The Victorian Government has announced that solar rebates for 2019-20 Solar Homes Program will be now be released fortnightly rather than monthly.
The announcement made by State Minister for Solar Homes, Lily D’Ambrosio, addresses the outrage from solar installers after the August allocation of rebates were snapped up in 90 minutes.
The change will mean Victorian households don’t have to wait until the start of each month to apply for the popular program and will help to ensure a more consistent supply of work for solar installers.
On top of bringing the rebates forward, the industry has agreed to a package of reforms that will boost safety and quality, with more audit staff, stronger fraud prevention and better information-sharing.
Victorians can be sure their chosen retailer is safe and reliable, with the State Government also establishing a public register of solar installers, with unsafe and unscrupulous installers removed from the program and named on the register. This will be supported by small business mentoring and workforce training for installers.
The Solar Victoria web portal will also be streamlined and improved to make it simpler for households to apply for a rebate.
An Industry and Consumer Reference Group will also be established, bringing together industry groups, consumers, Solar Victoria and government to provide ongoing advice and inform the decade-long roll-out.
Ms D’Ambrosio said, “We’re strengthening this landmark program, which has already helped 35,000 households put a power station on their roof, saving them hundreds of dollars a year on their energy bills.
“We’ve listened to Victorians and to the solar industry about how we can make Solar Homes even better. These measures will mean cheaper bills for more Victorians this year and provide a shot in the arm for the industry.”
Clean Energy Council CEO, Kane Thornton, said, “The CEC warmly welcomes the additional support for the Solar Homes program, which will provide a major boost for the solar industry and workers in Victoria.
“We will continue to work closely with the Andrews Government to ensure that all Victorians can benefit from the best quality, safest and most affordable systems in Australia.”
Smart Energy Council CEO, John Grimes, said, “The Smart Energy Council welcomes the Victorian Government’s decision to significantly increase the number of solar rebates for the rest of 2019.
“The Victorian Government has listened to solar businesses and solar workers, and responded to their concerns. This is what good governments do.”