Thousands more Victoria solar rebates snapped up, battery uptake still flat

Another 3,000 rooftop solar rebates were snapped up on Monday via the Victorian state government’s Solar Homes scheme, and around 1,600 still up for grabs five hours in to the launch of the mid-November allocation.

The mid-month offer of discounted residential solar – up to $2,225 off the cost of a rooftop PV system – follows the November 1 allocation of 4,524 rebates and an expansion of the government’s home battery offer.

The comparatively slow-moving battery rebate was opened up to households across 104 Victorian postcodes, compared to the original 24, and another 400 rebates were put up for application, offering discounts of up to $4,838 on a residential storage system.

All up, the government hopes to deliver 10,000 household solar batteries under the scheme, but the offer has not proven nearly as popular as the rooftop solar rebate. According to the Solar Victoria website, 404 out of 456 battery rebates remained available on Monday.

As we noted two weeks ago, householders seeking to apply for discounted storage must get approval for a battery from their distribution network service provider before installation, have an existing solar PV system larger than 5kW, and meet other eligibility criteria – as well as strict new national home battery installation guidelines.

The Victoria solar rebate, on the other hand, is still hugely popular – although it’s not moving at the break-neck speeds of the program’s early days.

Now held twice monthly, and with higher allocations, industry and consumers both appear to be much happier with the process.

Industry had claimed the original design of the scheme, which starting in July offered only 3,333 rebates each month, had put an effective cap on the market, and pushed some businesses to the brink of insolvency.

The July allocation of the rebate – which is limited to households with a combined annual income of no more than $180,000 –  was exhausted within three days, while the August allocation was snapped up in just 90 minutes.

The pattern of uptake this week looks much the same as on November 01, with 75 per cent of rebates gone within a few hours, and then moving to a much slower pace.

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