Interest-free loans for solar panels - South Australia’s renewable obsession

By Ceyda Erem ·

For the Aussies who like to keep up with the latest energy news, they’ll know that South Australia has slowly become the place for all things renewable energy.

So much so that the South Australian Labor Government has recently pledged to provide $100 million in loans to homeowners to help them buy solar panels for their home if re-elected this March.

Premier Jay Weatherill announced yesterday that Aussies in South Australia would be able to apply for loans of up to $10,000 and pay no interest for the first seven years. 

"More renewable energy means cheaper power for all South Australians," said Weatherill. 

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Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis believes that the proposed idea will also reduce the demand on the grid during peak hours. 

How much will South Australians save?

According to Solar Choice, depending on the system size, the cost solar panes can exceed $13,000, leading many Aussies to consider applying for a personal loan in order to switch to a green energy plan. 

Since these loans will have no interest, we thought it might be a good idea to take our personal loan repayments calculator for a spin to calculate how much Aussies in South Australia could expect to save. 

The average interest rate for a fixed, unsecured personal loan is currently 11.2% - on the same loan terms, homeowners would save $4,471 in interest.

The solar obsession 

Along with this move, Weatherill has also bumped up the renewable energy target for the state - aiming to have 75% of their energy sourced from renewables by 2025, a target that may not be far out of reach. 

At the moment, South Australia generates 48.9% of its energy using renewables and is recognised as the state most strongly embracing solar as a reputable energy source. 

RELATED: Australians turning to rooftop solar in record numbers amid energy bill price hikes

"Given the momentum in renewables and the mechanisms for firming renewables in South Australia, 75% by 2025 is easily achievable without risk to security and reliability,” said SIMEC Zen Energy President, Ross Garnaut.

Earlier this month, Mozo reported on another renewable energy scheme, which saw the Weatherill Government partner with Elon Musk’s Tesla to deliver free solar batteries and panels to 50,000 South Aussie households. 

And according to Weatherill, the partnership is predicted to save Aussies up to 30% on their energy bill. 

“We will use people's homes as a way to generate energy for the South Australian grid, with participating households benefiting with significant savings in their energy bills," he said.

But just because you don’t live in South Australia doesn’t mean that you can’t join in on the solar club. If you’re thinking of adding solar panels to your rooftop, our Energy Comparison tool can show you some of the top deals in solar plans today.

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Ceyda Erem
Ceyda Erem
Money writer

Ceyda Erem is Mozo’s authority on Energy, as well as having broader expertise as a personal finance writer. She loves to put her researching and writing talents into stories that help our readers to make more informed financial choices, whether that’s about finding the best energy deal or writing about the latest sneaky bank tricks. Ceyda has a Bachelor of Arts (major in writing) from Macquarie University.