June 18, 2008

‘What Incentive to Install Solar PV Systems?’

LOS ANGELES, June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- With the Australian Labor government's first budget, an immediate restriction on the $8000 rebate incentive via a means test qualification was introduced, not to mention unrealistic time frames for implementation of this new rebate system. Many companies and customers have been left stranded, victims of the Labor government's overnight, instant effect, policy change.

Modern Solar Managing Director, Mr Ron Bayley, states that the Labor government has potentially 'missed the boat' with respect to the $8,000 rebate paid to home owners to make the commitment to go green with a Solar PV system.

"The rebate was introduced to encourage all Australians, regardless of wealth, to install Solar panels and help the environment by reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. Now this rebate is only available to lower income households who are less likely to be able to afford the out of pocket expenses. The households that are more likely to be able to afford to go Solar now have little monetary incentive to do so," says Mr Bayley.

The feeling from within certain Solar membership groups is that up to now the typical demographic of a household likely to install a Solar PV system is outside the means test criteria to receive a rebate.

The introduction of low interest green loans was a positive move that most industry experts were happy with as this had been raised previously as serious step in the right direction to assist households with the initial out of pocket expenses. However this does not compensate for the restriction of the $8,000 rebate to households who earn more then $100,000 per annum.

Modern Solar Managing Director, Mr Ron Bayley, states that if this government is serious about getting Australians involved in renewable energy then they must seriously re-think their stand on means testing the rebate or come up with an equally enticing alternative -- and quick smart.

Mr Bayley says "If they won't budge on the rebate, then perhaps the Mr Garrett and his party need to consider a federal 'feed in tariff' plan to provide consistency to all Australians and a monetary incentive for people who sell their excess electricity back to the grid. 4 multiples based upon gross 'feed in' rather than net have proven successful in other countries as it offers a more reasonable payback".

Electricity generated by a Solar PV system, free from the sun's rays, is used to power items in the home and reduce a home's reliance on traditional coal fired electricity sources that continue to pollute our planet with harmful greenhouse gases. Any excess electricity generated is fed back into the electricity grid and used to power neighbouring homes, again reducing carbon emissions and greenhouse gases. If the government is serious about assisting the environment then it must be offering Australians further incentives to go green -- not taking them away.

   For more information please contact:   Lawrence Mallia -   The Modern Group   Email: [email protected]  

The Modern Group

CONTACT: Lawrence Mallia of The Modern Group, [email protected]