Victoria’s Day Of Solar Action This Thursday

Victorian Solar Rally

A rally on the steps of Victoria’s Parliament House this Thursday will endeavour to get it through the Victorian Government’s skull that not only is the nature of the Solar Homes PV rebate crippling the state’s solar industry, many Victorians are missing out on reaping the benefits of solar power.

As we recently reported, the rebate cock-up is already claiming victims. At a webinar held last week by the Smart Energy Council, attendees heard a number of harrowing examples of workers being laid off and businesses going bust; or on the verge of doing so. The situation has been communicated to the Victorian Government, but appears to have fallen on selectively deaf ears.

“The Victorian Government don’t get it,” says SolarQuotes founder Finn Peacock, who will be attending the rally this week. “They don’t believe solar workers are losing their jobs, companies are closing and families are losing their homes.”

Kneecapping Residential Solar In Victoria

For all the cost, complexity and trauma involved with the rebooted scheme, it will provide little benefit in terms of boosting solar uptake in the state as the new quota of 3,333 rebates issued a month is effectively acting as a cap on activity. The following indicates the number of installations in Victoria in the four months prior to significant rebate-related installation activity last year. The rebate was announced in the latter half of August 2018, so installations under the scheme wouldn’t have begun to really kick into gear until September.

  • May 2018 – 3,223 installations
  • June 2018 – 3,025 installations
  • July 2018 – 3,102 installations
  • August 2018 – 3,509 installation
    (Source: Clean Energy Regulator)

Among its recommendations, the Smart Energy Council is suggesting the rebate be halved so the monthly rebate quota can be doubled.

The huge demand for the rebate is also covering up other issues including how challenging it is to apply for; with some saying the process is more difficult than securing a mortgage in terms of identity verification – and subsequently abandoning it.

It seems the rebate has also had an effect of recently driving up system prices, not through greed but through the inability of businesses to sustain lower prices given the administrative burden and other challenges created by the scheme.

Victoria Solar Rally Details

The rally is being held by the Smart Energy Council in collaboration with campaign partners SolarCutters, a community of industry participants dedicated to quality solar and supporting individuals who are passionate about creating change within the Australian solar energy industry.

Where: Steps of Victoria Parliament House, Spring Street, Melbourne
When: 10:30 AM, 25 July 2019
Further information

“If you work in solar. If your family is affected. If you have missed out on the rebate. We need you,” says the Smart Energy Council. “This is your chance to force a change. Be there.”

As mentioned last week, it’s not just solar businesses, workers/their families and those who haven’t been able to secure a rebate who are and will be affected by the current situation. Existing system owners have a stake in this situation too. If installers go out of business, that leaves their customers without support and facing difficulties should they need to make a warranty-related claim.

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.

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