The NSW Empowering Homes Program

NSW Empowering Homes

The Smart Energy Council has welcomed NSW plans to support the installation of up to 300,000 solar-battery systems across the state over the next 10 years and add 3,000 MWh of storage through its Empowering Homes Program.

Under the scheme NSW residents with household incomes under $180,000 will be eligible for interest-free loans of up to $9,000 for a battery system or up to $14,000 for a solar-battery system.

The first battery or solar-battery systems should be available for installation this summer – and kick-start up to $3.2 billion in clean energy investment.

The Smart Energy Council participated in meetings with NSW departmental staff to discuss the Empowering Homes sounding paper and says the program is “all positive”.

“Structured properly this incentive will boost the uptake of battery storage in NSW and drive jobs and investment in the sector,” Government Relations Manager Wayne Smith said.

“There has been extensive consultation by the department staff with all sectors of the industry, and all signs so far suggest all the right elements are in place to deliver the optimum outcome.

“If the scheme is executed as planned, benefits will include reduced energy prices for all users due to a reduction in peak demand and, down the track, less need for network upgrades and all the costs that brings.

“Importantly, it sends a message of confidence to the community that solar PV with battery storage is a real and viable option.”

Sonnen’s Nathan Dunn outlined the fundamental elements for a scheme to be successful – his views based on sonnen’s extensive experience in several state subsidy programs.

“My impression of the NSW scheme is favourable, given the amount of consultation taking place which is in contrast with other programs rolled out that have slowed things down,” he told Smart Energy.

“Lessons have been learnt from Victoria whose Solar Homes scheme … there needs to be a degree of fluidity in the numbers being touted to allow NSW consumers to understand the offer and allow the market to take advantage without restricting the business processes of any of the industry.”

Dunn said it the NSW government was timely in its move to look into these sorts of incentives and programs for the benefits of the state.

“They represent a huge opportunity to drive the community toward energy storage.”

Read more in Spring Smart Energy magazine

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