Sudden Death For Australian Solar Hot Water System Rebate

solarhotwater

The Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus, has announced the closure of the Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme.
 
The Federal scheme provided rebates of $1,000 to install a solar hot water system or $600 to install a heat pump hot water system.
  
The systems must have been installed, ordered (and a deposit paid) or purchased on or before 28 February 2012. Applications lodged up to 30 June 2012 will continue to be processed, but those received after 30 June 2012 will not be eligible.
  
Solar and heat pump hot water systems will still be eligible for Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs), which are usually exchanged with retailers for a point-of-sale discount on systems.
  
Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said the scheme was due to be phased out in June and while the solar industry has been calling for an extension; it was cancelled Tuesday, February 28 at 5pm, with a media release sent out afterwards.
  
“This decision demonstrates that the government hasn’t learned the lessons of the stop-start rooftop solar schemes, the Green Loans debacle and so many other examples through the Gillard, Rudd and Howard years,” stated Senator Milne.
  
“The solar hot water industry has invested quite reasonably in stock, parts and production schedules going forward. This decision treats all those investments with contempt.”
   
Senator Milne believes the government should extend support for the Australian solar hot water industry, saying it is “producing one of the cheapest emissions reducing technologies and exporting it to the world.”
   
According to the release announcing the closure issued by the Minister’s office, which provided no reason for its early end, $320 million was provided under the Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme to assist more than 250,000 Australian households replace older, more emissions intensive hot water systems. 
   
Electric and gas hot water systems account for approximately 20% of a household’s greenhouse gas emissions. By installing a solar water system, household not only slash related carbon emissions, but can also save up to 75% on water heating costs.
 
Another solar incentive to be reduced soon is the Solar Credits rebate for rooftop solar panel systems. The rebate will be slashed by 33% – assuming it doesn’t fall victim to other sudden changes, a scenario that has been all too common in recent years.