Last night, the Victorian Labor party was returned to Government for the next 4 years. In charge of Australia’s second largest state, Premiere Daniel Andrews says Victoria is the most progressive state in the country.
One of the biggest issues in the election was power prices and the Labor party had a number of important policies to address price and reliability of energy in the state.
Solar Panels for 650,000 homes
In August, the Andrews Labor Government announced a solar scheme to make it more affordable for Victorians to help themselves, with a scheme that offers half price solar panels at no up-front cost. With Labor now re-elected, this will now be a reality.
The new Solar Homes program, is worth 1.24 billion dollars and will fund this scheme for 650,000 homes over ten years.
Victorian households that install a solar panel system, will get half the cost funded by the Government, and receive an interest free loan to pay the remaining 50% cost over 4 years.
On average, Victorian households are installing 4kW PV systems, producing a reduction of around $890 per year on their power bills.
As someone with a new 4 bedroom home, that is very reliant on technology and therefore power, I’m keen to join the front of the cue for this program, it sounds like a great deal for consumers. Those, like me, may take the savings on the solar panels and invest that saving into battery storage, further reducing the energy cost.
To manage the program, the Government have committed to new independent agency, Solar Victoria. They will be tasked with working with the solar industry, regulators and training organisations to deliver the program, expected to create around 5,500 jobs.
To keep things safe, the Government will invest $9 million to support accreditation of 4,500 electricians. ensuring solar panels installed under the scheme will only be done by accredited solar installers.
Batteries for 10,000 homes
The Andrews Government also committed to provide discounts to those households that invest in energy storage.
Eligible homeowners can save up to $4,838 on the installation of a battery storage unit. By storing and using energy locally, before drawing from the grid, it is expected households with an average 11kwH battery, will save around $650 a year on their annual power bill. This adds to the savings made from solar panels.
Under the scheme, homeowners can get a 50% rebate for installation of a battery storage unit, capped at $4,838. Over the life of the scheme, we know batteries will come down in price, so the maximum rebate tapers down to $3,714 by 2026.
A re-elected Labor Government will also work with distributors and invest $10 million to transition the grid to support more renewable energy over the next ten years, including a new expert Network Services Advisory Committee and regulatory reform.
Terms and conditions
Here’s the fine print.. which is actually not to bad, ensuring only families that need financial assistance, receive it.
The 50% rebate on solar panel systems will be available to Victorians with a household income of up to $180,000 who live in their own home valued at up to $3 million – this means almost 9/10 Victorians who own their own house are eligible.’
The 50% discount on solar is available now, however the full scheme of interest-free loans for the remaining 50% begins in July 2019.
The battery program will be available in growth areas where there are already a large number of homes with solar panels.
More information at https://solar.vic.gov.au.
“We know the cost of living is going up and it’s getting harder to make ends meet. That’s why Labor is helping families with their energy bills. Only Labor will help put solar panels on your roof to cut your electricity bills by around $900 a year.”Premier Daniel Andrews