Labor gives power to country Victorians

19 Sep 2018 Myrtleford Times, Myrtleford VIC (General News) NORTH East families have the chance to reduce their power costs under the State Governments $1.34 billion Solar Homes program. The initiative includes half price solar panels, $1000 off the cost of solar hot water, and half price solar batteries for households that already have solar panels. Victorians can now install a solar panel system and get half of the cost back via a 50 per cent rebate. This will be expanded to include the interest-free loan from July next year, under a re-elected Labor Government. The 50 per cent rebate on solar panel systems will be available to Victorians with a household income of up to $180,000 who live in their own home valued at up to $3 million, meaning almost nine out of 10 Victorians who own their own house are eligible. With not all homes able to have solar panels installed the State Government is providing a $1,000 rebate on solar hot water systems as part of the program. The $1,000 rebate is available to up to 6,000 households now and will be expanded to 60,000 households across Victoria from July next year, under a reelected Andrews Labor Government. As well, a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will provide half price solar batteries for 10,000 households. Under the scheme, homeowners can get a 50 per cent rebate for installation of a battery storage unit, capped at $4,838 in the first year and tapering down to $3,714 by 2026 as the price of batteries comes down. Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Norther Victoria) said North East Victorians were in the prime position to take advantage of the many program. The $40 million program is part of Labors massive new Solar Homes initiative, which is putting power back into the hands of country Victorians, cutting electricity bills with either solar panels, solar hot water or solar batteries for 720,000 homes over the next 10 years, Ms Symes said. This is a game changer for North East families fed up with big corporations that have been price gouging and ripping consumers off ever since Jeff Kennett and the Liberals and Nationals privatised our electricity. Labor is also investing heavily in larger scale solar projects that will further drive down energy costs for families and create jobs in country Victoria. This is also about modernising our electricity grid to help us transition to a more affordable, reliable and clean energy system. The State Government has also recently announced $780,000 towards local microgrids in Euroa and Milawa. In Milawa, Labor has provided a $100,000 grant to the Rural City of Wangaratta for its Milawa Micro-Grid Community Business Case project. The project will develop a business case for a micro grid model for the town that will comprise of solar energy, energy storage and hydrogen fuel cell technology.