Media Release: Solar installers in revolt over failed Victorian government policy

Media Release: Solar installers in revolt over failed Victorian government policy

Melbourne, Monday 22 July 2019: Hundreds of solar installers are laying off staff, losing thousands of dollars, and even having to close their businesses, due to the failure of the state government’s rebate program.

Solar installations across the state are down 30% causing massive pain throughout the industry. 

Solar installers are coming together to fight back against the government, and are planning a major rally on Thursday outside State Parliament. 

The program failed because it was oversubscribed, and suddenly canceled, before being brought back online, with an incredibly small allocation. 

John Grimes, the CEO of the Smart Energy Council, said that many Victorian businesses are going to the wall because of this failed program. 

“People are really struggling. They’ve gone from having growing businesses with a strong pipeline of installations, to basically nothing. Now, local businesses are being forced to fire staff, and incur huge losses, and it’s causing great distress. 

“The industry has become a solar coaster. One minute it’s up, the next it’s down. And that’s no way to plan the roll out of a major program such as this. 

“This has caused a huge impact on the entire solar industry, with installations across the state down 30% since the government cancelled the program.  

“Right now, Victorians are struggling with high power bills. The solar homes program offered a chance for people to reduce their bills, but now, it’s offering nothing but false hope. 

“The system to get the rebate requires layers of bureaucracy, a facial recognition application, and even then, there’s no guarantee.  

“We are seeking an urgent change to the system so that these businesses don’t fall apart, so that workers don’t lose their job, and customers across the state can get the solar on their roof the government promised. 

“Victorians love solar. The government has indicated that it sees this as a priority. Now is the time to get rid of all the bureaucratic madness, remove all the blockages, and get this program back on track. 

“But right now, the government’s causing tremendous amount of pain to small businesses, and they’ve got to fix it,'' said Mr Grimes. 

The Smart Energy Council has a number of case studies of businesses, and Victorian householders, struggling with the solar rebate scheme. 

For more information please call Adrian Dodd on 0401 726 476.