It’s time for interest free solar loans for Queenslanders! Starting June 2018, the state Government will provide interest free loans for solar panels and battery storage to eligible Queensland homes. As mentioned in our last release the solar loans will be available for both households and small businesses, and will form a part of the QLD government’s Affordable Energy Plan. The main goal of this latest Queensland Government solar rebate is to assist its citizens to combat the surging electricity prices. However, grants and loans for battery storage will be open to Queenslanders later this year.
The state of Queensland boasts the highest rate of rooftop solar installations in Australia. To ensure continuous uptake of solar PV panels alongside increased adoption of battery storage technology, the state government has allocated $21 million to cater for interest free solar loans for renewable energy systems and other clean energy technologies.
Do I qualify for the solar loans and grants?
The interest free loans for solar and grants for solar storage program is available to both households and small businesses, and features 5,000 consumer ‘assistant packages’ consisting of 3,500 for solar and 1,500 for battery storage (whether retrofit or in-build with solar system).
The primary eligibility criteria for the interest free solar loans available from 1 June 2018 include:
- You must be a homeowner;
- You must receive Family Tax Benefit Part B;
- You must have electricity costs exceeding $1,000 over the last six months; and
- You must buy the solar PV or battery storage system from an energy company that is a member of the Clean Energy Council ‘Approved Solar Retailers’.
- Note: Interest free loans for solar and battery storage systems are only available to households and hence small businesses may only apply for grants.
Battery storage loans and grants coming later this year
The state government is yet to release the eligibility criteria for solar battery storage grants and loans (available from later 2018), but may just be similar to those outlined above. The new battery storage program will be available to owners of pre-existing solar systems (a retrofit battery) and those ready to install a brand new solar and battery system.
Although we are uncertain as to what solar battery types will be included in the scheme, there is a good chance that a wide variety of technologies will be approved.
Queensland is currently working on providing a list of qualified battery suppliers for consumers to choose from. Apparently, the interest free loans and grants for solar storage will only be available for solar systems installed by enlisted qualified companies.
How to apply for the grants for solar storage?
As of early June 2018, the state’s Department of Natural Resources, Mines & Energy was still fine-tuning the application process for the program. More details should be provided on the DNRME website.
Information about Queensland’s Affordable Energy Plan
The state government of Queensland has launched several initiatives under the Affordable Energy Plan, most of which are designed to enhance distributed renewable energy. These include:
- Rebates of up to $300 on specific energy efficient appliances (available up to early July 2018)
- A few programs for regional Queenslanders
- A $50/year power rebate, as the state government returns dividends from state-owned businesses
- Solar for rental properties, with a pilot project already in progress and which aims at incentivising landlords to install solar
- A $20 Business Energy Savers Program that targets agricultural customers & large businesses
Alternative no interest solar finance options:
Retail finance and capital lending is available to homes and business across Australia, with low interest solar loans that are off-set against the property or even no interest finance options backed by lending giants in support of the green trends. Although fee’s and payment plans can seem daunting, the products that have been tailored for the solar industry are in most cases responsible solutions to an evolving energy crisis. Responsible lenders like Brighte are continuing to evolve with the energy market, releasing products that not only compliment the innovative technology but also drive growth within the solar sector.
“Despite the critics, I strongly believe that there is place for retail finance in the Australian solar market.”
For more detailed information about each of these, check the DNRME’s Affordable Energy Plan page.
Or if you’re keen to be green and simply looking for more reasons to switch to solar power for your home or business, then here’s a good read from an earlier post I wrote that explains the solar feed-in tariffs and how you can benefit from installing solar panels.