Industry wants Victoria solar rebates to target lower income homes, more batteries

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After the first round of rebates was exhausted within days, industry calls on Vic Govt to restrict rebate program to most needy households.

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One Step Off The Grid

Just a week after the launch of the Victorian Solar Homes program, the solar industry has called on the Victorian Government to focus its solar rebate program on lower income homes, after the first round was exhausted in just three days.

The Victorian Solar Homes program currently has a means-testing threshold that limits eligibility under the programs for applicants with household incomes of below $180,000 per annum.

However, even with the means-testing requirement in place, the demand for rooftop solar may overwhelm the number of grants available to households, with the rebates potentially covering up to half of the cost of a new solar installation.

The Smart Energy Council has called on the Victorian Government to reduce the means testing threshold to $90,000, to limit the rebates to households that will receive the most benefit from a solar installation.

“Demand is strong, which means the current scheme design is leading to disappointment for consumers and threatens to damage hundreds of Victorian solar companies,” the Smart Energy Council said in a statement.

“The Smart Energy Council supports the Victorian Solar Homes Program and will work with the Victorian Government to improve the rollout of the program to help Victorians slash their power bills and ensure a strong, sustainable and safe solar industry in Victoria.”

The Smart Energy Council also hopes that the Solar Homes program – which aims to add some 2.6GW of rooftop solar over a decade – can be used to provide greater support for the uptake of household battery storage systems.

This article was originally published on RenewEconomy’s sister site One Step Off The Grid

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