New solar program for Victoria

The Victorian Government has announced that it will provide 50 per cent of funding for a new Solar Homes Package, providing solar PV systems up to 4Kw for 650,000 Victorian homes over the next decade.

The $1.24 billion program will save the typical Victorian household $2225 for an average 4kW solar system.

If re-elected, the current Victorian Government will also provide a four-year interest free loan for the other 50 per cent, allowing Victorians to save around $890 a year on their power bills with no up-front cost.

This announcement will create 5500 new jobs and help train 4500 Victorian electricians.

A new independent agency, Solar Victoria, will be established to work with industry, regulators and training organisations to deliver the program.

The program delivers the ‘tri-benefit’ of solar; aiming to be good for families, good for jobs, and good for the environment.

It is expected to cut carbon emissions in the state by almost four million tonnes – the same as taking one million of Victoria’s 4.6 million cars off the road – and generate 12.5 per cent of Victoria’s 40 per cent target for renewable energy by 2025.

Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, said that as well as having environmental benefits, the program aims to make it easier for Victorians to make ends meet.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, said the Solar Homes Package will  be a win-win for both families and the industry.

“While rooftop solar is an increasingly attractive proposition, this program will support even more Victorians to embrace greater energy independence through solar and storage technology,” Mr Thornton said.

“The tens of thousands of new homes installing these technologies will also help to ease the strain on our power grid during hot days when air-conditioners are running at maximum across the state.

“A recent review of the retail electricity prices by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recently concluded that the Australian energy market has not been delivering for electricity consumers. Solar and batteries are one of the few ways consumers can take back some power and control their own energy bills.”

Mr Thornton said the program’s emphasis on safety is important and the industry looks forward to working closely with Solar Victoria to ensure standards remain very high for the duration of the program.

“Supporting smart technologies will ensure solar plays an increasing role in supporting the electricity grid as it continues to transition towards cleaner sources of power,” he said.

“This will present a further boost for rooftop solar in Victoria, stimulating hundreds of small solar businesses and growing the workforce of skilled installers.”

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