The NSW Government's free solar roll-out scheme is being trialled across the state.
The NSW Government's free solar roll-out scheme is being trialled across the state. Matt York

Free solar roll-out scheme opens in New South Wales

NEW South Wales homeowners will be offered a free rooftop solar system and installation worth $4,000 under a new State Government trial.

The scheme known as Solar for Low Income will cut more than $300 a year from the energy bills of low income earners, pensioners and veterans.

Under the trial, the government will offer a free 3kW rooftop solar installation to up to 3,000 low income households to help with rising electricity costs.

To be eligible for the trial, applicants must own their own home and hold a valid Pensioner Concession Card or Department of Veterans' Affairs Gold Card.

Once approved for the scheme the government will contact a solar installer on your behalf.
Once approved for the scheme the government will contact a solar installer on your behalf. Sarah Harvey

In return for receiving a free solar installation, households must agree to forego the Low Income Household Rebate.

This rebate is currently worth up to $285 a year over a 10-year period.

Under this arrangement, the NSW Government can recover most of the cost of the solar installation by avoiding the need to pay rebates to households, while the householders benefit from the reduced cost of electricity.

Participants in the trial will be able to install an 'upsized' system of up to 6kW, however the NSW Government will only cover the costs of the first 3kW.

"For low income households the cost of buying and installing a rooftop solar system can be prohibitive, so we've set up this trial so more of these homeowners can unlock the savings benefit offered by rooftop solar generation," NSW energy minister Matt Kean said.

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh said the NSW Government has committed $15 million to reduce the impact of high energy prices across the state, particularly for low-income households.

"The cost of buying and installing a rooftop solar system can be prohibitive, so we've set up this trial so more homeowners can unlock the benefits," Mr Singh said.

"In addition to potential bill savings, the addition of more rooftop solar systems will add more renewable capacity to help support a clean, affordable and reliable electricity grid."

More information and some advice on how to apply can be found here

Are you eligible?

Before you rush in to submit an application, there are a few eligibility requirements that you will need to meet:

  • Are you currently receiving the Low Income Household Rebate?
  • Do agree not to receive this rebate for 10 years?
  • Do you hold a valid Pensioner Concession Card or Department of Veterans' Affairs Gold Card?
  • Do you own your home?
  • Do you not live in a retirement village or strata building?
  • Do you already own a solar system?

 

Here's how you can sign up for the trial

Property owners who think they are eligible for the new trial can sign up here. 

Once applications are approved, your details will be passed onto a solar installer in the local area.

The installer will then get in touch and assess your home before organising your contract as well as an installation date. Then once your solar system is activated you will be removed from the Low Income Household Rebate rebate.



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