VICTORIANS WITH SOLAR ENCOURAGED TO SHOP AROUND

VICTORIANS WITH SOLAR ENCOURAGED TO SHOP AROUND

Posted on 30. Jun, 2010 in Greening Victoria

Energy and Resources Minister Peter Batchelor has reminded Victorians with solar panels to look around for the best electricity prices and conditions to suit their needs.

An increase in solar panel installations is expected over coming weeks as the Federal Government’s closing date to receive the rebate approaches.

 

Already, Victorians have installed 27,395 grid-connected, small-scale solar PV systems under the Commonwealth Solar Homes and Communities Plan, as at May 2010.

A state-by-state comparison showed Victoria had nearly 5000 more installations than Queensland and 8000 more than NSW. Western Australia was fourth (15,426) followed by South Australia (14,951).

“These results reaffirm what we’ve always thought – Victorians are committed to reducing their carbon footprint, helping the environment and saving money on their bills,” Mr Batchelor said.

“Like the tens of thousands of households who have already done that, it’s important for anyone considering installing a solar PV system that they understand they will be subject to a new electricity contract.

“It is crucial that when Victorian families consider going solar they understand upfront – before they sign anything or pay any money – that everything in terms of their current electricity rates, their current terms and conditions and their current metering may change if they decide to invest in installing solar panels in their home.

“We have contacted the Clean Energy Council to ensure their Consumer Guide to Solar PV makes it clear to Victorian families who install a solar PV system that they are effectively tearing up their old contract and signing up to a totally new one.”

The Federal Government’s previous $8000 solar rebate scheme, which closed in May 2009, required the installation of the panels by 6 July, 2010. While panels still need to be installed by 6 July, the Federal Government has recently announced that households have until 31 July to ensure the panels are operationally ready.

Households, community organisations and small businesses installing solar panels may also be eligible for the Brumby Labor Government’s premium feed-in tariff. Applicants must have a PV system of no more than five kilowatts and must consume less than 100 megawatt hours of electricity per year.

“Under our scheme, solar households receive a minimum of 60 cents per kilowatt hour for excess electricity fed back into the grid,” Mr Batchelor said.

“As of this month we had nearly 12,000 Victorians who had taken advantage of our scheme here in Victoria and I’d encourage more eligible Victorians to sign up and also check the terms and conditions of the new electricity contract.”

For more information visit www.dpi.vic.gov.au/feedintariff or phone 136 186. For more information on the Federal Government’s solar rebate scheme closing dates, visit www.climatechange.gov.au

Number of Grid Connected Systems installed by State – May 2010

Victoria            27,395

Queensland    22,191

NSW               19,073

WA                  15,426

SA                   14,951

Tasmania        2249

ACT                 1428

NT                   184

Source: Commonwealth Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency www.climatechange.gov.au

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