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What financial incentives and rebates are available to help purchase efficient electric appliances?

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

This blog was written by Anne Delaney, from SwitchedOn. You can subscribe to this excellent resource here. This blog has been summarised to only include the opportunities suitable to Geni.Energy's supporters and locals to northwest NSW.

There’s now plenty of research to show that electrifying our homes will save us money overtime, and help reduce carbon emissions.


But one of the main barriers for many households wanting to electrify everything is the upfront cost. Efficient electric appliances like induction stoves, heat pumps and electric vehicles usually cost more than cheaper electric options, or fossil fuel appliances and vehicles.


Once people get past the capital cost outlay though, they’re in a much better position to reduce their ongoing energy costs and better manage the rising cost of living.


Making our homes and businesses more energy efficient means reducing the amount of money we spend on energy, and increasing the value and comfort of our homes.

Most governments now offer some financial incentives or rebates for households to help reduce the upfront cost of replacing gas and other inefficient appliances with efficient electric ones, particularly concession holders and low income households who are at greatest risk of being left behind in the energy transition.


These incentives vary from state to state and can reduce purchase costs by thousands of dollars, depending on the appliance.


So if you think you're ready to purchase an efficient electric appliance, check out this list we’ve put together of government rebates each state offers. We’ll update if further incentives are announced.


It may not be totally comprehensive -it's just a place to start - so make sure you check the relevant websites yourself, and determine which programs you might be eligible for.

NATIONAL

Households and small businesses that install small-scale renewable energy systems are rewarded by the Australian government, which reduces the cost of buying one by a few hundred dollars.

Eligible systems include:

  • solar photovoltaic (PV) panels

  • wind turbines

  • hydro systems

  • solar water heaters, and

  • air source heat pumps.

By installing a renewable energy system you can create small-scale technology certificates (STCs). The number of STC’s a system creates will depend on the amount of renewable electricity the system produces, or the amount of electricity consumption it reduces.


Brands and models that are more efficient attract more STCs than a less efficient brand. So if you want to compare make/model efficiency, check out the number of STCs that will be applied.


It also depends on the climate region where it’s installed, but for every megawatt hour of renewable energy generated or displaced by the system, one STC is awarded.


These STC’s can then be redeemed by selling or assigning them to an agent, usually the system installer, in exchange for a discount or delayed cash payment.


The small-scale renewable energy scheme is run by the Clean Energy Regulator, and the STCs are surrendered to the CER on a quarterly basis.

Geni.Energy note - when you seek a solar quote, the STCs should be noted on your quote as a direct refund to the customer, off your total cost.

NILS offers individuals and families on low incomes access to affordable loans of up to $2,000 for essential goods and services, and can be used to purchase new efficient electric appliances.


NILS is offered by more than 175 local community organisations in over 600 locations across Australia.


The loans are available for eligible concession holders, and people who earn less than 70,000 before tax, or $100,000 if you have a partner or children, or have experienced family violence in the last 10 years.


NSW

The Energy Savings Scheme provides financial incentives to install energy efficient equipment and appliances to NSW households and businesses.


Upgrades are available for:

· LED lights

· thermally efficient windows or doors

· efficient shower heads

· draft proofing


The service is provided through an Accredited Certificate Provider (ACP).

Financial incentives are in the form of tradeable certificates, called energy savings certificates (ESCs), which are created when householders and businesses fund energy savings activities and then transfer the ESCs to accredited providers. In return they receive a discount on the cost of the energy savings activity.


The megawatt hours saved from installing the energy upgrades will determine the number of ESCs that are created. ESCs are purchased each year by electricity retailers operating in NSW so they can meet their energy savings targets.


Any household located in NSW is theoretically eligible for the scheme but it will depend on whether your location is serviced by an approved supplier.

Geni.Energy note - for the New England Northwest region, we don't have a lot of options for approved suppliers. You can see them here.

The amount of money you save depends on the model or equipment you choose - different models have different energy savings. It will also depend on the services required, and the complexity of the installation.

NSW residents currently receiving an energy rebate may be eligible to swap the rebate for a free 3 kilowatt solar system or energy efficient upgrades.


Eligible concession card holders currently receive a $285/year electricity rebate from the NSW government, and a one-off $500 rebate this financial year from the Commonwealth.


Homeowners who are prepared to use 10 years worth of rebates, and have homes that are suitable for rooftop solar, can swap their rebate for a new solar system. Those that aren’t suitable for solar can swap them for energy upgrades. Land and Housing Corporation tenants can also swap their rebates for solar.


NSW is planning to extend the Rebate Swap for solar to social housing tenants living in a property managed by the Department of Communities and Justice later in 2023.

Geni.Energy note - Again, local suppliers are a challenge for northwest NSW, but you can express your interest here.

The Smart Distributed Batteries project offers a discount to approximately 650 residential and small business customers in the south east of NSW who purchase and install a battery and agree to join a VirtualPower Plant (VPP).

Geni.Energy note - this is not available to our region.

The NSW Government offers a $3,000 rebate for new battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with a dutiable value of less than $68,750.


The dutiable value of a vehicle is the total amount paid (including GST) for the vehicle, which includes delivery costs, accessories and options added to the vehicle (e.g. tow bar, special wheels, paint protection etc) and any other charges or fees levied by the dealer on the purchaser.


Along with the abolition of stamp duty, this saves EV buyers up to $5,540.


Vehicles have to be registered on or after 1 September 2021.

Applications can be made until 25,000 rebates have been claimed.

2nd hand vehicles, hybrids, heavy vehicles, motorcycles, airplanes, boats, and vehicles procured under a novated lease are not eligible for the rebate.


The NSW Government has however announced that it plans to introduce a road user charge by July 2027, or when EVs account for at least 30 per cent of new car sales.

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