Should other states follow SA’s interest-free solar and battery loans ?

    Whatever you think of the Premiere of South Australia, Jay Weatherill, you can’t deny he’s boldly pushing renewables on multiple fronts. The latest initiative today is a new plan to offer more than 10,000 SA home owners the opportunity to take an interest-free loan to purchase solar and batteries packages. This is contingent on Labor winning the state election next month, but its an idea worth exploring and considering its viability for other Australian states.

    Most home owners are faced with rising power prices and escalating cost of living expenses. This plan would immediately change the economics of the households that install one of these systems. Most people are generally on-board with getting solar and battery storage, however upfront costs of between $5-$20,000 are prohibitive for many to make the move. With a plan like this to cover most of the cost of the purchase, with a no-interest loan, it gives home owners 7 years to distribute the cost of the investment.

    Something else to keep in mind is that adding solar and battery to your house will add to the value of your home, as potential buyers recognise they’re buying a residence with lower power bills. Should you ever choose to sell the property, you may need to pay out the remaining balance of the loan.

    If I have any issue with the plan, its that the scope of it is too small. 10,000 is too few, while the Government certainly has limited funds to consider, there are reportedly around 200,000 homes in SA with solar already, before we start with new dwellings.

    Personally I’d love to take advantage of a plan like this. I’d put a 5kW solar panel system on the roof and a Powerwall 2 in the garage. Even if there’s a few thousand dollars up front to get started, that’s achievable for the chance to bring your power bill to almost nothing. With more money in your pocket week to week, families will better be able to pay for other utilities or car expenses or grocery bills, actually helping with the cost of living. Victoria and other states should definitely clone this and implement it in their own states, regardless of which political party is in power. This needs bi-partisan support to work, particularly given the terms of the loans run across multiple Government terms.

    Its high time our politicians (and the media) stopped obsessing about what’s happening in bedrooms and started to do what they’re employed to do, to represent the people and improve the country for the better. While Canberra has a strange way of distorting this, the original vision of those who joined the political industry was almost always that goal and we need to get back to it. Enabling households to get back to a place where using electricity had basically no penalty, would be an amazing place to be and something they should be able to make big political capital on.

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    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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