How to score free solar panels in NSW

Up to 30,000 vulnerable New South Wales households will soon be eligible for a free solar system or energy efficient appliance upgrade as part of a new state government initiative.

The Energy Bill Buster Program, announced as part of the 2022-2023 NSW Budget, will invest $128 million towards helping residents cut their power bills through solar and efficient home appliances.

The program will allow households receiving the Low-Income Household Rebate to forfeit their yearly rebate for up to 10 years, in exchange for a free three kilowatt (kW) solar system or home appliance upgrade.

It’s an initiative that could save consumers up to $600 a year on energy bills, more than double of what they’d received on their usual rebate, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said.

“The NSW Government is securing a brighter future for NSW families by helping boost the household budget, taking the pressure off families and small business, leaving more money in your pocket at the end of the week,” he said.

“Our strong financial management is helping grow the economy, which means more money for services, community amenity and less pressure on households.”

For vulnerable residents who are ineligible for a solar system – e.g. renters or apartment-dwellers – a free, no-obligation energy assessment is available, with up to $4,000 worth of appliance upgrades on offer. These upgrades are also given in exchange for the bill-payer’s yearly rebate.

Energy efficient appliance upgrades available include fridges, dryers, air conditioners and hot water systems, as well as upgrades to window shading and draught sealing, according to the NSW government.

Interested households can register their details on the NSW Energy Saver website.

Free solar system installations are already available in select locations across the state, however more locations are expected to be announced from July 2022.

The Energy Bill Buster program will replace the Empowering Homes pilot as of 31 July 2022.

For more information, please visit the NSW government website.

Cheap Energy Deals NSW

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision. The next three tabs feature products exclusively from AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin.

Here are the AGL Energy plans on our database for NSW. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are the EnergyAustralia plans on our database for NSW. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are the Origin Energy plans on our database for NSW. These are products from a referral partner†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Who is eligible for free solar panels in NSW?

To be eligible for free solar in NSW, you will need to satisfy the following criteria:

  • Currently receive the NSW Low-Income Household Rebate
  • Be the owner/occupier of your property
  • Hold a valid Pensioner Concession Card or Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card
  • Not already have a solar system installed at the property

The scheme is currently only open to residents in the Central Coast, North Coast, Illawarra, Shoalhaven, South Coast or the Greater Sydney area living in an eligible local government area. However, more locations are expected to be announced next month.

Please note, bill-payers will also need to agree to not receive their energy rebate for 10 years in order to acquire the solar system or appliance upgrades.

If you are not the registered homeowner but your spouse is, you may also be eligible for this program.

For the full terms and conditions, it is best to head to the NSW government’s website.


Image credit: maxuser/Shutterstock.com

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