Rebates can help reduce the upfront expense of implementing energy-saving measures in your home. Find out what rebates the Victorian and Australian governments offer and how to take advantage of them to make your home more energy- and water-efficient.
Which rebate or funding is right for you?
With ever-increasing pressure on the government to step up and address climate change and focus on renewable resources, a number of rebates and funding schemes have been put in place to help us make a difference. The biggest problem for the home owner is breaking through the information overload. Here is a (relatively) simplified look at what is available out there, so now is the time to make a change and take the future of our planet seriously. The following information is provided as a basic guide to the programs that may benefit you. Note that eligibility criteria apply for each program and before you begin shopping, be sure to check the details of each scheme as some cancel out the ability to apply for another.
The Energy-Efficient Homes Package has recently been replaced by the Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme, which aims to assist Australian homes to become more energyefficient: by reducing the amount of energy used per residence, cutting household power bills significantly, as well as increasing the comfort and value of Australian homes.
1800 808 571 www.environment.gov.au/rebates
Ceiling Insulation (due to come into operation by 1 June, 2010)
• A number of changes have been made since February 2010, and these are the details available when this article was sent to print. The government’s objective remains to see insulation installed in up to 1.9 million homes by 2011.
• The Australian government provides assistance of up to $1000 to install ceiling insulation. The assistance is available to eligible owner-occupiers, landlords and tenants. • Householders now claim the $1000 rebate directly through the Medicare system.
• There are increased requirements upon the installers — to show certification and qualifications.
The Green Loans Program
The Green Loans Program (officially started 1 July, 2009) helps Australian families to install solar, water-saving, and energyefficient products. The Green Loans Program provides detailed, quality Home Sustainability Assessments. The loan component of this program ceased in March, 2010 and extra resources were poured into the more popular assessment component. A new Green Start Program will commence from 1 January, 2011.
• Through the Green Loans Program, a qualified home sustainability assessor will visit your home, investigate your energy and water use and establish actions that can help you save energy and water.
After your assessment you receive a tailored home sustainability assessment that suggests the best water and energy-saving changes you can make to your property; options to purchase energy and water-saving devices; and practical information to help you get started.
National Rainwater and Greywater Initiative:
As part of the $12.9 billion Water for the Future plan, the government is delivering the $250 million National Rainwater and Greywater Initiative to help people use water wisely in their everyday lives.
• Rebates of up to $500 for households to install rainwater tanks or greywater systems (for a tank that is connected for internal reuse in toilet or laundry, or a permanent greywater treatment system).
• Grants to surf life-saving clubs of up to $10,000 to install a rainwater tank or undertake a larger water-saving project.
1800 808 571
Solar Hot Water:
The Australian government is offering a rebate to help eligible home owners, landlords or tenants replace their electric storage hot water systems with solar or heat pump hot water systems.
• $1000 to install a solar hot water system replacing an electric storage hot water system in a principal place of residence.
• $600 to install a heat pump hot water system.
• The rebate is only available to people who have not previously received assistance to install ceiling insulation through the Home Insulation Program or the Homeowner Insulation Program at this address.
• The rebate is not usually available for people building new homes, but the government is making an exception for homes destroyed or left uninhabitable in the February 2009 fires. • The hot water system must be installed by a suitably qualified person (for example, an electrician or plumber).
• Water heating is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions from the average Australian home, accounting for around 25 per cent of home energy use (excluding the family car). Installing a climatefriendly hot water system can save a family up to $700 off their energy bills each year.
• A dual-flush toilet uses three litres of water on a half flush, six litres on a full flush or less.
• A water-efficient shower head can use 30 per cent less water than a normal shower head. • Household appliances, specifically washing machines and refrigerators, account for around 12.8 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in a typical Victorian household and 5.1 per cent of a household’s energy usage. This equates to $170 per year spent on energy used for refrigeration and clothes washing.
Australian Capital Territory
13 22 81 www.environment.act.gov.au/actsmart
ACT Energy Wise
This is a comprehensive home energy audit delivered by the Home Energy Advice Team (HEAT).
• It costs $30 and includes a list of practical actions you and your family can take to make your home more comfortable and energy-efficient.
• The ACT government also provides a $500 rebate for expenditure of $2000 or more on the priority recommendations in your ACT Energy Wise audit report, and the $30 audit fee is also refunded.
Electricity Feed-in Tariff
Rewards ACT residents and organisations that install renewable energy generation technology by paying a premium price for the electricity they generate.
• The Electricity Feed-in Tariff Scheme is available to all ACT electricity customers (except non-educational government agencies) with generation facilities of no greater capacity than 30kW.
• From 1 March, 2009, until 30 June, 2010, the premium price will be 50.05 cents per kWh generated for systems up to 10kW, and for systems between 10kW and 30kW a rate of 40.04 cents per kWh will be paid.
Assists ACT residential property owners to replace singleflush toilets with four-star, water-efficient 4.5/3-litre dualflush toilets. The program provides a rebate on the supply and installation of a selected range of dual-flush toilets. The program is delivered through the Master Plumbers Association (ACT).
Rainwater Tank Rebate
The ACT Government offers rebates for the installation of eligible rainwater tanks with a connection to plumbing inside the home (for example, to the toilet or washing machine) on residential properties connected to ACTEW Corporation’s water supply network. Where there is an existing rainwater tank, the ACT government offers a rebate on the cost of connecting it to plumbing inside the home.
• $750 for a 2000- to 3999-litre tank.
• $900 for a 4000- to 8999-litre tank.
• $1000 for a 9000+-litre tank.
New South Wales
1300 361 967 www.environment.nsw.gov.au/rebates
NSW Home Saver Rebates
The $170 million NSW Home Saver Rebates is part of the NSW government’s Climate Change Fund, established to help people make their homes more water- and energy-efficient. The high demand for rebates since they commenced in July, 2007 has shown that NSW households want to take action to address climate change and save on their utility bills. In recognition of this, the NSW government is ensuring the program continues to its scheduled date of June, 2011. However, from 15 January, 2010, the total amount of NSW Home Saver Rebates a household can receive must not exceed $1500 per property.
• Rainwater tank rebate — up to $1500 for rainwater tanks connected to toilets and washing machines.
• Hot water system rebate — $300 to switch from electric to solar, heat pump or gas hot water systems.
• Hot water circulator rebate — $150 for buying a hot water circulator
• Washing machine rebate — $150 for buying a fivestar or higher WELS-rated washing machine.
• Dual-flush toilet rebate — $200 for buying a fourstar dual-flush toilet suite.
• Fridge buyback — $35 to have your old second working fridge taken away. Visit www.fridgebuyback. com.au to check if Fridge Buyback is available in your area.
08 8999 5511
Energy Smart Rebate NT:
The NT government provides rebates to eligible households of up to $200 on selected energysaving items purchased by households in the Northern Territory. The Energy Smart Rebate covers selected power boards, energy-efficient light globes, timers, power usage metres and fridge and freezer seals.
Grid-Connected Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems:
Generate your own electricity by harnessing solar energy via panels placed on the roof of your house. Power and Water can buy all the electricity that your PV system generates if you are connected to the grid. This means your power bills will simply be the difference between the electricity you have used and the electricity your PV system has generated and fed back into the grid. If you use less electricity than your PV system generates, you will receive money instead of a bill. Currently, Power and Water is offering 15.52 cents per kWh generated by residential customers. A customised rate will be negotiated for PV solar systems greater than 10kVA.
NT Waterwise Central Australia Rebate Scheme:
The NT government provides rebates of up to $150 for certain water-saving products and up to $500 for eligible plumbing services purchased by residents in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek. These updated rebates are available for a limited time only.
Solar Hot-Water Retrofit:
The NT government offers a Solar Hot Water Retrofit Rebate, administered by the Power and Water Corporation. The rebate is available to eligible pre-existing homes in the Northern Territory to replace electric systems with solar hot water systems. The rebate is designed to compensate for additional plumbing and roof structure upgrades that may be required to complete the installation.
Solar Credits Program:
The Solar Homes and Communities Plan transitioned to the Solar Credits Scheme on 1 July, 2009, and provides support for households installing small-scale solar, wind and hydroelectricity systems. The “roof-top solar” program provides cash rebates and/or renewable Energy Certificates to householders and owners of community buildings to install grid-connected or stand-alone photovoltaic systems.
Queensland Solar Hot Water Program:
This program aims to make it easier and more affordable for Queenslanders to switch to solar. The Queensland Solar Hot Water Program is a major component of the Queensland government’s “Q2” strategy to reduce Queenslanders’ carbon footprint by one third by 2020. The Queensland Solar Hot Water Program is one of the largest and most complex industry transformation projects of its kind and aims to move solar from a niche industry to a mainstream product.
• Under the program, eligible participants will have access to a standard installed and warranted solar water heater at a more affordable price than what is currently available on the open market.
• The Queensland government is establishing a Standing Offer Arrangement with a number of companies to supply high-quality solar water heaters for an affordable customer payment of $500 (or $100 for eligible pensioners and low-income earners).
• Registrations of Interest are still open to anyone who would like to register for the program.
08 8204 1888
Residential Energy-Efficiency Scheme:
Rebates for solar and electric heat pump hot water heaters are available from both the SA government and the Australian government, and a low-income household may be eligible to receive both. The program includes the installation of more efficient lighting and showerheads, draught-proofing, retiring second fridges, installing ceiling insulation, upgrading to more efficient appliances, including hot water systems and airconditioners.
South Australian Solar Hot Water Rebate Scheme
• a rebate of $500 on the cost of a new solar or electric heat pump water heater system installed on or after 1 July, 2008.
• is targeted at low-income households and a concession card must be held.
H2OME Rebate Scheme:
Residents are eligible to claim one of each separate type of water-efficiency rebate or rebate package per property or per person under the H2OME Rebate Scheme (since 28 September, 2009). Hotline 1800 130 952.
Available for products purchased on or after 1 November, 2007:
• Up to $30 to purchase and install a low-flow (3+ star) showerhead.
• $150 for retrofitting a dual-flush toilet suite (with a WELS rating of 3 stars or better).
• $200 rebate modified for water-efficient washing machines with a minimum of 4.5 stars.
• Up to $100 back if you spend a minimum of $250 or more; or 40 per cent of a minimum spend of $150 on water-efficient garden goods.
• $100 ($110 for regional areas) for a Home Water Audit plus up to two free low-flow showerheads.
• Between $200 and $1000 towards the cost of purchase and retrofit of a rainwater tank for uses such as toilet flushing, clothes washing or hot water supply.
Available for products purchased on or after 28 September, 2009:
• $150 rebate for purchase and connection to an entire heated water system.
• up to $200 rebate for the purchase of approved pool/spa covers and cover rollers.
1300 363 744 www.resourcesmart.vic.gov.au
Victorian government Solar Hot Water Rebate — Regional and Metropolitan
• Assists households to switch their existing gas hot water system or solar hot water system to solar. It is a point-of-sale discount and only available through participating manufacturers, suppliers and plumbers.
• Only available to applicants replacing an electric water heater where they are unable to access the Australian Government Solar Hot Water Rebate because they have installed ceiling insulation under the Australian Government’s Home Insulation Program.
• A rebate of between $400 and $1600 for regional Victorian households.
• A rebate of between $300 and $1500 for households in metropolitan Melbourne.
Victorian Energy-Efficiency Certificates (VEECs)
Also known as the Energy Saver Incentive. Certificates (VEECs) are created when customers replace their current hot water system for a solar hot water system. Information is available from your solar hot water supplier.
Gas hot water rebate
You may apply for a rebate if your household currently uses a peak (day rate) electric water heater or a water heater fuelled by wood. There is more criteria online or call 1300 366 195 for information.
• $400 for a 5-star instantaneous or storage hot water heater (4+ star for internal systems).
• $700 for concession card holders, as above.
• $300 installation rebate if you live in a flat or apartment where there’s a separate occupancy directly above or below you.
Rainwater tank and water-saving rebates
The Water Smart Gardens and Homes Rebate scheme gives you the chance to save water and money when you purchase eligible water-saving products between 1 July, 2009, and 30 June, 2011. Eligible products include waterefficient showerheads, upgrading to eligible dual-flush toilets, garden products, rainwater tanks and systems for reusing household waste water.
• $150 for a tank 600 litres or greater (an additional $150 for toilet connection).
• $1000 for a tank 4000+ litres connected to toilet and laundry.
• $900 for a tank 4000+ litres connected to toilet or laundry.
• $500 for tank 2000-3999 litres connected to toilet and/or laundry.
• $500 for a greywater permanent tank system that recycles waste water from laundries and bathrooms for use on the garden or in the toilet.
• $150 for a hot-water recirculator.
• $50 for a dual-flush toilet.
Whitegoods appliance rebate
This rebate is only available to concession card holders who have applied for a No Interest Loan (which provides interest-free loans between $800 to $1200, for individuals or families on low incomes), Progress Loan (a joint initiative of the Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ Bank to provide access to mainstream credit for low-income earners) or those who are using the Good Shepherd Buying Service (a free state-wide telephone service that assists people on low incomes who have a concession card to purchase new essential household items).
1800 808 571 www.environment.gov.au/rebates/index
The Office of Energy (OOE) provides funding and grants to:
• Encourage the uptake of renewable energy systems and energy-efficient products and practices in WA.
• Provide cost-effective, renewable energy supply options for people living and working in remote areas of WA.
• Support the development of the sustainable energy industry in WA.
The Western Australian Government also had a number of rebates and subsidies in operation which have since been closed off to new applications.
Solar Water Heater Subsidy
The Government of Western Australia is offering rebates to householders who install environmentally friendly, gas-boosted solar water heaters.
• $500 for natural gas-boosted solar water heaters.
• $700 for bottled LP gas-boosted solar water heaters used in areas without reticulated gas.