In a country where the bar for rooftop solar milestones is set pretty high, Victoria has this week announced one of its own: More than 1 gigawatt of new residential solar capacity installed via the state Labor government’s Solar Homes Program – three million panels on more than 165,000 rooftops – since the launch of the rebate scheme in 2018.
Victorian energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio said on Friday that the solar panel rebate – which currently offers a discount of up to $1,400 on a rooftop PV system, plus the option of an interest-free loan – had boosted the percentage of the state’s homes with solar from 14 per cent to 22 per cent in the relatively short period since its launch.
And according to Solar Victoria, which runs the rebate scheme for the state government, 71 per cent of respondents to a recent customer survey said they would not have installed solar if it weren’t for the government rebate. So it appears to be doing its job.
But where is all that solar being installed? Solar Victoria’s data reveals that the top five suburbs with panels installed via the program in Metropolitan Melbourne are Tarneit, Craigieburn, Clyde North, Point Cook and Truganina.
Of those suburbs, Solar Victoria says that more than 40 per cent of homes in Tarneit and Truganina have solar panels – both through Solar Homes and through other providers.
In Victoria’s regions, Mildura and Shepparton lead on rooftop solar installations through the rebate scheme, closely followed by Wodonga, Wangaratta and Wallan in the top five.
In Wangaratta, the data shows that almost half of the homes in the regional centre have solar, while Shepparton and Wodonga also come close with nearly 45 per cent of homes having installed solar.
Solar Vic says recent data also shows more customers are choosing larger systems – over the past two months, the average installed system size has been just over 7kW, up from 5.7kW when the program first started.
We look forward to seeing new milestones delivered by some of the other rebates on offer through Solar Homes, including for discounted home battery storage and zero emissions vehicles.