Speeches Community facilities Environment and Water | June 05, 2019

Solar homes package

Victorian Parlaiment - 5 June 2019 - Ms KEALY (Lowan) (09:49:52): I wish to raise the ongoing concerns of my constituents regarding the solar panel rebate scheme with the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change. Local constituents who have installed a solar panel system are waiting at least weeks and up to months to receive the promised solar panel rebate. Emma Weatherly from Tarrington submitted solar rebate claim documentation on 20 May. This week she was informed by Solar Victoria that there will be a four to six-week delay in processing the rebate documentation. Emma stated: This is the first we have heard from Solar Victoria about a delay in processing rebate documentation and we did budgets based on receiving the rebate soon after sending in the documentation. The current delay therefore makes things financially difficult for us. The Hamilton Spectator recently reported that Ian Lewis had submitted solar rebate documentation 14 days after having panels installed on 15 February, but as of 30 May he was still waiting to receive the rebate. Lachlan Hick of Natimuk Solar has raised concerns that the changes to the solar panel rebate scheme due to come into effect on 1 July will not address the key issues that have plagued solar panel installation businesses after the rebate cap was applied overnight, resulting in a significant cut to staff hours. Another local solar retailer has raised concerns about unscrupulous installers, who do not care if customers get the rebate and are continuing to install on the promise of access to a solar rebate but with no guarantee this will be delivered to customers—likening Labor’s solar rebate program to the disastrous pink batts scheme. From 1 July solar rebates will be paid directly to the installer rather than the customer. This will rely on Solar Victoria processing claims in a timely way. I urge the minister to address this appropriately.

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