Australian state to roll out rebate scheme for home batteries

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From pv magazine Australia

The Queensland government has announced changes to legislation that will allow for the creation of the Battery Booster Rebate Scheme that will pay up to AUD 4,000 to homeowners who want to install batteries alongside new or existing rooftop solar systems with a capacity of 5 kW or more.

The explanatory notes that accompany the new regulation estimates that the up-front cost of a battery system in Queensland is more than AUD 9,000, which can be considered “uneconomic for most consumers.”

“While solar costs have come down considerably over the past decade, access to capital to purchase a solar battery remains a barrier for lower-income households,” the regulation reads. “The purpose of assistance under the scheme is to give individual owners of residential premises a rebate to offset the cost of having an approved battery system suitably installed at the premises.”

While the government is yet to announce when the Battery Booster Rebate Scheme will commence, Queensland Energy Minister Mick de Brenni told the ABC that it is due to begin next year.

“Part of our revolutionary Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan is the development of a new household program, including support for batteries, to further support Queenslanders manage their electricity bills and usage,” he said. “Our Battery Booster Rebate Scheme is designed to do that.”

The new household battery rebate scheme is targeted at households with a combined taxable income of less than AUD 180,000 a year. Households with an income less than AUD 66,667 per annum can access a rebate of AUD 4,000, while those that earn above that threshold will be eligible for a AUD 3,000 payment.

Up to 4,000 households are projected to benefit from the program with the explanatory notes indicating the Queensland and federal governments have each allocated AUD 12 million to the scheme over two years.

The move has been welcomed by Queensland Conservation Council campaigner Stephanie Gray, who said supporting the greater uptake of household battery storage is a forward-looking initiative that will play a pivotal role in the deployment of renewables.

“We’ve seen Queensland’s coal-fired power stations become less and less reliable as they get older,” she said. “Increasing the uptake of batteries, including household, community and network batteries, increases the resilience of our energy system and will help keep the lights on. Batteries can react with lightning speed to plug gaps in our electricity supply.”

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