Solar rebate battle continues, as industry readies for “bigger” protest

One Step Off The Grid

A second major protest in as many weeks will rally outside Victorian Parliament on Thursday, as the solar industry steps up calls for the state government to make urgent changes to its “disastrous” rooftop solar rebate.

The Smart Energy Council on Monday revealed plans for the follow-up rally, this time targeting Premier Daniel Andrews’ office, deemed responsible for the design of the scheme.

SEC chief John Grimes said the event would be “bigger and even more impactful” than the first, when hundreds gathered to protest the devastating effect the rebate has had on many businesses in the state.

“The Victorian government needs to hear loud and clear that their Solar Homes Program has been an absolute disaster and must be fixed immediately,” Grimes said in an email.

The SEC says the industry is calling on the Labor government to abolish the red tape involved in applying for the solar rebate – in this case, an overly complex and glitchy online application process – and to at least halve the dollar amount of the rebate, and then double the number available.

Currently, the rebate offers a maximum discount of $2,225 for a rooftop solar system, for households with a combined annual income of no more than $180,000.

One of the key criticisms of the scheme, however, has centred on its execution, with only 3,333 rebates opened to applications each month. In July, this number was exhausted within three days. Last week, the August allocation was taken up in just 90 minutes.

To read the full story on RenewEconomy sister site One Step Off The Grid, click here…

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