The Australian Federal Government, the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, and Sydney Water offer a range of rebates and initiatives to help ease the cost of installing climate-friendly and water efficient products.

Climate Friendly Hot Water System Rebates

Currently there are no State or Federal Government rebate schemes operating for installation of climate friendly hot water systems.  However installation of climate friendly hot water systems in place of electric storage hot water systems can be eligible to create Small-scale Renewable Technology Certificates (STCs).  The STCs are a measure of renewable energy the system produces, or displaces over its life time and is usually offered as an up front discount by the supplier of the climate friendly hot water system.

If you are looking to replace an electric storage hot water system with a climate friendly alternative, talk to your climate friendly hot water system retailer about the exact number of STCs your system will attract and the price they will offer for the STCs at the time of installation.  For more information on the STCs visit the Clean Energy Regulator or call 1300 553 542.

Solar Power (PV) System Incentives

The Federal Governments Solar Credits Scheme replaces the previous solar power system rebate.  Through the solar credits scheme, installers of eligible new small solar power systems are able to receive multiple times more for RECs (Renewable Energy Credits) than they normally would for the first 1.5 kilowatts of capacity installed. Generation from capacity above 1.5 kilowatts will still be eligible for the standard 1:1 rate of REC creation.

You can then sell these RECs to gain a financial benefit. Most people find it convenient to sell their RECs to a registered agent and receive a cash payment or discount on the solar power system at the time of purchase.

Home owners, small businesses and community groups can all be eligible for the Australian solar credits program. Access to the scheme is not means capped.
Solar Credits are available for people who install eligible solar power systems between 9 June 2009 and 31 December 2012. Eligible solar power systems must be certified for the scheme. The multiplication for additional RECs under the Solar Credits, for the first 1.5 kilowatts of capacity is as follows:

Installation Period Multiplication

9 June 2009 – 30 June 2010


1 July 2010 – 30 June 2011


1 July 2011 – 30 June 2012


1 July 2012 – 31 December 2012


1 January 2013 Onwards

1x (No multiplier)



For more information in the Solar Credits Scheme visit the Clean Energy Regulator at or call 1300 553 542 or ask your solar power supplier.

To provide an additional incentive for the installation of small scale solar power systems, the NSW Government has introduced a Solar Bonus Scheme. The key features of NSW Solar Bonus Scheme include:

  • The Solar Bonus Scheme commenced on 1 January 2010, and will continue to operate until 31 December 2016
  • Existing customers will continue to receive the 60 cent credit (ongoing eligibility will depend on certain circumstances not changing)
  • Customers who purchase systems after 27 October 2010 will be assessed under the new scheme, which has a tariff of 20 cents credit per kilowatt hour
  • Some retailers may also offer additional payments on top of the Solar Bonus Scheme tariff of 20 cents per kilowatt hour
  • An overall scheme capacity limit of 300 MW applies.  Customers who connect to the grid after the cap has been reached will not be eligible for tariff payments under the Scheme
  • The Scheme will be reviewed by the Minister in 2012 and again after 2016
  • Applications to the Solar Bonus Scheme have been placed on hold from 29th April 2011

For more details visit


Fridge Buyback

Fridge Buyback

Fridge Buyback is an energy efficiency program that actually pays you to reduce your electricity bill and help save the environment. Old fridges are big energy users, consuming up to three times the energy of new fridges. Running your second fridge adds an average of $225 a year to your electricity bill and puts 1 tonne of greenhouse gases into the environment.

If you live in our collection area you can participate if:

  • you have a working second fridge in regular use;
  • it is at least 10 years old; and
  • its internal volume is 250 litres or greater  (8.83 cubic feet).

Experienced removalists will collect your fridge free of charge from your home if removal involves 20 stairs or less. We’ll also pay you a $35 rebate if removal involves six stairs or less. If removal involves 21 or more stairs, a fee will apply. The refrigerant gas from your fridge will be removed and safely disposed of and the metals recycled. By March 2010 over 1,000 old fridges had been collected through this program in the Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama Council areas. Call 1800 708 401 to retire your working second fridge or visit

Fridge Buyback is supported by the NSW Government’s Climate Change Fund and is part of the NSW Climate Change Fund rebates.

fridghe buyback - picking up your unused second fridge

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)

In addition to rebates, there is also the opportunity to receive a further cost reduction at the time of purchasing climate friendly technologies like solar hot water and solar power systems through the creation of RECs.

Renewable Energy Certificates are a form of currency which recognises and certifies that renewable energy generation has taken place.

The REC system has been created to aid in meeting Mandatory Renewable Energy Targets (MRET) set to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas production and increase the proportion of Australia’s electricity that is derived from renewable sources.
Each REC represents an equivalent 1 megawatt hour of electricity generation from an accredited renewable energy source, or in the case of solar hot water heaters each REC represents the equivalent of 1 megawatt hour of electricity displaced by solar energy.

Eligible technologies that may be able to create RECs include:

  • Solar hot water heaters
  • Heat pump hot water heaters
  • Small photovoltaic solar energy generation systems
  • Small wind turbines
  • Small hydro systems

Each system is assigned a REC value which represents the number of megawatt hours displaced by the system over its lifetime. The value of 1 REC at the time of purchasing the system will determine the total REC value of the system.  For example if your solar hot water system is entitled to 24 RECs, and the value of 1 REC is $46.00, then the total REC value of the system is $1,104.00.
Owners of solar hot water heaters or solar power systems can create RECs themselves through the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator’s internet based REC registry and do not have to sell them. However, most people find it far more convenient and simple to assign their right to create RECs to a Registered Agent in return for a financial benefit such as a discount at the time of purchase.
For more information on REC’s check out the Clean Energy Regulator at, or speak to your solar hot water or solar power supplier.

Free Home Sustainability Assessments through the Home Power Saver Scheme

Through the Home Power Savings Program, 220,000 eligible households will save up to 20% a year on their power use.

Every eligible household that joins the program will get a FREE:

  • Home power assessment by an energy expert to identify ways to save power in the home
  • Power Savings Kitto help kick start savings which includes:
    • 'eco switch' to turn off standby power
    • 4 energy efficient light bulbs
    • low flow showerhead
    • shower timer
    • tap aerator
    • draught-proof strips around the door
    • door snake.
  • Personal Power Savings Action Plan

To be eligible for the program you must live in NSW and contribute to the power bills for the property.

At least one person in your household must have one of the following cards:

  • Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card
  • Centrelink Low Income Health Care Card
  • Department of Veterans' Affairs Pensioner Concession Card
  • Department of Veterans' Affairs (Gold) Repatriation Health Card
  • Department of Veterans' Affairs (White) Repatriation Health Card
  • be a recognised energy utility hardship customer.

 water efficient washing machine rebate

Kiama Municipal Council logo NSW Environment Trust logo This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environment Trust