The number of solar panels rebates available to Victorian households is set to triple in September thanks to intense lobbying to the state government.
Meeting with local members, 23 August
Solar representatives from Mount Alexander Shire and Bendigo met on Friday 23 August with Jacinta Allan, member for Bendigo East and Maree Edwards, member for Bendigo West calling for the rebate cap to be lifted.
Rebate cap lifted, 28 August.
On 28 August, the Victorian government announced that the Solar Homes program will release 6,500 rebates on Monday 2 September and a further 3,250 rebates two weeks later. This will bring to a total of 9,750 rebates for the full month. In all, 23,000 further rebates will be released this financial year bringing the total number of solar panels rebates to 63,416.
A great result for solar customers
“We reckon our message was heard,” said Jo Kaptein, organiser of the MASH community solar bulk-buy. “Jacinta Allan and Maree Edwards gave us a good hearing and clearly our message got back to the powers that be. Of course we were just one of many groups calling for urgent change. This amazing result is testament to the hard work of lots of people and a great example of democracy in action.”
In August, 3767 rebates were released on the first of the month. These were all gone within 90 minutes.
Vic government has listened and acted
“The rebate was putting an artificial cap on the industry, threatening jobs and frustrating customers,” said Luke Shavak from the Smart Energy Council. “The last few months have been very stressful for many in the solar industry. We are happy that the state government has listened and acted.”
MASH solar installer, Luke Walford from Macedon Ranges Solar Power agrees. “The rebate cap was too low. Demand for the rebates is huge. And no wonder. Up to $2225 off the cost of your solar power system, plus an interest-free loan for the same amount. It’s a great offer. We talked to Mary-Anne Thomas, the State Member for Macedon and she was very supportive. Now the cap is lifted, we can get on with the job of installing systems. It’s a huge relief.”
Rebates will be released twice a month
Going forward, rebates will be released twice a month – rather than monthly.
6500 rebates in October & November
In October and November, 6,500 rebates will be released. After that, the allocations will drop to an average of 5,000 a month through to June 2020.
Possible to apply manually too
A number of rebates will be set aside for manual applications for those people who do not wish to apply online.
“The rebate is super popular,” said Jo Kaptein. “It brings solar within the financial reach of lots more people. Now that the cap has been lifted, solar installations are going to soar!”
For more information about the MASH community solar bulk-buy visit mash.org.au or call 1300 466 274. To learn more about the solar panels rebate go to solar.vic.gov.au