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Victorian solar industry in crisis as August Solar Homes rebates run out within hours

Urgent changes are needed to the Victorian Solar Homes program or large numbers of small businesses in the state will go bust in the months ahead, the Clean Energy Council said today after the monthly allocation of rebates for August ran out in 106 minutes.

Darren Gladman, Clean Energy Council Director – Distributed Energy said the program is threatening the survival of small solar businesses and some are already looking at closing their doors.

"Solar Homes has created a devastating boom-bust which is hitting many small solar businesses hard,” Mr Gladman said.

“Because the majority of Victorians are able to access the program, people are holding off installing solar altogether until they can claim the rebates. It means the state’s solar industry is being turned on and off like a tap – and for the whole of August the tap was only on for a couple of hours.

“Government programs should not be like trying to buy concert tickets, where access depends on whether you can get through in the few hours that it is open.

“The intention of the program was welcome, but the way it is being rolled out is turning into a worst-case scenario for the state’s solar industry. This is obviously the opposite of what was intended.

“Along with the industry’s woes, it appears that some consumers were unable to access the system this morning, aggravating those who were trying to take advantage of the program.

“The industry has put forward a range of options to improve Solar Homes, but the first step to fixing it is a recognition that there is a problem. We are calling on Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to urgently intervene and lead a review to revisit the criteria for the program,” he said.

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