About the offer
The Rebate swap for solar offer is currently available to all eligible NSW homeowners.
To be eligible for this offer, you must:
- currently receive the Low Income Household Rebate
- agree not to receive the rebate for 10 years
- hold a valid Pensioner Concession Card or Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card
- own and live in your house
- not already have a solar PV system.
If you are not the registered homeowner but your spouse is, your household may be eligible.
Read our guidelines for more information about eligibility criteria.
Yes. The offer is available to eligible homeowners across NSW.
This offer is designed to help low income households install a solar system to reduce their electricity bills. Eligible homeowners can get a free 3 kilowatt solar system installed on their home. To receive this solar system, you must meet the eligibility criteria and also agree to:
- stop receiving the Low Income Household Rebate for 10 years
- allow your electricity retailer to send your electricity bills to us
- take ownership of the solar system and be responsible for its maintenance
- notify us if you move house or change electricity retailer in the next 10 years
- enter into a contract between you and the solar installer
- contact your electricity retailer to arrange for a smart meter and pay any associated costs.
To be eligible for this offer, you must currently receive the Low Income Household Rebate.
The rebate helps low income NSW households cover the costs of their energy bills. It is paid once each financial year. We encourage you to contact your retailer to apply for the rebate. If you are eligible, you will receive the rebate as a credit on each quarterly energy bill, up to a total of $285 per year.
Once you have started receiving the rebate on your energy bill, you can apply for our Solar for low income households offer. Before applying, you should consider if the offer suits your needs and whether you meet the other eligibility criteria. Read our guidelines for more information.
No. This offer is limited to households that do not already have a functioning solar system installed. However, households with a solar hot water system are eligible to participate.
No. The offer does not include a battery. For more information on incentives for solar batteries, please see the NSW home solar battery guide.
Your property may be assessed as technically unsuitable for a solar system. For example, you may have too much shading, or your roof may be structurally unsuitable. There may also be additional costs and complexities when installing solar systems on properties where the land and/or dwelling, such as the roof, are not solely owned by the householder.
Your approved installer will:
- assess the suitability and level of complexity
- check that you have received any necessary approvals
- identify any additional costs that may be associated with the installation.
Some properties may be considered unsuitable for this offer because of the additional costs and complexities.
Read our guidelines for more information to help you decide if your house is suitable for solar.
Households that collectively meet the eligibility criteria may be considered eligible for the offer if:
- the homeowner is listed as a spouse on the valid Pensioner Concession Card or Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card
- both partners consent to all requirements for the offer, including to not receive the Low Income Household Rebate for a period of 10 years. If you apply as a household, both applicants will need to complete the consent forms Part A, B and C of the application form.
We understand some participants may experience an unexpected change in circumstance. This may cause financial pressure that could not have been foreseen at the time of application. This could include an unforeseen situation resulting in a change of residence or a solar system which has been impacted by shading from a new neighbouring building.
If you are experiencing an exceptional circumstance, email us at [email protected] to discuss your situation.
No. Renters are not currently eligible for this offer. However, you may be eligible for our Rebate swap for energy upgrades offer. You can swap your energy rebate for energy efficient appliances or minor home upgrades valued at up to $4,000.
You can also visit Service NSW to find out more about our cost of living campaign. You can check your eligibility for more than 70 rebates and savings, use the savings finder and book an appointment. Alternatively, you can call Service NSW on 13 77 88 or visit your nearest Service NSW centre.
Participating in the offer
Participating households can save up to $600 per year on their electricity bills.
The savings from a solar system depends on your lifestyle and electricity consumption. You can maximise savings from your solar system by consuming the electricity produced in your home during the day.
The electricity from your solar system not consumed in your home is fed back into the grid and some electricity retailers pay for this. This is called a solar feed-in tariff. Generally, the solar feed-in tariff is less than the amount you pay for the electricity you use from the grid.
All our approved installers have implemented measures to reduce the likelihood of coming into contact or spreading COVID-19. These include minimising face-to-face contact and maintaining physical distance, adhering to strict hygiene practices and responding quickly to updated information and instructions from the Federal and NSW governments. Please contact your installer if you have any questions or concerns around the controls they are implementing.
No. We have selected approved solar installation companies to deliver this offer. If your eligibility application is approved, one of the approved solar installers will contact you.
You do not need to change your electricity retailer to participate in this offer.
Most electricity retailers provide a solar feed-in tariff and the amount paid by retailers can differ. To receive a solar feed-in tariff you could be required to change contracts with your retailer. This may result in you paying a different rate for the electricity you purchase from the grid.
It is important to talk to your electricity retailer about installing a solar system before applying for this offer. It may also be beneficial to shop around for the best electricity plan, smart meter offer and solar feed-in tariff. To help you more easily compare energy deals, visit Energy Made Easy. This is a free service to find the best available plans for your household based on your energy usage.
No. You can reapply for the Low Income Household Rebate after 10 years.
No. After your solar system is installed, you cannot apply for this offer again.
If you move to a new house, you will no longer benefit from your solar system and you will not be eligible to receive the Low Income Household Rebate for 10 years. Therefore, if you plan to move in the next 10 years, it is likely that this offer is not right for you.
The longer you stay in your house, the greater long-term savings you will get from your solar system.
Your rebate payments will stop after your solar system has been installed at your house. We will notify you when your Low Income Household Rebate payments will stop.
There are no upfront costs to receive your 3 kilowatt solar system. However, you must have a smart meter installed in your home as part of this offer. Some electricity retailers provide smart meter installations at no charge. Contact your retailer to discuss the potential cost and options.
Yes. You can choose to increase the size your system to a maximum of 6 kilowatts.
However, you will need to pay the difference between the NSW Government supported 3 kilowatt system and the larger system. This will be invoiced to you separately by the installer. Installers for this offer are not allowed to actively try and sell you a larger system. If you are interested in increasing the size of your solar system, also known as upsizing, you can request further information from your installer when you complete your application.
Read our guidelines for more information on increasing the size of your system.
Your system is covered by a 10-year warranty which is included in the contract between you and the installer. You will be responsible for basic maintenance. However, you should report any problems to the installer.
To find out how to maintain and make the most of your solar system, see these helpful tips on our website.
The installer needs to check your electrical wiring is safe for a solar system or smart meter installation.
During this check, there is a chance the installer could find an electrical issue with your wiring. Although unlikely, if they discover a major issue with an imminent safety risk, they may be required to disconnect your house’s power supply until the issue is resolved. When this happens, you are responsible for organising and paying for an electrician to fix the electrical issue. You will also need to pay for your power to be reconnected.
You can monitor your solar system through your inverter and smart meter. This will help you get the most benefit out of your system and maximise your bill savings.
Check your inverter’s digital screen or look at your inverter’s online account to see what time your solar system produces the most electricity. Use your major appliances during this time to get the most bill savings.
You may also consider investing in a third-party solar monitoring system, although this is not provided as part of this offer. If you are interested, discuss the benefits and costs of having a monitoring system with your installer or your electricity retailer.
A smart meter, also known as a digital meter or 'type 4' meter, is a device that digitally measures when and how much electricity is used at your home. A smart meter sends this information back to your energy retailer remotely, without your meter needing to be manually read by a meter reader.
You must have a smart meter installed in your home as part of this offer. This allows you to consume your own solar electricity first before purchasing electricity from your retailer. The meter also measures the unused solar electricity that is fed back into the grid. This allows your retailer to provide you a solar feed-in tariff.
Many retailers will install your smart meter for free, or as part of your contract. Before applying for the offer, it is important to check with your electricity retailer to ask:
- if they will install a smart meter at your home
- what are the changes to your electricity contract
- what is the cost of the installation (if any).
For more information about smart meters, visit our website.
Typically, the time from applying until installation is around three to five months. However, this may vary. Our guidelines provide more information about the application and installation process.
This offer will end when all funding is exhausted or on 30 June 2024, whichever occurs first.
This includes completing an online application form. The application process also involves:
- checking your eligibility
- completing consent forms
- having your house assessed
- getting your solar system installed.
You may also be required to contact your retailer to arrange for a smart meter to be installed.
You will need to provide evidence to meet all the eligibility criteria, including:
- a Council rates notice to confirm that you own the home or similar evidence to confirm you own your home
- a recent electricity bill to confirm that you are receiving the Low Income Household Rebate
- an image of your Pensioner Concession Card or Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card to confirm it is valid and up to date.
You will also need to consent to the offer’s requirements which includes not receiving the Low Income Household Rebate for 10 years.
We will not disclose your consent forms to any party that is not approved to participate or not associated with this offer.
If you are found to be ineligible at any stage of the application process, we will not use the consents you have provided. If this happens you can also request to have personal information in your consent forms deleted from the application portal by emailing us at [email protected].
You can choose to withdraw your application at any time up until the end of your 10-day contract cooling off period with your installer.
Visit our website to watch a series of videos about your role and responsibilities for installing and maintaining your home solar or battery system. The videos cover:
- what installers need to do to ensure everyone is safe while they’re working at your home
- what information your installer should provide you with to operate your system safely, and
- helpful tips on maintaining your solar or battery system, so you can get the most benefits.
For more information read our guidelines or visit our website. If you have questions please email us at [email protected]. Or you can talk to someone at Service NSW by calling 13 77 88.