ACT opens solar scheme to low-income households

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ACT opens $2m pilot program to provide access to solar rooftop to those households least able to afford it – or high electricity bills.

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The ACT’s $2 million low-income solar scheme has opened for registrations of interest from eligible households, wishing to install rooftop PV but unable to afford the upfront investment.

ACT environment minister Simon Corbell said on Wednesday that people living in low-income households in the Territory could now put their hands up to take part in the pilot program, which will run for the next four years.

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The program, which is expected to start installing systems in late 2016 or early 2017, will be run as a pilot, initially, to determine the best approach for future delivery, and will be developed in conjunction with key stakeholders including ACT Housing, community welfare organisations, and low-income loan groups.

The opening of the renewables scheme – one of many being successfully rolled out in the ACT – comes at a time where rooftop solar and wind energy are being accused of driving up power prices in some parts of Australia.

But as we have noted on various separate occasions, the accusations, coming mainly from conservative politicians and media outlets, are ill-informed and misdirected, and ignore the many benefits solar and wind have brought to the national electricity market.

ACT’s Corbell, who is the mastermind behind the territory’s ambitious 100 per cent renewable energy target, has demonstrated these benefits very well, and is poised to deliver massive savings to consumers in the nation’s capital, as this article explains.

That aside, pairing solar with low-income and public housing is considered by many policy-makers to be no-brainer, and has been made a priority by many governments, state, federal and international.

In the US, for example, outgoing President Barack Obama has just announced plans to increase installations of solar power for low-income households 10-fold to 1GW by 2020, Bloomberg reports.

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7 Comments
  1. john 3 years ago

    How galling it must be for some of the government benches to be in the town that is leading a charge to single handedly show how movement can and is being made to a greater penetration of RE.
    Mind they are not the only state government to show initiative.
    Australia the most blessed of any nation with solar resources as well as wind and wave to burn.

  2. Brunel 3 years ago

    Hope the money goes to local solar panel factories and not PV factories abroad.

    • Peter Campbell 3 years ago

      Either way, much of the cost is the labour for installation, which is unavoidably local.

      • Brunel 3 years ago

        So why is it worth saving steel factories and not solar PV factories.

        • Peter Campbell 3 years ago

          I am not saying don’t save PV factories. Just that not all would be lost – much of the cost of a PV installation is in the design/delivery/installing.

          • Brunel 3 years ago

            Houses across AUS already use imported solar panels.

            But when government money is handed out, priority should be given to local factories.

  3. MaxG 3 years ago

    “ill-informed and misdirected” — isn’t this mildly put? And should read devious liars and menace to society politicians.

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