Solar industry says Victoria rebate will cause “bloodbath” if not changed

One Step Off The Grid
The solar industry has intensified calls for the Victorian government to review the design of its 'absolute monster' of a rooftop solar rebate, amid reports of failing businesses and frustrated consumers.
Industry peak body the Smart Energy Council says a 'massive gap' exists between the Labor Andrews government's perception of the success of its Solar Homes scheme, and what has been happening on the ground.
'The phones have stopped ringing, the debts are mounting… That's what the whole industry is facing,' said SEC CEO John Grimes in a webinar on Wednesday.
'Government continues to believe that the program is working very well, and is very well designed… (but) industry has been on pause since April. …Companies are closing today.'
Grimes, who met with state energy minister Lily D'Ambrosio on Tuesday, says the SEC has been inundated with calls from rooftop solar retailers and installers whose businesses have suffered under the policy scheme.
He says many previously busy installers have had no work since the first pause in applications for the rooftop rebate in April, and more than a few are facing the prospect of shutting their businesses down.
'I've got (more than) 30 stories like that I can tell,' Grimes told the webinar, 'and in every case I have had to play the role of counsellor… (because) these people are absolutely devastated and gutted.'
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Sophie Vorrath
Sophie is editor of One Step Off The Grid
and deputy editor of its sister site, Renew Economy
. Sophie has been writing about clean energy for more than a decade.
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