path to smaller energy bills, payments for sharing your stored energy, and increased grid resilience.

    As an extension of the existing Solar Homes program the VPP Pilot carries all the safety and consumer protections of the established programs.

    About VPPs

    A VPP is a better, cleaner way to do energy – and gives eligible Victorian households the power to create, share and manage power together. When enough households have batteries, they can network them together using smart technology – to bring a new, significant resource online that makes the most of your solar system and battery. VPPs accelerate the role of renewable energy in our daily lives as Victorians work together and bring benefits to the environment in their own communities.

    The extra solar power is stored in the battery. When demand for electricity is high this extra power can be fed into the VPP network, taking the stress off at peak times to create a more reliable network. So, you and your community can benefit from fewer disruptions, more stable services and, ultimately, cheaper power.

    You can save money, reduce your carbon footprint and be connected to a community that helps guarantee a stable energy supply for you and your household.

    Through a robust expression of interest process, Solar Victoria selected programs, that each offer a different Virtual Power Plant network. These approved VPP programs were evaluated on their ability to deliver a successful program, as well as their ability to increase energy affordability for participating households and their focus on strong consumer protections.

    Consumer protections include guaranteed benefits for households and safeguards against misleading sales pitches and contracts and the misuse of data collected. You will also have a minimum ten-day cooling off period and clearly defined exit fees should you choose to leave the program early.

    You should research approved VPP programs to choose which program has the features that best fit your household and maximises the benefits you want.

    A full list of approved VPP programs and their features can be found here.

    Am I eligible?

    To be eligible for this program households must fit the following criteria:

    • the property already has solar PV panels with a capacity equal to or greater than 5kW or is arranging to have one installed in conjunction with the solar battery installation
    • pre-approval is obtained from your Distributed Network Service Provider (DNSP) to safely connect a battery to the grid
    • the energy storage solution is listed on Solar Victoria’s approved battery list and the property does not have an existing energy storage system
    • they are the owner-occupier of the property where the system is to be installed
    • the combined household taxable income of all owners is less than $180,000 a year (based on your Australian Tax Office Notice of Assessment)
    • it is an existing property, valued at under $3 million based on the current council rates notice
    • they have not already received a rebate as an owner-occupier under the Solar Homes Program
    • the property address has not previously taken part in the Solar Homes Program
    • the owner/s agrees to receive information from their Distribution Network Service Provider about taking part in battery trials to maximise the value households get from them.

    Once you are confident that your household fits the eligibility criteria, you can start researching our approved VPP providers who are participating in the Program and can meet your energy needs. Each program will also have their own eligibility criteria so you will need to see if you meet those criteria.

    How to apply

    Before you start your application, we recommend that you review the FAQs below.

    In Victoria, there are several VPPs in the market using batteries which are eligible for the Virtual Power Plant pilot rebate. A summary of our approved VPP Programs is listed below.

    Once you have researched which VPP program suits you and your household, simply contact the approved VPP provider by clicking the link to their website below.

    To find out how to apply for a Virtual Power Plant pilot rebate and learn about our partners, click on the button below.

    How does a Virtual Power Plant work?

    Virtual Power Plants (VPP), also referred to as battery aggregation or energy sharing, are the next step for solar energy.

    What is a Virtual Power Plant (VPP)?

    A virtual power plant (VPP) is a network of individual distributed energy resources, such as solar PV and batteries that are located in different places. Through aggregation in a VPP, these systems may then be able to participate in trading in the electricity market and providing network services and grid support.

    How are VPPs selected for this pilot?

    VPPs must meet several eligibility requirements to take part in this program. Requirements include that they operate in Victoria, have a commercially available program, provide consumer price certainty for a minimum of twelve months and be able to demonstrate benefits for participating households. They must also agree to Solar Victoria’s consumer protections, which include price certainty and consumer assistance, and install systems on Solar Victoria’s approved product list.

    What are the benefits of joining an approved VPP program under Solar’s Victoria VPP Pilot Program?

    The VPP pilot program offers higher solar battery rebates at a fixed rate of $4,174 towards the upfront cost of a solar battery and installation to eligible Victorians who join an approved VPP program.

    Participating in an approved VPP program may provide additional revenue to battery owners and help lower electricity costs for all consumers through reduced wholesale electricity costs, reduced ancillary service costs, and through the provision of network support.

    The VPP Pilot is backed by Solar Victoria’s background in customer service, risk management and gives assurance that participants are in a government approved program as approved VPP programs must include consumer protections, cooling off periods, upfront information about exit fees if applicable, data rights and usage and require your explicit informed consent to join. They must also document and report on feedback and complaints received, and actions taken to resolve issues.

    How long does the pilot program run for?

    The Solar Victoria VPP Pilot Program runs through to 31 December 2024. This includes evaluation and review of the benefits and outcomes of the programs. A number of the approved VPP Projects offer contracts and participation beyond this period of time. This VPP Pilot Program has been designed to ensure customers will not be disadvantaged if they decide the VPP Pilot Program is not for them. And such as, if you decide to leave your VPP project before the contract is expired, you will not have to pay your VPP provider a cancellation and/or exit fees.

    What is a VPP capable battery?

    Batteries are required to be on Solar Victoria’s approved battery list comprising energy storage solutions that are ‘Virtual Power Plant (VPP) capable’ with technical capabilities aligned with the Australian Energy Market Operators National Electricity Market VPP Demonstration Program Minimum Capability Specifications. These systems are on the Clean Energy Council’s list of Approved Energy Storage Devices and have been assessed for capabilities including performance, safety, internet accessibility, security, and remote registration, monitoring and control, enabling batteries to provide network support services, participate in virtual power plants and/or future Distributed Energy Resource marketplaces.

    If my power is going to a VPP do I get paid for the power? Is there a feed in tariff?

    Depending on the VPP provider you are with you may get paid for the power stored in your battery or you may receive a discount on your electricity bills. Each program outlines how and when you will be compensated, as well as how often and how much energy will be shared across the year, so you will know how this works at the time of joining the program. This information is an important part of choosing the right program that works for you.

    Can I share my power with my neighbour?

    This will depend on the nature of the VPP. Some VPPs are geographically based while some operate Victoria wide.

    How do I become an off-grid user with the use of a battery?

    Off-grid installations are not part of the program.

    What does a VPP ready battery mean?

    As defined by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), battery systems that are ‘VPP ready’ meet a set of technology requirements that include:

    • being able to respond to remote requests to charge/discharge the battery (e.g. requests to charge battery at peak solar photovoltaic [PV] export time);
    • being able to communicate state of charge, voltage and measure power flow at battery terminals (e.g. communicate to the AEMO on battery charge level to assist forecasting); and
    • being able to assist network security and reliability (e.g. advanced ride through settings to support system security in the event of unscheduled outages).
    What happens to my battery at the end of the VPP program?

    You retain your battery. It can then function regularly with your solar panels as a solar energy storage system.

    Can I leave the VPP?

    The six approved VPP programs have varying minimum contract lengths and exit fees, which you should consider as part of your research into VPP programs. Details of the exit fees and contract lengths are included on the VPP Program page.

    What happens if I have a dispute or if something goes wrong?

    As part of the requirements to become an approved VPP provider each program has a clear dispute resolution process.

    You can read more about ways to educate yourself and other useful information on Solar Victoria’s Consumer Protection page.

    Can I use my battery in a power outage?

    If you choose to run your battery during a power outage, the battery capacity required depends on a number of factors, including the size of your solar system, your electricity usage (daily and seasonally), and the energy requirements of any appliances that you wish to run during a power outage.

    How do I find out more about solar batteries?

    Read our Buyer’s guide for more information about how solar battery systems work, and how to plan a system.

    We recommend that you also do your own independent research as joining a Virtual Power Plant is a big undertaking and each household uses electricity differently. You might even change your energy usage over the length of the contract, for example if you purchase an electric vehicle, so you will need to also take this into account.

    FAQs: Solar batteries

    I already have a solar battery, can I still take part in the VPP Pilot?

    The VPP Pilot is designed to help households install solar batteries (or solar panels and batteries), so they can take part in an approved VPP program. If you currently have a battery we encourage you to get in touch with a VPP provider to see if your battery is eligible for their program. However if you already have a battery and do choose to join a VPP program you may not receive the same benefits and protections offered under the VPP Pilot.

    What happens if I have a dispute or if something goes wrong?

    To become an approved VPP provider, each program is required to have a clear dispute resolution process. You should first contact the VPP provider to resolve any issues. However if an issue cannot be resolved, Solar Victoria’s customer service team will advise customers and make recommendations on next steps.

    You can read more about ways to educate yourself and other useful information on Solar Victoria’s Consumer Protection page.