Victorian Solar's Sigh of Relief - how long will it last?
Changes to Vic Solar Homes rebate brings much needed relief - but (how long) will it last?
After months of uncertainty, it looks like Victoria’s solar industry can finally breathe a collective sigh of relief, with the introduction of a ‘more rebates, more often’ approach that should help return stability to the market.
For those companies that managed to pull through the months of turmoil, they can now get back to the important work of bringing the state’s electricity system into the modern era.
The government’s policy shift is undoubtedly a direct result of the increasing pressure it was under from industry, led by fierce and vocal efforts from the Clean Energy Council, Smart Energy Council, Solar Cutters and countless other organisations & individuals.
Interestingly, the government has decided to double down on its commitment, allocating a larger budget and a greater number of overall incentive slots to the program, plus greater safeguards for safety.
But will it fix the problem for good? Let’s have a look.
What’s changed with the Solar Homes package?
Here are the key changes to the Solar Homes program that the government has brought in:
An extra 23,000 rebates have been made available this financial year.
Rebates will be released on the first and third Monday of each month, smoothing demand more evenly across the month
The number of rebates has increased from 3,333/month to 6,500/month in October and November, and 5,000/month from then on (except for January - always a slow month anyway - which is only 4,000). September's release will be boosted to 9,750, forward loaded into the first fortnight in order to release built-up pressure.
The value of each rebate (~$2,250) will remain at the current level until 1st January 2020, when it was previously set to reduce anyway. That reduction is likely to drive a surge in demand in November and December
Solar retailers will be able to upload complete quotes at any time, normalising their workflow.
The web portal will be streamlined, and controversial aspects of the scheme including facial recognition will be removed later in the year
An increase in the number of post-installation audits to ensure quality & safety of jobs undertaken under the scheme
A business mentoring program conducted by Small Business Victoria to be introduced
First reaction: Now will there be enough rebates to go around?
Read on to find out why you shouldn't break out the (expensive) champagne just yet.