New energy package a huge win for Victorians
Households, small business and the environment are big winners in the government’s new multi-million-dollar package to turbocharge energy efficiency.
RACV has welcomed the Victorian government’s bold new $797-million home energy-saving package, describing it as a huge win for Victorian households, small businesses and the environment.
The package, the biggest commitment to energy efficiency delivered by any state in Australia’s history, will significantly expand Victoria’s solar and battery rebate schemes, incentivise the uptake of energy-efficient appliances, offer solar rebates to small business for the first time, and help people struggling to pay rising power bills.
RACV Solar's chief executive officer Andy McCarthy says the package, announced ahead of the 24 November state budget, is good news for the environment and employment, and will help householders, small businesses, renters and low-income earners reduce their energy costs as Victoria recovers from the financial impact of COVID-19.
“This is a huge win for Victorians who have been doing it tough this year and an exciting day for renewable energy,” says Andy. “Importantly, the package has long-term solutions to reduce energy bills for Victorians while helping the environment by making homes more energy efficient.”
Andy says that while Victoria has strong uptake of rooftop solar, some households have not been in a position to take advantage of the benefits and savings, even as the price of solar systems has fallen in recent years.
By increasing the number of solar rebates, we are helping more people access cheaper, cleaner energy.
A key plank of the new energy-efficiency package is an additional 42,000 rebates, worth $1850, for domestic rooftop solar over the next two years under the government’s Solar Homes Program, to meet the surging demand for household solar.
“These incentives put in place the final step for people who want to install solar but couldn’t quite afford the outlay,” says Andy. “By increasing the number of solar rebates, we are helping more people access cheaper, cleaner energy.”
Small business will also be able to access solar rebates for the first time to help them reduce operating costs as they recover from the effects of COVID-19. A total of 15,000 small-business rebates, covering up to half the cost of a solar system, will be available over three years via the Solar Homes Program.
Home solar batteries will also be more affordable thanks to an additional 17,500 rebates, worth up to $4147, available to all Victorian householders over the next three years.
“That means home owners with rooftop solar can really make it work for them by storing energy for when they need it,” says Andy. “It’s the next evolution of a grid powered by renewables.”
Householders will also be encouraged to install new energy-saving appliances through the Victorian Energy Upgrades program which has been provided with $14 million over the next four years to expand its rebate program on a range of energy efficiency upgrades including smart appliances and other technologies.
And for low-income earners, a new $335-million commitment to help replace old power-hungry appliances and heaters with new energy-efficient models, will help reduce energy bills and make homes more comfortable.