Up to 300,000 households across NSW will be able to install solar panels and batteries with no upfront costs under an interest-free loan scheme offered by the state government.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Sunday announced the Empowering Homes program, a 10-year scheme to incentivise the installation of solar panels and battery storage systems.

‘We know many families look at putting on solar panels or storage battery facilities but the upfront costs are so expensive,’ Ms Berejiklian told reporters.

No-interest loans of up to $9000 for a battery system and up to $14,000 for a solar battery system will be available to owner-occupied households with an annual combined income of up to $180,000.

A household which currently pays a $500 energy bill each quarter would save an estimated $285 a year while repaying the loans and more than $2000 a year once the loan is repaid.


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The announcement comes a day after NSW Labor revealed its 10-year Solar Homes policy which would encourage 500,000 households to install rooftop solar panels.

Under the scheme, owner-occupied households with a combined income of up to $180,000 would be eligible for a rebate of up to $2200.

On average, a saving of up to $600 annually off electricity bills is estimated under the scheme.

Energy minister Don Harwin said the key to the Berejiklian government’s program was the emphasis on solar battery systems.

While 400,000 homes already have solar panels, the government wants as many to have batteries to increase reliability in the system because the sun doesn’t always shine,’ the minister told reporters.

‘When the sun’s going down, rooftop solar’s not generating any further (power), we have the equivalent of a big power station supplying reliable, dispatchable power through batteries.’

A tender process will be used to select delivery partners for the program.