Australia is a sun-soaked continent with plenty of sunlight available to make solar energy a practical and viable option for homeowners. With rising power bills, installing solar panels to tap the sun’s energy for power would enable homeowners to save substantially on their annual electricity bill.
The State Government of Victoria has taken the initiative for mass-scale conversion to solar power. Under a scheme announced recently by the premier, Victorians will now be able to afford and install solar panels in their homes.
The Solar Homes Scheme
Under the scheme, termed as Solar Homes, $1.24 billion has been earmarked for providing solar panels to homes in Victoria at half the price. The Government will pay $4,550 upfront for the total installation process. Homeowners would be required to repay half of this cost over a period of four years.
The scheme is available only for owner-occupied homes that are valued below $3 billion and where the combined household income is less than $180,000 annually. The plan aims to cover about 650,000 households in Victoria over the next ten years.
Benefits for Homeowners
With private manufacturers entering the fray and the market becoming more competitive, it was expected that solar panels would become more affordable for all sections of the society. However, that hasn’t happened and most families cannot afford the installation costs.
Now with the government stepping in and assisting with the initial installation costs, homeowners can expect to save about $890 annually on their power bills.
Moreover, since homeowners would repay only half the amount, they can save up to $2,225 on a 4kW solar power system.
The present State Government has promised to pump in more money into the scheme from July next year if re-elected. This will allow homeowners in Victoria to repay the amount free of interest.
The Government would also set up an independent agency (to be named Solar Victoria) that will oversee the entire installation process in each household to ensure absolute safety and accuracy.
Furthermore, the Government plans to invest $9 million toward training and accreditation of about 4,500 electricians who will install the panels. The entire scheme is huge and has the potential to change the entire power supply system in Victoria.
With this initiative, the State Government wants to ensure that each and every homeowner in Victoria will be able to lead a more comfortable life without worrying about the rising energy costs.
Moreover, it is expected that the plan will add about 2,000 megawatts of solar power to the grid. In the long run, this will help lower energy bills further.
Businesses too will benefit from the excess power generated. Furthermore, the entire state of Victoria will use clean, eco-friendly energy for its energy needs.