Constituency question – My question is for the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change. I ask the Minister why the Solar Homes battery rebate scheme excludes Shepparton District postcodes 3629 Mooroopna, 3616 Tatura and 3610 Murchison.
The Solar Homes Program was established to support eligible Victorian households to install a solar battery, by providing a point of sale discount up to a maximum of $4,838. In March 2020 the Solar Homes battery rebate was expanded to 247 eligible postcodes, with some additional postcodes located Goulburn Valley.
A constituent from the Shepparton District who is building in a new home in Taura has contacted my office in frustration after finding out that Tatura, ever though it is so near to Shepparton, which is included in the eligible postcodes, is not eligible for the rebate.
Despite meeting the criteria of high PV penetration, it seems the criteria ‘high growth suburb’ makes it an area not considered a designated postcode. It seems the eligibility for the scheme needs to be reviewed to ensure our regional residents are not disadvantaged and locked out from the Solar Homes battery rebate
The Victorian Government’s landmark $1.3 billion Solar Homes Program is helping Victorians take control of their energy bills, creating jobs, and tackling climate. Distributed energy resources, like rooftop solar and battery storage will play a critical part in our transition to a renewable energy future. As part of this commitment, the Solar Homes battery program launched on 1 July 2019 and has been designed to deliver on the Premier’s commitment to support households in targeted growth areas with a high number of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
For an area to be considered a designated postcode within the Solar Homes battery program, it must not only have significant population growth, it must also have a high level of rooftop solar PV penetration. This term accounts for the number of existing solar PV systems already installed within the postcode against its population size.
Unfortunately, 3616 (Tatura) does not currently have sufficient PV penetration or population growth and is therefore not included in the list of eligible postcodes at this time.
While I acknowledge that it is disappointing for your constituents in 3616 to not be able to access a solar battery rebate at this time, we are continuing to investigate future options to help expand our reach and deliver benefits for more Victorian homes.
The Solar Homes program will continue to make sure that households in the Shepparton district and across the state are able to get the benefits of solar.
Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change
Minister for Solar Homes