Solar energy rebate changes could create big problems for old solar investors
Friday, 11 May 2018

Between 2008 to 2012, the government was offering a substantially high rebate for the installation of rooftop solar systems. This posed as a great incentive for prospective solar buyers as it shaved a significant amount of cost from the system they were buying.

Solar energy rebate changes could create big problems for old solar investors

To put this into perspective, if you were looking to buy a small-scale solar system, you’d be looking at paying up to 5 times more for a 1.5 kilowatt (kW) system than you do today. But the benefits of paying so much was what you were getting in return.

10 years ago, the government rebate was covering 9/10 of the total cost of your system. Not only were your payments significantly reduced, but the feed-in-tariff set by the government was at 47 cents to the dollar, meaning you were reimbursed a pretty hefty margin from selling your excess energy to the grid.

For years now, anyone who put on a solar system at that time would be very happy with their investment. But as of January 1, 2017 the solar rebate officially started to be phased out.

What does this mean for homeowners on the government rebate?

As of last year, the government began putting an end to cost reductions for solar panel installations, which may have a causal effect on many solar owners who will now have a whole new set of bills.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull looks to end the government solar rebate scheme due to the growing rate of solar installations across Australia. Source:www.y-aixs.com.au.

As the rebate ends, you will not only have to pay for your already substantial energy bills, but you will have a newly amassed cost of paying off the expensive old system. Inevitably you’ll be paying more out of pocket expenses on energy and repayments than what your system will be saving you in generating solar energy.

What can be done to stop this from happening?

Although these changes will act negatively on many solar owners on the government rebate, it could act as an opportunity to improve on what you already have.

In order to stay ahead of the curve so you’re not left with piles of bills to pay, swapping out your old solar system with a new one may be the solution to your problems.

Understandably it is a very straightforward concept, but solar panel technology has improved rapidly over the past decade, where you are now able to get a bigger system with higher quality for a fraction of the price of an old system. As the systems have improved, they have been tailored to cater to your home in better detail so the energy is regulated more efficiently and less generated energy is wasted. This means you will have to rely on borrowed grid energy far less than you currently are. If you were to look into battery technology, this will almost cut out your reliance on the grid completely as you can privately store all of your solar.  

If making the change is a prospect you would like to consider, be sure to remember you have taken the following repercussions into account:

  • As soon as you swap out your panels for a new one, you will instantly void your current rebate for the one in place for 2018.

  • You will now have a whole different set of payments with a new system, on top of what you may still need to pay off from your current system on your roof.

These particular topics of discussion may seem concerning at first glance, but the whole point of looking into updating your solar is simply due to the rebate ending, so either way you look at it, new solar is your best option. In regards to being left with payments for two systems, leave that worry to the leading solar companies of Australia.

By now, you should have either paid off the cost of your system, or have a very minimal amount of debt remaining. In either case, you can be reimbursed for the removal of your old system. The energy division at AICA has been in operation for over a decade and can offer a solution to compensate you for the remaining repayments of your system or simply shed the amount on the cost of your new system if you own your current solar. AICA will also offer the service of a complete update to your old wiring and electrics from your previous solar installation, ensuring that your new solar system is functioning at its optimal level.

If you don’t want to be left with a whole new set of bills when the government rebate runs out, take action now and call our friendly team at AICA on 1800 242 228.

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