Solar homes scheme expanded in Victoria

·1-min read

Victoria's popular solar homes program will no longer force households to choose between solar panels or a hot water system to get cash back from government.

Solar Homes Minister Lily D'Ambrosio announced on Tuesday the government will expand the $1.3 billion program to allow Victorians to access up to $2400 in rebates for both solar panels and solar hot water or high-efficiency heat pumps.

Previously, households were only eligible for money for one product.

Businesses with up to 50 employees will now also be able to access a rebate of up to $3500 to install solar panels, an increase from the current 20-employee threshold.

Households and businesses will be able to apply for an interest-free loan to buy the utilities.

The Solar Homes Program was unveiled by the Andrews government before the 2018 state election as part of its plan to install panels on 650,000 homes over 10 years to drive down the cost of living and reduce carbon emissions.

Last year, a report by the Victorian Auditor-General's office found Solar Victoria was unable to measure the success of the program or determine whether it had helped lower emissions and household bills.

On Tuesday Ms D'Ambrosio said expanding the program would help more Victorians save money while supporting clean energy jobs and meeting the target of halving emissions by 2030.

"We're putting power back into the hands of Victorian homes and businesses - driving down energy costs and boosting supply, while creating 5500 jobs," she said.

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