DWS Investors

Extra solar rebates for households who missed out

By Noel TowellThe Age – May 21, 2019

Hundreds of households who missed out on the first tranche of the state government solar subsidies will get their rebates after all, the new boss of Solar Victoria says.

Stan Krpan, who will be announced on Wednesday as the inaugural chief executive of the agency set up to run the ambitious scheme, says the government is determined not to be caught out again by a huge surge of householders clamouring to sign up.

Mr Krpan also says his agency will crack down hard on shonky solar industry operators exploiting vulnerable consumers and on installers who risk their workers’ safety – with six installation outfits already referred to Consumer Affairs Victoria for prosecution.

The $1.3 billion scheme, which aims to put solar electrical systems on the roofs of up to 770,000 Victorian homes in the next 10 years, was a major promise by the Andrews Labor government before the 2018 election, tackling the hot-button issues of power prices, the cost of living and climate change.

The stop-gap program, designed to tide the solar industry over until the full scheme began operating on July 1, was expected to subsidise about 24,000 applications but the government has now accepted 32,000 and was forced to cap the scheme in April to stop the cost blowing out even more.

The move sparked protests by installers, who said they were left high and dry by the decision and threatened to lay off staff, and by householders who paid for their solar set-ups but were no longer able to claim the rebate.

But Mr Krpan says that anyone who has missed out will be able to claim their rebate, if they are eligible, with the agency already identifying more than 600 households in that category and believes there are more who have not yet contacted Solar Victoria.

The new chief executive says the main part of the scheme, which opens in just six weeks, will be designed so that it will not be swamped by higher-then-expected numbers of applications but Mr Krpan would not reveal details, saying there would be “further announcements” in the coming weeks.

Mr Krpan, who led the government’s flammable cladding taskforce, said that he and his colleagues were aware that large-scale subsidy schemes carried risks and that consumer protections and workplace safety would come first.

“We know there is a handful [of installers] who were actively encouraging customers to install without determining eligibility and that meant they were at risk of not getting their rebate,” Mr Krpan said.

Mr Krpan warned customers interested in the subsidies not to hand over money to solar operators without having confirmation that they had been approved for the scheme.

“Let me be really clear, you must have a token confirming your eligibility or we will not pay rebates; it’s not a cash-back system,” he said.

“Let me be really clear, you must have a token confirming your eligibility or we will not pay rebates; it’s not a cash-back system,” he said.

Energy Stuff specialises in Residential Solar with emphasis on Repairs, Replacements and upgrades. We also provide new systems, battery storage, Small Commercial, Off-Grid systems and smart monitoring systems. Energy Stuff is a Clean Energy Council Member and only uses CEC accredited installers. We fully comply with the Victorian Govt. Solar Rebate Program and we are supporting clients in their applications to the new scheme starting July 1st 2019.

For further information please call us on 1300 656 205 or go to our website at http://www.energystuff.com.au

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