By Cam Lucadou-Wells
After a three month hiatus, the Solar Homes program has been rebooted from 1 July.
The State Government program in 2019-20 will support the installation of 49,000 rooftop solar panels, hot water systems and batteries in households.
Installers were angered after the 2018-19 program was brought to an early halt due to being oversubscribed.
The scheme for 24,000 rebates was extended and capped at 32,000 before being frozen in late April.
In that time, 371 rebates were taken up in the Dandenong electorate.
Keysborough-based installer Samuel Kent, of Sky Energy, recently told Star News he lost all of his residential contracts “overnight” when the scheme was stopped.
In June, Solar Energy Installers Association Victoria chairperson Philip Smith said the industry had been blighted by stop-and-start rebates for 30 years.
“Either support a rebate program continuously or have no rebate at all – just make it stable.”
The redesigned 2019-20 program releases rebates on the first day of each month – seemingly to avoid the ‘boom-bust’ cycle.
Other new features are having the rebate applied at point of sale, and no-interest loans to further reduce upfront costs.
Dandenong MP Gabrielle Williams said the program added power back into the grid and saved “hundreds of dollars” each year for households.
“The take up we’ve seen already highlights the appetite of the people of Dandenong to embrace renewable energy, help tackle climate change and take control of their energy bills.
“I encourage anyone who doesn’t already have solar but wants to get involved to contact their local retailer and take advantage of this great program.”