Rebates axed but solar still on the rise
The Queensland Government has axed its $1,000 solar hot water rebate for households, but solar providers say they won’t go down without a fight.
|Queensland’s minister for energy and water supply Mark McArdle said the solar hot water rebate is ending as part of the Government’s election commitment to fix the state’s finances and get the state ‘back on track’.
“Applications for the rebate have slowed over the last six months and the cost of delivering the service for a reduced number of applicants can’t be sustained,” McArdle says. “This cost saving is all part of the government’s plan to get this state back on track.”
Unsurprisingly, the news has provoked the Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES) – which has called on the Government to reinstate the rebate.
AuSES chief executive John Grimes says the move seems to punish Australians for supporting one of the most successful clean energy programs introduced in recent years.
“The disastrous solar policy rollercoaster continues,” Grimes says. “Another solar scheme shut down without notice, more solar jobs lost. That’s bad policy and bad process.”
“The axing leaves householders and solar companies in the lurch putting at risk more than 1,000 jobs at companies that had planned for ongoing demand,” he explains. “The Government is rightly focused on building a clean energy future, but it should not ignore our clean energy present.”
However one solar provider in particular is far from deterred. Queensland’s Green and Gold Solar explains that the nationwide roll-out of rooftop solar in Australia has occurred at an unprecedented rate. So fast in fact that Queensland was able to achieve its solar PV target three years ahead of schedule.
The company recognises that as electricity retailers begin to feel the sting of decreased profits, various government rebates have progressively been removed – much to the dismay of solar owners.
Home solar leasingBrett Adams, national sales manager for leading Green and Gold Solar, says solar companies are not yet down for the count. However the county’s solar installers are now in a race to develop innovative, zero cost solar leasing solutions.
“With the economy in its current shape, people are actively searching for smarter ways to save money,” Adams says.
“The solar industry is at a point right now where the upfront cost to invest in solar power for your home is becoming increasingly negligible; however there is still a small portion of the market that would greatly benefit from zero cost solar installations.”
Whilst the solar industry continues to suffer from a clear government commitment to renewable energy, key players in the industry are starting to look beyond the current solar hot water rebate programs and into the future.
Solar leasing creates an exciting future for the industry, but most importantly for homeowners.
“We are expecting to release a product later this year that offers homeowners, business owners and landlords the ability to benefit from the savings that a solar PV system can generate over its lifetime,” Adams says.