Victoria’s Solar Homes Package Rebate Program – Reactions

Solar Homes Package

Image : Solar Victoria

The new solar rebate announced by the Andrews Labor Government on Sunday has been getting a lot of attention – we’ve certainly noticed increased activity originating in Victoria here on SolarQuotes.

While the Turnbull Government still appears to be scrabbling around in the dark on energy policy, Victoria’s government has been enjoying sunny days since its announcement.

As reported yesterday, the new Solar Homes program is aiming for solar panels to be installed on 650,000 more homes in Victoria over ten years. It will initially provide 24,000 eligible Victorian households up to a maximum $2,225 rebate on a solar power system (on top of Australia’s existing subsidy) from 19 August 2018 to 30 June 2019. The remainder will follow, with the scheme then also accompanied by an interest-free loan element from July next year – assuming Labor is re-elected in November this year.

SQ’s Ronald provided more detail on the Solar Homes rebate yesterday and there’s new information in the comments thread on that post.

The announcement was unsurprisingly well-received by the solar industry and its supporters.

Clean Energy Council – Solar Power To The People

“While rooftop solar is an increasingly attractive proposition, this program will support even more Victorians to embrace greater energy independence through solar and storage technology,” stated Clean Energy Chief Executive Kane Thornton. “The tens of thousands of new homes installing these technologies will also help to ease the strain on our power grid during hot days when air-conditioners are running at maximum across the state. “

Smart Energy Council – “Tri-Benefits”

“This program delivers the ‘tri-benefit’ of solar, it is good for families, good for jobs, and good for the environment,” said Smart Energy Council CEO John Grimes. “This is a massive boost for families wanting to slash their power bills and a real shot in the arm for job creation and skills development.”

Solar Citizens – Simple, Significant

Solar Citizens said the Andrews Government had provided a simple yet significant solution to the challenge many people face in meeting the upfront cost of installing a solar power system.

“If governments are serious about bringing down power prices they will work to make rooftop solar accessible to more households,” said the group’s National Director Joseph Scales.

ACF – Clear Solution For Cutting Pollution

“This announcement shows that Victoria gets that when it comes to energy policy you can have your cake and eat it too,” commented Australian Conservation Foundation’s Gavan McFadzean. “Driving more renewables into the system is the best way to cut climate pollution and electricity prices, while adding stability to the national grid.”

.. and then of course there were those opposed, or at least suspicious of the scheme.

Among them was Liberal MP David Southwick,  Victoria’s Shadow Minister for Innovation, Energy and Resources and Renewables. The Guardian reports Mr. Southwick said the program had whiffs of former PM’s Kevin Rudd’s pink batts scheme. Mr. Southwick may have missed the bit about solar systems being installed by accredited installers using Clean Energy Council approved components. Additionally, participating installers will not have had any WorkSafe infringement notices in the past three years.

A new independent agency, Solar Victoria, will work with industry, regulators and training bodies in delivering the program. It will also conduct regular auditing of installed solar power systems to ensure safety and quality-assurance standards are being met.

While all this may not guarantee a perfect installation every time and solar buyers will still need to take care when choosing a solar installer, the pink batts fiasco provided some very important lessons that appear to have been heeded.

UPDATE: SQ’s Ronald has published an update on the Solar Homes rebate, with new information.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Is Southwick state or feral shadowy monster?

  2. It has just occurred to me – the Loony Neanderthal Party, at both the state and feral levels, should be wholeheartedly supporting this policy of the Victorian state government.

    As Barney Rubble is reported to have said;

    “The biggest issue is prices must come down, they can’t even stay where they are they must come down. Once we’ve ticked that box, once we’ve demonstrated to the Australian people prices are coming down, we can talk on other issues.”

    And, with both the rebate, and the upcoming interest-free finance, the electricity costs WILL be coming down.

    So, the Victorian state government are achieving what the Loony Neanderthal Party have shown they can do no more than talk about – reducing electricity costs.

    So, the Loony Neanderthal Party must wholeheartedly support the policy of the Victorian state government, otherwise, they show that they have no intention of doing what they say, and, they show that they do not even believe what they say.

  3. As the owner of a solar company in regional NSW, I don’t look at this news in a positive light. a rebate of this magnitude will certainly encourage the MASS uptake of solar in Victoria, but it will distort the market massively. No 1. this scheme will leverage off the SRES and the STC’s awarded – and the sheer volume of new installs will cause the STC to plummet. The result will be a massive uptake in new solar installations in Victoria and a sustained drop in sales across all other states and territories as the STC price plummets. Victorian solar companies will use the rebate to cover the STC drop but also to increase their profitability. Labour resources will flock to Victoria due to a likely shortage of installers and likely higher wages (supply and demand) – this will further distort the national market on wage expectations and contractor rates.

    Its a mess and I’m not saying that from a jealous point of view – any subsidy or rebate needs to be a smaller incentive – say a fixed $1000 to offset the cost and/or a 4-year interest-free loan…

  4. And, even the Bad Abbott shows that he supports the policy of the Victorian state government;


    When asked if he had lost confidence in Mr Turnbull, Mr Abbott said it was not about personalities.

    “It is not about him, it is not about me, it is about what is going to give Australia the best possible energy system that delivers affordable, reliable power,” Mr Abbott said.

    “the best possible energy system that delivers affordable, reliable power”

    Well, the Victorian state government policy will deliver that, including reducing the risk of power supply blackouts due to inadequate available electricity during increasing heatwaves.

    So, the feral parliament should match, across the country, on a per capita basis, the action of the Victorian state government.

    Taht is, when the Loony Neanderthal Party has stopped destroying itself, IF it is possible for the Loony Neanderthal Party to stop destroying itself…

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