Accelerating the move towards solar energy households

by JEFF CRANSTON, WARRANDYTE CAN
8th April 2024

AS PREVIOUSLY reported (Warrandyte Diary, May 2023), WarrandyteCAN has been advocating for the Manningham Council to develop a plan for implementing its Climate Emergency Response Plan.

We have indicated to Council that we see the development of a detailed implementation plan as the only reliable way of achieving the ambitious community target of net zero emissions by 2035.

Apart from continuing to advocate an implementation plan, WarrandyteCAN has also been working with Council on a specific, very important area of emissions reduction for the Manningham community: the transition of households to solar energy.

According to the Australian PV Institute, the proportion of dwellings with solar energy in Manningham as of the end of last year was approximately 21.3 per cent, while in Warrandyte and North Warrandyte (in Nillumbik), the proportion was 30.5 per cent.

There is clearly a long way to go in terms of households converting to solar, and Manningham Council is seeking to increase the uptake of solar in its municipality by various means, including the Solar Savers program.

Solar Savers is a non-profit association comprising a partnership of some 17 councils, including Manningham — although not Nillumbik — supported by the Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action.

Solar Savers aims to make it easier for people in participating council areas to access solar energy and batteries by helping them install quality, affordable rooftop solar and batteries from a single supplier.

It has selected this supplier on the basis that it is a trusted company that provides quality products and services.

When Solar Savers is contacted by a resident, it will advise the resident as required.

If the resident would like to go ahead with solar, Solar Savers will put them in contact with the supplier for a quote.

If the resident obtains an acceptable quote, Solar Savers will help them claim any financial assistance to which they may be entitled.

Readers interested in learning more can visit the Solar Savers website at solarsavers.org.au.

Rebates and other subsidies are offered to households by the three levels of government, subject to meeting eligibility requirements.

The Commonwealth government offers a financial benefit towards the purchase cost of installing solar (or other renewable energy) systems under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (this benefit is gradually decreasing in value).

The Victorian government at present offers: an interest-free loan of up to $1,400 for solar PV systems; a rebate of up to $1,400 for solar installations and an interest-free loan of $8,800 for batteries.

The Manningham Council offers: subsidies of up to $2,000 plus GST for pension card holders for solar PV systems purchased through Solar Savers and subsidies of up to $2,000 plus GST per household for battery systems purchased through Solar Savers.

To learn more about the subsidies offered by Manningham Council, see www.manningham.vic.gov.au/news/solar-subsidies-manningham-residents.

WarrandyteCAN encourages everyone who has not converted to solar to think seriously about doing so, especially considering the advantages of reducing their dependence on the grid, lower electricity bills, fewer power outages, less reliance on fossil fuels, and the financial incentives being offered by the different levels of government.

Become a Solar Saver Manningham Council, in conjunction with WarrandyteCAN, will conduct an information session about the Solar Savers program at the Warrandyte Community Centre, 168-178 Yarra Street, Warrandyte, at 2pm on May 15, 2024.

Tea, coffee and light refreshments will be provided.

And please note that Council is offering to donate $100 to WarrandyteCAN for every completed solar panel or battery installation for a client who mentions they have been referred to Solar Savers by WarrandyteCAN.

Jeff is a member of WarrandyteCAN, a local climate action group advocating for positive climate change outcomes
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