8 April 2024
Can Pensioners Get Free Solar Panels in Victoria

There is no specific program from the Victoria Government that provides completely free solar panels for pensioners, there are several Government rebates and incentives that can significantly reduce the upfront cost of going solar.

Solar Panel Rebate

Through the Solar Homes Program, Victorian households including pensioners can receive a rebate of up to $1,400 when installing a new solar panel (PV) system on their home.

This reduces the typical cost of a good quality 6.6kW solar system to just over $5,000 after applying the rebate.

In addition to the rebate amount, households can access an interest-free loan equivalent to the $1,400 rebate.

This loan must be repaid within 4 years, but it allows pensioners to install solar panels with no upfront costs.

Federal Solar Rebate

On top of the Victorian rebate, all households including pensioners are eligible for the federal solar rebate under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme.

This provides additional upfront discounts based on the solar system’s size and expected energy production.

For a typical 6.6kW system, the federal rebate can reduce the net cost by around $2,160 after combining it with the state rebate.

Interest-Free Solar Battery Loans

While solar battery rebates were retired in June 2023, the Victorian government now offers interest-free loans of up to $8,800 to help households install a solar battery system alongside their solar panels.

This allows pensioners to add battery storage with no upfront costs.

Other Solar Incentives

Pensioners can further reduce their energy costs by accessing the Victorian Hot Water Rebate of up to $1,000 for installing eligible heat pumps or solar hot water systems.

There are also feed-in tariffs that provide credits for any excess solar energy exported to the grid, providing ongoing bill savings.

The Bottom Line

So while completely free solar panels may not be available, the combination of generous Victorian and federal solar rebates along with interest-free loans makes installing a solar system very affordable for pensioners.

By taking advantage of these incentives, pensioners can get solar panels installed in their homes for little or no upfront costs. The long-term savings on electricity bills can then help pay off any remaining costs over just a few years before the solar system is paid for.

For pensioners looking to reduce energy costs and their environmental impact, leveraging Victoria’s solar rebates and loans is an excellent opportunity not to be missed.