NSW Government and Opposition are into Vote-Buying and We Like It!
“It’s vote-buying in its most blatant form,” Huon Hoogesteger, a long-time PV industry player and founder of Smart Commercial Solar comments on the proposed solar policies and loans prepared by major political parties. Coalition government and Labor party have both announced interesting plans for solar and battery and solar storage systems. It is true that there were mixed reactions from different sectors but we couldn’t deny that it is a good start to push for expansion of renewable energy in New South Wales and double the number of households that are using solar energy. This is another step forward to encourage NSW residents to join the solar campaign, show government’s concern on the environment and signify importance of solar and battery storage for the voters. These are great initiatives from both major parties towards solar energy. In fact, major green groups expressed a positive response on both proposals. Without further ado, let’s take a look on these programs.
What is the NSW opposition’s plan for household solar?
If successful in the March 23 election, the Labor party will dedicate an effort to reach for more homes in choosing solar energy as their main source of electricity. To be exact, they plan to cover 500,000 homes over the next 10 years while in position. According to their rebate program, an incentive of $2,200 will be provided for half a million households in order to avail solar panels. This will happen for a decade to achieve a double number of solar-powered homes in the state.
However, the solar rebate deal will be limited to homeowners with a total income of up to $180,000.
Nevertheless, it will result to cost reduction of electricity bills of between $600 to $1000 every year once a solar system is installed. This is a huge savings for the NSW households in the long run and can be used for other necessities instead. Also, this initiative is expected to help the industry grow the number of rooftop solar and create more opportunities for stakeholders such as homeowners, solar businesses, installers and manufacturers.
What is the Rooftop Solar Policy proposed by the Coalition government?
A day after the opposition’s announcement about programs for solar energy, the Coalition government have laid down their proposal that also pleases majority in solar industry. The labor government recognized the importance of solar and battery storage through a 10-year solar policy called Empowering Homes program that is planned to reach 300,000 households in NSW. With the proposed policy, no-interest loans of up to $9,000 will be given to qualified homeowners to avail battery system and up to $14,000 support to purchase solar with battery storage.
Like the opposition’s requirement, the solar policy of the Coalition government only applies to homeowners that earn an annual household income of up to $180,000.
“The zero-interest loans of up to A$15,000 for solar and storage systems proposed by the government would provide people with the means to store energy from the sun, for use when it is most needed. As with other renewable energy technologies, one of the biggest barriers for consumers in taking up energy storage is the up-front cost.”, Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton said.
Aside from the obvious financial support that the homeowners will get, other sectors in industry will surely benefit when the proposed schemes will come into reality. Smart Energy Council CEO, John Grimes said, “This announcement is a welcome boost for families and for the solar and battery storage industries. We welcome the focus on manufacturing and look forward to seeing more details.” While Thornton added that the major labor parties should be congratulated for these initiatives for solar and batteries as they recognize them as one of the most effective ways to transform our energy system to cheaper, cleaner and more reliable option.
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Vorrath, S. (2019, February 11). Rooftop solar, batteries early winners in NSW election race. Retrieved from https://reneweconomy.com.au/rooftop-solar-batteries-early-winners-in-nsw-election-race-57454/
Kenning, T. (2019, February 11). Solar and storage becomes key focus in New South wales election battle. Retrieved from https://www.pv-tech.org/news/solar-and-storage-becomes-key-focus-in-new-south-wales-election-battle