Changes requested to the Victorian Solar Rebates

A push to change the eligibility criteria for Victoria’s rooftop solar rebate is being resisted by state government, despite increasingly urgent appeals from industry to review the scheme.

The push follows news that applications for discounted solar panels had effectively been put on hold, again, until August, after the July allotment of 3,333 applications for the solar subsidy was exhausted within days of opening.

This prompted the Clean Energy Council to join other industry bodies in speaking out against the design of the scheme, which it said was starting to cause serious industry distress, and needed urgent review.

The CEC also backed calls – originally from the Smart energy Council and the Solar Cutters – for the state Labor government to halve the household income threshold, currently set at a maximum of $180,000 a year.

But the government says it will not adjust the income criteria, arguing that it would only succeed in excluding the majority of dual income households in the state.
“There are no plans to change the eligibility criteria for the Solar Homes program,” energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio said in comments emailed to RenewEconomy.

“Reducing the income threshold would risk locking-out most dual income families and many hardworking Victorians like teachers, nurses and firefighters, from accessing the solar rebates,” she said.