Vic solar industry urges Premier to remove monthly solar cap
The Victorian solar industry has called on the state Premier to urgently reform the Solar Homes program by removing the current monthly cap. The industry has said that the cap is causing significant disruption to small solar businesses across the state.
As part of the July release of its Solar Homes program, the Victorian Government is providing rebates for eligible households of up to $2225 for solar panel installation. However, following the unanticipated popularity of the scheme, the government imposed a temporary freeze on rebates and implemented a monthly cap.
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the intent of the program is welcome, but the monthly cap of 3333 rebates for home solar systems is stifling the solar industry.
“We urge Premier Andrews to reduce the value of each rebate to make more rebates available, or to reduce the income threshold for eligibility so that the rebate is available to fewer customers. This would lessen the impact of the program on the Victorian solar industry,” Thornton said.
“Solar businesses are being forced to lay off workers and scale back their operations because of the devastating boom-bust cycle that has been created. Some have told us they will have to close their business because they don’t have enough cash flow to keep the doors open. It’s heartbreaking stuff. The program was designed to support the industry but unfortunately is having the opposite effect.
“We have highlighted our concerns with the Premier and the government. The need for action is urgent. Because the eligibility criteria are wide enough to include most home owners, people are delaying their purchase while they wait for the limited pool of rebates available each month.
“The industry has endured months of stopping and starting and the situation is really starting to bite. It is important that the Victorian Premier starts to listen to the many small businesses who are just trying to make a go of it but are being driven to the wall.”
Thornton made three suggestions for removing the artificial cap:
- Reduce the annual income eligibility threshold.
- Increase the number of rebates available by reducing the value of each rebate.
- Bring forward future rebates to remove the months of pent-up demand.
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