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Our Clients Experience
With HCB Solar !
Final decision was an economical one. Putting in a solar system and adding value to our house. It actually works out to be cheaper to have a solar power system and battery than from a electricity supplier. I wanted LG Solar Panels because they are the best and HCB Solar was the authorised installer. Highly recommended.
What is the New South Wales empowering home program?
The Empowering Homes program is supported by the NSW Government. HCB is an approved supplier under the Empowering Homes program.
The program aims to deliver solar and batteries to 300,000 Households in NSW across 10 years through interest free solar and battery loans for eligible households.
The initial Pilot is being rolled out in the Newcastle and Hunter Region with a wider NSW Rollout expected to follow.
What's on offer?
The NSW Government will help homeowners in the Newcastle & Hunter region access interest-free loans to install solar battery systems.
These systems provide clean, renewable energy and can help you cut your energy bills
Through this offer, you can get an interest-free loan of up to:
$14,000 towards a solar PV and battery system (repayable over a range of terms of up to 8 years), or
$9000 towards retrofitting a battery system to an existing solar PV system (repayable over a range of terms up to 10 years).
The program aims to deliver solar batteries to up to 300,000 NSW homes across the next 10 years.
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The reason we chose HCB Solar was because they have been in Newcastle a very long time. They are a family owned business and if we want to add a battery on in the future. We know they will be here to do it.
The installation process was very easy. We would definitely recommend HCB Solar to family and friends, because they are a local company and family business.
NSW Empowering Homes Program
See if you're a good fit
To qualify, you must:
The battery-only option is for homes with existing solar. This offer does not include solar-only options. Businesses and participants in the Solar for Low Income Households trial are not eligible.
Frequently asked questions
To be eligible for the pilot program, you must live in one of these eligible postcodes and be an owner-occupier with a household income of up to $180,000.
Your house must be connected to the electricity network and you need to have full authority to install the battery or solar battery system on the property. You must also successfully pass the standard credit criteria required under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act (2009). Read the program guide for more information about eligibility.
This program is initially running as a pilot for eligible postcodes to refine its design before rolling out across the state.
The eligible postcodes have been chosen to provide a large and diverse area to enable program delivery to be rigorously tested. Households not within the pilot
area will be able to access the program when it rolls out across NSW.
In the loan application you will be required to provide the following information to prove your eligibility:
• You will need to provide your most recent income tax notice of assessment (for financial year 2017-18 or 2018-19), along with copies of bank statements
showing your income and outgoings.
• You will be asked to enter your full name and address, which will be used to verify that you own and reside at the address where the solar battery system will be installed.
• You will need to provide evidence of your identity and address (for example a drivers licence, passport or Medicare card).
Yes. For an apartment or townhouse, you must provide evidence of written strata approval for a solar battery system to be installed. Please note - a sufficient sized solar battery system may not fit within the available roof area of an apartment or townhouse. The approved suppliers will help you define what a sufficiently sized system would be for your home, considering your property’s characteristics and electricity consumption.
Yes. An interest-free loan of up to $9,000 dollars is available for adding a battery to your existing solar system. Our approved suppliers will take your existing system into account when they are sizing the best solar battery system for your needs. Depending on the age and condition of your existing system, your supplier may recommend you increase or even completely remove and replace your current system.
This recommendation may also include replacing your current inverter.
No. This offer only provides interest-free loans for a battery that is added to an existing solar system or a new solar and battery system.
Yes. Participating homes must be connected to the grid. Off grid solutions are not suitable for most electricity users and can be very expensive. By staying connected to the grid, your solar battery system can help to support the grid through increased system security and reliability, and you may be able to receive additional financial benefits from feed in tariffs or by participating in a Virtual Power Plant.
This depends on your individual needs, as every household is different. We strongly recommend contacting several approved suppliers to talk about your household’s needs. They can answer questions about what size and type of solar battery system would be suitable for your home, as well as the costs and savings you can expect. A solar battery system may not be suitable for you situation and we recommend you read the ‘Expected costs and savings’ section of the program
guide or our website for more information.
The types and prices of the solar-battery solutions offered are different across each approved supplier. Talking to and getting quotes from more than one supplier will ensure you get the right system for you, at the best price. Please visit our website for a list of approved suppliers.
Solar battery installations in NSW require a connection to a smart meter. 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 electricity contract.
Before applying for the program, it is important to check with your electricity retailer to ask:
• if they will install a smart meter at your home
• if there are changes to your electricity contract
• if there is a cost to install a smart meter.
Please speak to your approved supplier in the first instance, they can assist you in this process and provide advice on any potential issues that may arise.
For more information about how you can get a smart meter to participate in the program, visit Energy Saver.
If you have unused electricity from your solar panels, that electricity will be exported back into the grid (if you don’t have a battery, or your battery is full) and your electricity bill will be credited to reflect the amount you give back. The cost per kilowatt hour of electricity being exported to the grid is known as the solar feed-in tariff.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal provides a benchmark-range to encourage retailers to offer fair and cost reflective solar feed-in tariffs. The benchmark for the 2019-20 financial year is 8.5c to 10.4c per kilowatt hour for exported solar generation.
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