A recent decision by the Victorian Government to abruptly close rebates under its Solar Homes Program until 1 July 2019 has created a great deal of uncertainty for the solar industry.
In April, the Victorian Government announced that it would end all solar rebates under its Solar Homes Package until 1 July 2019 due to stronger than expected demand.
This decision came as a shock to the Victorian solar industry, which was building towards record levels of activity, and created significant challenges for solar businesses in the state. Since the announcement, the Clean Energy Council has been working closely with Solar Victoria and the Victorian Government to reduce the impact that this sudden change will have on the industry.
Progress was made at a recent emergency roundtable event, where representatives from Solar Victoria and the government announced that the 14,000 rebates allocated for systems that are yet to be installed will be allowed to proceed. To help this process, Solar Victoria will also contact each of these customers to encourage them to proceed with their installation or complete their pending application.
While these are positive developments that will help reduce the burden on solar companies, the Clean Energy Council remains concerned about the impact on the industry and is calling on the government to bring forward funding to reverse the sudden halt in new installations.
The solar industry is resilient after years of riding the ups and downs of the 'solar coaster', but the constant boom/bust cycles do take a toll. The Clean Energy Council will continue to work with the Victorian Government to manage the likely strong demand for the program to hopefully prevent similar freezes from occurring in the future.