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Solar Homes program destroying jobs and businesses in industry it was supposed to help

Many Victorian solar installers are off the tools without work and becoming increasingly desperate as the monthly cap for the Andrews Government’s Solar Homes program starts to cause irreparable damage to the industry it was supposed to help, the Clean Energy Council said today.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the time for talk from Premier Daniel Andrews is over, and changes to the program are now critical.

“We cannot wait any longer while the solar industry suffers. If this is not resolved by 1 September when the next monthly allocation starts, more Victorians will lose their jobs and small solar businesses will shut,” Mr Thornton said.

“It is hard to understand why the government is ignoring hard-working Victorian businesses, many of which are likely to go under if changes to this program are not made urgently. These are the people this program was supposed to be helping – and still can if the settings are changed.

“Our industry is calling for a review of this program to be conducted as soon as possible and wrapped up quickly. It is time to remove the cap on the Victorian solar industry and let installers get back to business.

“Our staff are taking dozens of phone calls up to an hour long from installers and businesses who are doing it tough. Some have only managed to get one or two installation jobs for the entire month, others haven’t been able to get any at all.

“The Premier provided a ray of hope last week by suggesting that the scheme may be reviewed, but once again we have seen no further action. There are options for fixing these problems.

“We have previously recommended reducing the income threshold and cutting the level of the rebate to allow for more installations each month. The current situation is unsustainable and is headed towards disaster,” Mr Thornton said.

“Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 for more information or to arrange an interview.