Victoria extends solar battery rebate offer to another 80 postcodes

The Victoria government has extended its solar battery rebate into another 80 postcodes in an attempt to revive interest in the scheme that has to date failed to attract much interest from households.

While offers for solar rebates have flown off the shelf, sometimes in a matter of minutes, the response to the battery rebate has been slow.

In response, Solar Victoria announced on Friday that the rebate would now be available in 104 postcodes rather than the original 24. These include 59 regional and 45 Melbourne postcodes.

Solar Victoria CEO Stan Krpan said new areas open to the solar battery program include the western and northern suburbs of Melbourne, the outer-east and the south-eastern growth corridor.

Regional areas to become eligible include postcodes near Ballarat and Bendigo, the Bellarine Peninsula, around Paynesville in East Gippsland, much of West and South Gippsland and Wodonga in the north-east.

Solar Victoria is offering 400 battery rebates of up to $4,838 in its new offering, with a further 400 available in March 2020. The government aims to deliver 10,000 household solar batteries under the scheme.

Householders seeking to apply for a rebate must obtain 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.

“Solar batteries help households get the most out of their solar systems, reducing their reliance on the grid and making their energy bills even smaller,” energy minister Lily d’Ambrosio said in a statement.

The solar rebate, which is now being held twice monthly with higher allocations in response to pressure from the solar industry, quickly sold more than 80 per cent of the 4,524 rebates – each of $2,225 –  offered in the release on Friday.

Victoria aims to supply the rebates to 650,000 homes over the next decade, adding some 2.6GW of rooftop solar to the state’s grid. So far, more than 45,000 rebates have been handed out.

However, only two battery rebates from the 456 on offer had been taken up by the time of publication of this story, which might be explained by the fact that households have more work to do to ensure they are eligible. But the households have time: The solar battery rebate is open till February.

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