Victorians with electric hot water, upgrade to a heat pump for free/very cheap!

Are you a Victorian still chugging along with an electric hot water system? It’s time to dump that glorified kettle and upgrade to a modern heat pump hot water system for free/close to free thanks to a triple-decker of government rebates - STCs, VEECs and the Victorian Solar Hot Water Rebate.

Small-scale technology certificates (STCs) are available nationwide and are usually redeemed by the retailer or installer of the hot water system and the cash value passed on to you as a discount. This government website can tell you how many STCs you’ll receive based on how efficient the heat pump is and where it’ll be installed.

Victorian energy efficiency certificates (VEECs) are similar to STCs, but are run by the Victorian state government in addition to the federal government’s STCs. This website tells you how many certificates you’ll get based on the activity being undertaken (e.g: if you’re replacing an electric system you get more than if you’re replacing a gas system) and your location in Victoria. Not all installers/retailers are aware of this, so be sure to ask about it if you’re replacing a hot water system.

The Victorian Solar Hot Water Rebate is part of the Victorian government’s rebate scheme for rooftop solar panels for electricity and batteries. For some reason they thought to include heat pump hot water and solar hot water in here too. There’s a few eligibility requirements you need to be aware of, but if you meet the criteria you get $1,000 cash. It can be done by you after the system is installed or some installers will do it for you and take the $1,000 off the price.

Using a Midea RSJ-35/300RDN3 heat pump hot water system that retails for around $2,499, installed in suburban Melbourne (3021), replacing an electric resistance hot water system as an example, the following discounts apply:

  • 34 STCs @ $36.50ea - $1241
  • 29 VEECs @ $24ea - $696
  • Solar hot water rebate - $1000
  • Total: $2937

That’s right, you get more in rebates than the value of the hot water system! You still need to pay for install, but essentially the cost of the unit is free. How good is that? There’s no excuse for using an electric hot water system in Victoria in 2020.