Victorian-Budget

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Solar Rebate Victoria

Yesterday the state government has announced the Victorian budget for the coming financial year. The labour government has pledged $797 million towards household energy efficiency in the coming financial year (Victorian Government 2020). This is big news! In fact, this marks the most significant contribution towards household energy plans from any state government in Australian history. So it’s no secret why yesterday’s announcement has most of Australia buzzing. So what are Victorian families and businesses in store for this coming financial year and how can they expect to benefit?

Why renewable and efficient energy?

The focus on household energy in this year’s Victorian budget comes in response to their ongoing battle with COVID-19 (Victorian Government 2020).  With most of Victoria working from the comfort of their own homes for most of the year, household electricity bills have skyrocketed. This has seen a historically painful expense hurt just that little bit more. As families and businesses across Victoria shred and burn their mail for fear of the quarterly bill, the Victoria Government has stepped up and offered a helping hand. 

Solar for Home Owners

Of the $797 million pledged, $191 million has been dedicated to expanding the solar homes program (Victorian Government 2020). This contribution will see Solar Victoria role out an additional 42,000 solar rebates over the next two years (Victorian Government 2020).

It’s important to note that before yesterday’s budget announcement Victorians were not empty-handed. In fact, Victoria has had a long-running and quite impressive Solar rebate program. Currently, eligible homeowners can receive $1850.00 off the cost of their solar installation and an additional $1850.00 interest-free loan (Solar Victoria 2020). This, in addition to the federal government rebate practically eliminate the upfront cost of installing residential solar in Victoria. 

If this seems too good to be true it’s because there’s a small catch. The Solar Homes rebate is only available to a limited number of applications per quarter. This means homeowners who aren’t quick enough could risk missing out. However, this is set to change. The 2020/21 Victorian budget will grant an additional 42,000 homeowners access to the solar homes program (Victorian Government 2020). Saving an additional 42,000 homeowners up to $3700 on the upfront cost of their solar system (Victorian Government 2020). Read more about state and federal government rebates available in Victoria here.

Solar for Small Business

This time around the helping hand is not just for Victorian families but for small businesses as well. For the first time in Solar Victoria’s history, small businesses will be eligible to participate in their solar program. While the solar for small businesses scheme is said to be similar to the Solar Homes program, that is the extent of information available. More information on the participation of small businesses in the solar program is set to be released in early 2021 (Victorian Government 2020). To register your interest in the program or stay updated you can register your interest here.

Energy efficient homes and appliances

The Victorian budget household energy and efficiency plan is not just about solar and renewables. The budget is tackling household energy efficiency head-on. The 2020/21 Victorian Budget is set to contribute $335 million for replacing outdated heating appliances with energy-efficient alternatives (Victorian Government 2020). An additional $112 million is being put towards repairing window and door seals and improving the standards of heating, cooling and hot water in public housing facilities (Victorian Government 2020). As well as an additional $14 million for smart appliances through the Victorian energy upgrades program (Victorian Government 2020).

Victorian Budget Wrap Up

Undoubtedly this scheme will save Victorians on their energy costs. However, In this case, the Victorian budget has gone one step further. Rather than simply subsidising electricity costs in the short term this Victorian budget is focused on creating long term solutions for energy problems. By investing in efficient and renewable energy solutions the Government is reducing Victoria’s reliance on costly fossil fuels. Thereby eliminating the cause of costly electricity bills.

The scheme is not just about helping out Victorians with their energy bill. It’s also going to play a major role in creating jobs in the renewable and efficient energy industry, re-booting our economy and re-employing Australians. It goes without saying that this is another step in the right direction for environmental sustainability in Victoria. The 2020/21 budget has seen an investment in Victoria’s economy, environment and peoples interest.

 

References:

Victorian Government. Premier of Victoria. (2020). Helping Victorians Pay Their Power Bills. Available at: premier.vic.gov.au/helping-victorians-pay-their-power-bills (Accessed: 20 November 2020).

Solar Victoria. (2020). Applying for a solar panel (PV) rebate. Available at: https://www.solar.vic.gov.au/how-to-apply (Accessed: 20 November 2020).

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