By: Evolution Solar Australia - Moreton Bay  04-Apr-2012
Keywords: Solar Energy, Save Money, Rebate

The Queensland Government has new eligibility requirements for the Solar Bonus Scheme to ensure the scheme remains cost-effective for all Queenslanders. 

What is the Solar Bonus Scheme?
If you install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on your home or business and they're connected to the electricity network, you could get 44 cents for every kilowatt hour of excess electricity created and fed into the grid, thanks to the Queensland Government's Solar Bonus Scheme. That's almost double the current general domestic use tariff of 22.76c/kWh (inc GST as at 1 July 2011). Another advantage of having solar PV panels is that your home or business will need less electricity from the grid, as the solar panels will be generating power when the sun is shining. That means your electricity bills will be lower.

The Solar Bonus Scheme is designed to make solar power more affordable for Queenslanders, stimulate the solar power industry and encourage energy efficiency. The scheme also contributes to the Queensland Government's Toward Q2 target of reducing the state's carbon footprint by one third by 2020. Do the bright thing - help build a virtual solar power station for Queensland By installing solar PV panels - and taking advantage of the Solar Bonus Scheme - you'll be helping build a virtual solar power station for Queensland. Street by street we've already doubled Queensland's use of solar energy to 500 MW in less than two years, more than three years ahead of schedule. 

How does the Solar Bonus Scheme work?
The solar bonus is paid for electricity fed into the grid at times when the solar PV system generates more electricity than the household or business is using at any instant. When the meter reader visits a customer's home or business at the end of the quarter, the total amount of surplus electricity exported to the grid and the total amount imported from the grid are read and passed onto the customer's electricity retailer to calculate the bill. The customer's quarterly solar bonus payment for this excess electricity exported to the grid is deducted from the total grid-connected electricity consumption charge on their bill. How much would the scheme reduce my electricity bill by? The average customer operating a 1.5 kilowatt (kW) solar system can cut their electricity bill by around $500 a year if they're signed up to the Solar Bonus Scheme. These savings come from using less electricity from the grid (resulting in a lower electricity bill), and receiving payments from the Solar Bonus Scheme for exporting excess electricity (generated from the solar panels) to the grid. Energy efficient homes and businesses could make even greater savings. What has the scheme achieved so far? The scheme is making solar power more affordable for Queenslanders, stimulating the solar power industry and encouraging energy efficiency.

Customer uptake in the scheme has far exceeded the Queensland Government's expectations. From its commencement in July 2008 until May 2011, more than 100,500 households had signed up to the scheme, providing more than 224 megawatts of solar power capacity on Queensland homes and businesses.

Who is eligible to receive the Solar Bonus?
To be eligible to receive the Solar Bonus customers must: consume less than 100 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity a year (the average household uses approximately 7.2MWh a year) purchase and install a new solar PV (photovoltaic) system (solar power system not solar hot water system) or operate an existing PV system (solar power system) that is connected to the Queensland electricity grid generate surplus electricity that is fed into the Queensland electricity grid have an agreement in place with their electricity distributor (Ergon Energy, ENERGEX or Essential Energy) and have appropriate metering installed have solar PV systems with a combined inverter capacity of up to 5 kilowatts hold an electricity account with an electricity retailer submit only one scheme application per eligible premises.
How do I sign up for the solar bonus scheme?
If you've already got a solar power system on your home or business, contact your electricity retailer to check if you're eligible and to sign up. Or find out more about solar PV systems and how to get them installed on your home or business. You could soon be enjoying the benefits of solar power, while saving even more money through the Solar Bonus Scheme.

Keywords: Rebate, Save Money, Solar Bonus Scheme, Solar Energy

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