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MONDAY 22 FEBRUARY, 2010 | RSS Feed

Australian Government Green Loans Fallout

 

by Energy Matters

Australia's green loans fallout(Updated 2.15pm)
 
An announcement on Friday afternoon by the Australian Government about the scrapping of its Green Loans program has upset a number of Australian home owners currently in the process of applying who had hoped for loans to install home solar power systems.

A point in the Government's announcement being hotly debated is the Government's claim of "the discontinuation of the less popular loans component next month to provide for the significant boost to assessment availability".

According to participants in an ongoing discussion about the Green Loans program currently occurring on Energy Matters' solar power forums; the reason uptake of the loans has been so low is due to major failures in the system and multiple obstacles needing to be overcome before getting to loan application stage.

The issues reported include:

1.People who had had their houses assessed not receiving their assessment reports, a compulsory document needed in order to apply for a loan. Some people who had their houses assessed in October last year say they still have not received any documentation.

2. Continual problems and glitches in critical software associated with the program that created confusion or rendered it unavailable due to upgrades and maintenance.

3. Appropriate processes and training among participating financial institutions being non-existent in some cases.

4. Reports of people being unable to enquire about their assessment report status or other information due to the Green Loans hotline being continually inundated with calls.

5. Vague or overly complex assessment reports that didn't outline a clear plan of action.
 
Australian Greens Deputy Leader Senator Christine Milne stated shortly after the Government's announcement, ".. what is the point of a Green Loans scheme without any loans? It fails to deal with the problem it was supposed to tackle - overcoming the up-front cost of energy efficiency upgrades."
 
With the Australian Government's Green Loans program loan component to end on March 22, some of Energy Matters' online community members are advising people with assessments to go to their lender of choice immediately and people waiting on assessments have been urged to contact their assessor if possible and ask they send a soft copy of the assessment report to their chosen lender, as this may be enough to set up the loan.
 
Energy Matters have also begun compiling an updated list of banks and other financial institution offering low interest green loan products not tied in with the Green Loans program for the purposes of purchasing renewable energy equipment such as home solar power systems.

Participate in the Green Loans announcement discussion here.

    

 

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