The federal Labor Party has unveiled an energy policy with a strong focus on driving the uptake of home solar and battery storage, as it builds on its pre-election promise of a 50 per cent renewable energy share for Australia by 2030, a 45 per cent emissions reduction, and cheaper electricity.
Ahead of a landmark speech on Thursday, Labor leader Bill Shorten pledged a $200 million spend on household batteries, and another $100 million on helping renters and low-income families access the benefits of solar power.
Labor’s Household Battery Program will offer a rebate of $2,000 from the cost of batteries to 100,000 households from 2020, the start of a plan aiming for a new national target of one million household battery installations by 2025.
The program – which also offer low income loans to help on the battery purchase, presumably through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation – follows similar but smaller programs in South Australia, Victoria and other states.
That part of the battery program will focus on households with incomes of less than $180,000. There will also be another $100 million targeted to help renters and low income households access the benefits of renewables.This will be achieved through “community energy” hubs and “solar gardens” championed by the likes of community energy retailers like Enova, as well as community based wind farms, energy efficiency measures and other pilot programs.