Getting solar just became easier for a lot of people. In June 2018 a new QLD Government interest free solar loan for families on Family Tax Benefit part B was released. The second and third loans with a $3,000 grant for batteries will be available later this year.
If none of these interest free loans apply or appeal to you, GI Energy can advise you on a number of ways to install a solar system without greatly impacting your monthly income. Contact us if you’d like to know more about your options.
If you are homeowners and receive family tax benefit part B, you may be eligible for a $4,500 interest free solar loan. If this loan applies to you, it will be the best opportunity for instant and lasting financial assistance to manage your electricity costs.
Here is a fair warning: If you don’t investigate this properly, you may miss a truely good thing or purchase a system that will be out of warranty and in need of repairs before you pay the loan out. To avoid either of these outcomes, GI Energy has put together this free guide to help you understand and navigate your way to a reliable solar system that will save you money for years beyond your payback period.
If you don’t qualify for this first loan and don’t intend on getting a battery with a solar system, these loans won’t be of any assistance to you. If you are a home owner, there is still a good opportunity to save considerable amounts with a solar system. If you have not investigated it, take a look at our Solar power Cairns report. In this report, there are a couple of example situations that will show you how the savings can work for you. We are there to provide genuine help for anyone who needs to get their power bills under control.
Queensland Government loan precautions
The Queensland Government has been very thoughtful and proactive about protecting consumers with this assistance package. Because of past abuse of Government incentives, the insulation rebate program being top of mind, this loan has been carefully thought out.
So what makes it different? The lengths that the QLD Government have gone to in order to protect consumers. How? By limiting solar businesses to the Clean Energy Councils Approved Solar Retailer program and underpinning ‘code of conduct.
Clean Energy Council protection
This partnership between the QLD Government and the Clean Energy Council has two levels of protection for consumers.
1. CEC Accredited solar installers. To install solar in Australia, you need to be a qualified electrician and gain accreditation from the CEC by sitting and passing courses specifically outlining solar installation processes and standards. There are between 4,000 and 5,000 Accredited solar installers in Australia.
There is a problem with the first level of protection (Accredited solar installers). If something goes wrong, it is also difficult to pin blame on an installer when they have been contracted by a solar business who demands or only pays for a cheap job without regard for the true cost of installation. It is for this reason that an Approved Solar Retailer program was introduced.
2. CEC Approved Solar Retailers. This is a code of conduct agreement that is Authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). To become a Approved Solar Retailer demands a higher standard of operation and interal processes and a commitment to the CEC’s ‘Solar retailer code of conduct’. There are currently 70-80 approved retailers in Australia as of August 2018.
The Approved Solar Retailer status is a great start, but with offers like the current QLD Solar loans it is tempting for any solar business (good or bad) to apply for this status to earn a quick buck. It is therefore up to the CEC to track and monitor solar retailers to keep them accountable. This is a job that we’ve seen CEC do with recent cut backs to the number of approved retailers.
One important part of the CEC Code of conduct is that Approved Solar Retailers adhere to responsible representation of savings estimates in your quotes, and savings estimates used in advertising material and articles like this. Anyone misrepresenting information is not only going against the CEC Code of conduct, but is accountable to the ACCC for their actions.
GI Energy goes to great lengths to ensure savings estimates are done responsibly. In fact we prefer to work to conservative estimates that are easily achievable for your situation.
Will you solar last longer than the loan repayment period?
The biggest concern consumers have is to avoid a situation where the solar system fails before the loan is paid out. After all, there is no point in purchasing a system that does not work after 5 years and you still have 2 years of loan repayments and a full electricity bill to handle, particularly for single parent families.
To ensure you can feel 100% comfortable about taking advantage of this interest free loan, we have put the following minimum standards in place:
- All solar products have a minimum 10 year warranty
- We are only using European Solar inverters and high quality Teir 1 solar panels with a long track record of reliability in Australia
- All solar product providers must have an Australian based office with a minimum of 5 years operation & excellent Australian support service records
- GI Energy provides a full overriding 5 year whole of system workmanship warranty.
- GI Energy also provides ongoing support (in claiming manufacturers warranty claims) and general guidance with your solar system for it’s entire life. If there is something that you don’t understand or that worries you (even in 20 years or more) we intend to be in business to guide you to the best result for your solar system.
Our installation service is of the highest standards regardless of the product level, so even if you purchase a budget system the cabling, electrical components and care of installation is the same as our high quality systems.
GI Energy suggested products
Beyond ensuring our recommended systems have a great warranty and installation, we’ve looked at over 70 product combinations and tested them for best value for money under the loan. We’ve also taken into consideration the humid climate and seasonal cyclonic conditions in Northern QLD regions.
- Affordable Panel option: Canadian Solar. This is a highly reputable brand internationally and has a strong Australian history. The panels have been quality tested for a number of extreme climate situations and of all the ‘mid range’ panels, GI Energy feels that this is the best option for an affordable system. 10 year warranty.
- Preferred panel option: QCELLS. We’ve opted for QCELLS as the preferred panel because it has the highest Cyclone test results of any panel on the market. We feel this is extremely important in North QLD. QCELLS also has a premium range of panels that have some of the highest standards of manufacturing in the industry. 12 year warranty that covers more defect issues than most panels on the market.
- Affordable solar inverter option: ABB. A very solid European brand with a 10 year warranty. ABB products are extremely well engineered.
- Preferred solar inverter option: Fronius. Fronius is the industry standard – European inverter in Australia. This is an inverter that is favoured amongst most quality solar installers in Australia and has proven to be a strong and reliable product. The Fronius monitoring remote monitoring system is also one of the most informative and reliable systems available and can assist you in improving your solar savings results.
Savings examples for interest free Solar
There would be no point in installing a solar system if it was not going to provide a savings benefit for you. Fortunately, the QLD Government have provided a solution that almost guarantees you will lower your monthly cashflow as soon as it is installed.
Almost? Well – we need to check your roof to ensure placement of enough panels to produce the savings you’ll need.
To help you understand what the estimated savings can be, we have provided two scenarios for you to review. An important thing to consider when looking at these examples is that they are generic conditions. One of our consultants will evaluate your home and your energy consumption to produce a reliable savings estimate for your situation.
The first scenario is taken from the QLD Government website. Here are the assumptions
- A 3.24kW system
- $4,500 system cost and Government Loan
- A current Electricity bill of $500 per quarter
The second is a larger, high quality system with the following assumptions:
- A $2,777 deposit
- A $4,500 loan in addition to the deposit
- A 6.27kW system
- A current Electricity bill of $500 per quarter
These two examples are provided as a guide to give you a better idea of the possibility of savings in each scenario. GI Energy has identified 4 key solar packages that work very effectively with this loan, however we can look at a customised solution to meet your needs.
When should you look at using this solar loan?
Because this is an interest free solar loan, the QLD Government is aware that you will be saving money. Because you’ll be saving money, you’ll have all the money you need to repay the loan. If you’ve been unable to get a loan elsewhere, particularly if you are a single parent family, this may be a great opportunity for you. There are limited funds available for these loans, so it will be first in first served.
This interest free solar loan has been designed by the QLD Government to ensure you receive instant relief without adding to your family budget. This means that you should be saving at least $30 per month as soon as you have your system installed, particularly when you live in Logan or Cairns, when the sun is always shining.
If you are don’t have any spare money, you can choose a $4,500 system to avoid any upfront costs. This means instant financial relief. If you would like a larger system, contact us and we can discuss options about deposit options to get you going sooner.
Federal Government solar subsidies and panel prices can rise and fall regularly. In August 2017 rebate prices fell and added an additional $400 – $1,000 on system prices. In August 2018, rebate prices are stable and panel prices have recently fallen. The timing is very good for people considering this loan.
All of this tells us that there is no reason to wait. Contact us now and start to learn if this will help. If the loan is not right for you, we will tell you. We are particularly aware of unwanted sales pressures for families and can assure you that your enquiry will be treated with great respect to your individual situation.
How long has GI Energy been operating?
GI Energy has been in operation since April 2011. We have developed 11 solid, long-term solar installations teams in Queensland;
Gold Coast, Logan, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Dalby (two teams) 7.5 years
Miles, Roma, Chinchilla – 7 years
Cairns – 5.5 years
Mereeba – 5 years
Townsville – 5 years
Mackay – 5 years
Rockhampton, Gladstone, Emerald (two teams) – 5 years
Bundaburg, Hervey Bay – 5 years
Mt Isa – 4 years
GI Energy understands the importance of local economy in regional areas. We are committed to supporting our locally based contractors in all regional areas.
We are also committed to providing the highest levels of customer support in all areas. We encorage all of our clients to contact us with any questions during the warranty periods and far beyond. Our priority is to ensure our clients get the best production and savings from their solar for the full life of their system.
Because of our extensive history of operation in most regional Queensland areas, and our commitment to the goals of the Queensland Governments Interest free solar loans program, we beleive that we have the highest quality and most secure solar offering for Queensland families needing assistance with this loan.
GI Energy will be considerate of your budget and work to ensure your solar system provides a reliable savings solution beyond the 7 year repayment period.
Contact us now via our web form or call us on 1300 876 269
Upcoming solar battery loans
There are two more Queensland Government loans coming later this year. Both include a $3,000 rebate for solar Batteries. To keep up to date with information about these upcoming loans, register below.