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Solar Rebate Statistics for Feb 2009

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

SolarGen has received the current uptake of rebate preapprovals, installation reports and payments of rebate. As you can see for the week ending 20th Feb there were 1067 rebate applications received by the Department of the Environment. In that same week there were 511 grid connect solar installations. Whilst the uptake of grid solar has been tremendous over the last 18 Months, Australia still has a long way to go before we come close to our renewable energy targets. Customers thinking of going grid solar need to remember that after July 1 2009, the rebate for a 1kW system will go from $8,000 down to $5,000 and the RECS which are currently worth $800 will not apply to 1kW systems. Thats why now is really the best time to purchase a grid connect solar system for your home.

Rudd Government Fast-Tracks Free Ceiling Insulation

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

The Hon Kevin Rudd MP
Prime Minister
The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts
Joint media release

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today announced a new fast track process so that homeowners can start applying for free ceiling insulation immediately.

Through the Government’s $3.9 billion Energy Efficient Homes Package, households can now apply for one of the following upgrades from today:

The Homeowner Insulation Program. This installs free ceiling insulation (capped at $1,600) in the homes of eligible owner-occupiers.
The Low Emission Assistance Plan for Renters. This provides assistance of up to $1,000 for installing insulation in private rental properties.
The Solar Hot Water Rebate. This provides rebates of up to $1,600 for installation of solar hot water systems.
Today’s fast track guidelines make it even easier for Australian households to apply for this program.

By visiting the website people can check immediately whether they are eligible, arrange for a skilled tradesperson to do the work and send in their receipts for the rebate.

This package will eventually install ceiling insulation in around 2.7 million homes across the country.

The Rudd Government announced the $3.9 billion Energy Efficient Homes package on 3 February 2009 as part of the $42 billion Nation Building and Jobs Plan.

Energy Efficient Homes has been welcomed by industry. It will create thousands of jobs in the manufacturing, distribution and installation of ceiling insulation and solar hot water systems during the global financial crisis.

Applicant and Application Requirements
To be eligible to obtain the assistance for early installation, the applicant must:

1.Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident aged 18 years or over; and

2. Be the owner and occupier (primary place of residence) of the dwelling where the ceiling insulation was installed at the time the ceiling insulation was installed; and

3. Not have been granted assistance under the Australian Government’s solar hot water rebate program since the rebate was increased to $1,600 on 3 February 2009; and be applying for re-imbursement of ceiling insulation installation between 3 February 2009 and the commencement of the program on 1 July 2009; and submit a correctly completed reimbursement application form attaching:
1. A copy of tax invoices from the purchase and installation of the ceiling insulation.
2. A copy of two quotes obtained that meet the specified quote requirements on page 3 of this booklet.

Those who self-organised their ceiling insulation between 3 February 2009 and the release of these early installation guidelines on 26 February 2009 are only required to submit a copy of their tax invoice from the purchase and installation of the ceiling insulation.

nominate a BSB number, bank account number and bank account name for the electronic payment of the assistance (these details can be found on your bank statement); and

lodge the reimbursement application form within six months (184 days) of purchase and installation of the ceiling insulation; and

arrange for the insulation to be installed by an authorised installer (see section 3 below) who must correctly complete and sign the Installer Technical Compliance section of the reimbursement application form; and

keep a copy of the completed reimbursement application form and the original quotes and proof of purchase documents (see important notices on Page 6); and

only apply for assistance under the program once (a single home is only able to be insulated once under the program and applicants can only apply for their primary place of residence).

For more information on the fast track application process please call SolarGen on 1300 676 527

NSW feed in tariff announced

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010


Solar bonus scheme for NSW announced details of a new solar bonus scheme to operate across the State have been announced by the NSW Government today.
Minister for Climate Change, Carmel Tebbutt and Minister for Energy, Ian Macdonald said the scheme – flagged late last year – would support people in NSW who produce
renewable energy through roof-top solar panels and feed it back into the grid. “This is a significant boost for renewable energy in NSW and has the potential to generate an additional 500 green jobs.

Our scheme is designed to be the most generous to operate anywhere in Australia, apart from the ACT,” Ms Tebbutt said. “We expect the scheme to reward customers with around $900 annually – meaning an average solar panel system could be paid back within 12 years.“We have delivered a balanced outcome that will support the uptake of solar panels, without unduly burdening all electricity consumers. “Our scheme is a net scheme that will operate for 20 years, equal to the longest in the country. “It will pay eligible systems 60 cents per kilowatt hour for the renewable energy they feed back into the grid – this is around four times greater than the average price of electricity.

“The scheme will include systems up to 10 kilowatts in size, which will capture households, small businesses, some community organisations and some schools.
“While the scheme will initially apply to roof-top solar panels, we will consider the inclusion of micro wind turbines and community solar farms. “The NSW Government has a comprehensive renewable energy plan that includes the solar bonus scheme, significant funding for new renewable energy projects and wind renewable energy precincts.”

Minister for Energy Ian Macdonald said it was vital the NSW Government got the balance right when developing its solar bonus scheme. “Solar bonus schemes such as this are paid for by all electricity customers. It is important to shield vulnerable individuals and families who are not in a position to install solar panels from a significant increase in their electricity bills,” Mr Macdonald said. “A net system was chosen because it encourages people to better manage their power
use and use energy more efficiently – this is because you get paid for energy you produce but don’t use. “It will also provide a greater degree of harmonisation with schemes in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia.

“This is a shot in the arm for the solar energy industry and comes on the back of the recent announcement of solar manufacturing Silex Systems Ltd to develop the BP Solar
manufacturing facility at Homebush.”Silex will invest an estimated $30 million in the Homebush plant over coming years, which will create 165 Green Jobs, ensuring its future use as a high technology solar manufacturing base.

This investment demonstrates the Government’s commitment to developing renewable energy alternatives, where green skills and green jobs can thrive.
Key details of the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme:
• will operate for 20 years;
• pay 60 c/KWh that is fed back into the grid;
• be payable to energy customers with solar panel systems up to 10 kW in size;
• commence on 1 January 2010; and
• will be reviewed in 2012 to make sure the scheme is operating effectively.

Premier Delivers Better Solar Tariffs For Families

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

Embargo 10th November 2009
Intervention by Premier Nathan Rees in the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme will deliver the most generous payments to families in the country.
“Our gross payment system will deliver higher paybacks to families and makes NSW national leaders in the clean energy revolution,” said Mr
“A ‘gross scheme’ is based on the total solar energy produced in your home rather than payments based only on what you don’t use.
“These changes will see an average family paid around $1496 a year.
“That’s a 62 percent increase on the previous scheme and means households can pay off their investment in solar panels in around eight years.
“Under our scheme, homeowners will know up-front how much they will be paid for all the energy their solar panels produce.”
Households with solar panels will be paid 60 cents per kilowatt hour and an average household system would generate annually around 2500 kWh. The NSW scheme will have a cap on the size of home solar systems of 10 kW. A system this size would generate around 16 700 kWh and pay almost $10 000 a year.
“Creating certainty in the feed-in-tariff scheme is one way we can encourage families to invest in solar technology and support the clean energy industry,” said Mr Rees.
A review of the scheme was one of the first tasks for the newly created Ministerial portfolio of Climate Change, Environment and Energy. Minister John Robertson will introduce legislation for the scheme into parliament this week.

We are introducing legislation to allow these changes to come into effect next year. Transitional arrangements will also be made for families already receiving a feed-in-tariff,” said Mr Robertson.
The scheme is proposed to run for seven years.

Renewable Energy Target Changes

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

NATIONAL: The clean energy industry says changes to the renewable energy target announced today will deliver stalled multi-million dollar commercial projects as well as supporting household scale technologies such as solar panels and solar hot water systems.

“The Rudd Government has got it right with this announcement,” said Clean Energy Council chief executive Matthew Warren.

“The clean energy industry has been discussing structural design issues with the current Renewable Energy Target since late last year. The Rudd Government has listened carefully to industry advice and today has acted decisively and effectively.

“Our main concern was to improve the design of the RET to ensure that it delivered both industrial scale generation projects as well as the continued development and deployment of household technologies like solar panels and hot water. Today’s announcement addresses this problem.

“We will continue to work with the government to ensure the final legislation is effective and efficient.

“These changes clear the path for the clean energy industry to play its crucial role in driving down the cost of clean energy whilst cutting Australia’s greenhouse emissions.

“This is good news for jobs and investment in the renewable energy industry,” Mr Warren said.

For more information please visit the Clean Energy Council.

Victorian Smart Meter Roll Outs

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

From the Minister for Energy and Resources

New hi-tech electricity meters will help drive more efficient energy habits.

The new meter program – to be rolled out for all Victorian households and small businesses over the next four years – will;

  • significantly assist electricity distributors to identify any loss of supply, helping to speed up power reconnections
  • remotely connect and disconnect electricity supply making it easier to switch energy retailers and move premises
  • provide for accurate real-time readings of a customer’s electricity use at 30 minute intervals, making it easier to monitor energy consumption, change behaviour and save money
  • allow electricity retailers to offer more innovative tariffs and services
  • mean far less estimated bills or staying in for meter readings
The Brumby Labour Government is taking action to help Victorians better manage their energy use and reduce their individual carbon footprint by equipping homes with new smart electricity meters.
Victoria is the first state to give the go-ahead for the widespread roll out of smart meters – a task which represents one of the most significant improvements to electricity infrastructure in the state’s history.
This is a big project affecting 2.2 million homes, and 300,000 businesses, so we made sure that we’ve designed a system that brings best value to everyone involved.
Smart meters are a valuable tool for Victorian households and small businesses to manage their electricity use. Customers will be able to make decisions to save electricity, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and also saving money.
Electricity companies will be able to read meters remotely  which will mean the end of estimated readings and will ensure Victorians receive more accurate bills as well as making it quicker and smoother to move house and have power reconnected.
These meters will also help electricity distribution companies to detect and locate power outages and restore power to homes more quickly.
Smart electricity meters are a key step towards future smart electricity grids which will make it easier for renewable energy to be fed into the grid and for the future widespread use of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.
An analysis of the costs and benefits of rolling out smart meters found that the project will deliver net benefits to Victoria of up to $700 million over the next 20 years.
For more information about smart meters or the Brumby Government’s plans for energy, please visit www.dpi.vic.gov.au/smartmeters.
Your electricity distribution company (that is responsible for the ‘poles and wires’) is also responsible for putting in your new meter and will contact you directly to advise of the details and expected time-frame for the installation of smart meters in your neighbourhood.
You will receive further information from your local electricity distribution company regarding the installation of your new smart meter. If you have any queries regarding the installation at your premises, please contact Jemena Electricity Networks on 9937 6766.
Yours Sincerely,
Peter Bachelor MP
Minister for Energy and Resources

Enhanced Safety Rules for Solar

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

Companies seeking to install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels under the Government’s Renewable Energy Target will be subject to tougher safety and compliance requirements from today, the Government has announced.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Senator Penny Wong, said new regulations for the RET – signed by the Governor-General on 15 June 2010 – will commence today.

The regulations include:

  • To be eligible for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), installations must now comply with state and territory regulations for siting panels and building codes, including for panel mountings and connection;
  • Installers must be both Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited and licensed electricians, with the exception of some remote non-grid connections; and
  • Requiring installers of solar panels to retain documentation of how they have met the above requirements.

The requirement to be a licensed electrician, which is already part of the CEC accreditation requirements, will now be an explicit requirement for the RET and its compliance regime. If these requirements are not met, installers will face penalties such as fines, injunctions, ineligibility to create RECs or criminal charges.

“Solar panels allow householders to play their part in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” Senator Wong said.

“The government takes safety for solar PV very seriously and these additional measures will further strengthen safety arrangements for solar panels supported by the Renewable Energy Target.”

Senator Wong said the enhanced RET, currently before the Senate, also includes a number of new compliance measures such as civil penalties, tougher financial penalties and more stringent documentation requirements to prove compliance. The RET Bills were introduced on 12 May 2010 and the Government is committed to passage of the legislation before Parliament rises.

“The amendments give the Renewable Energy Regulator more power to use against people that do the wrong thing, including breaches of safety requirements,” Senator Wong said.

The Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator continues to work with the CEC to deliver an enhanced program of compliance and performance checks. These checks would further ensure that the standards which underpin installation safety are met.

“These checks will be rolled out as part of an ongoing process of improving compliance and performance in the renewables sector,” Senator Wong said.

Information for consumers is available at: www.climatechange.gov.au.

Brumby Shows Solar Flair

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

VICTORIA: Today’s announcement by the Brumby Government shows the Premier is serious about solar power in Victoria, according to the clean energy industry.

Premier John Brumby announced that five per cent of the state’s electricity would come from solar power by 2020, through incentives encouraging industrial solar power stations and medium-sized commercial installations in places such as the roofs of shopping centres.

Clean Energy Council chief executive Matthew Warren said the policy should deliver investment and jobs in regional Victoria, develop emerging industries and help reduce the state’s greenhouse emissions.

“Mr Brumby is to be congratulated for demonstrating real leadership in developing a world-class renewable energy industry in Victoria,” he said.

Victorian households are already able to access support for installing solar power, and it’s important that businesses are encouraged to embrace the technology to reduce their carbon footprint.

“Industrial scale solar power stations have real potential to play a major part in Australia’s energy future and measures like this are crucial to realizing that potential,” said Mr Warren.

“It should help companies gain the foothold they need in the Australian market to start generating solar energy at the lowest cost.

“Initiatives like this will help to make Victoria a preferred destination for clean energy investors and help us to leverage our world-class renewable energy resources,” he said.

The largest solar power station in Australia is currently a 1 MW facility at the Adelaide Showgrounds.

Consumer Buying Guide

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

NATIONAL: Australia’s peak clean energy body today launched a guide to help householders make an informed choice when buying solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.

Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh said the guide will help consumers find the right system to suit their needs.

“There are now more than 100,000 solar PV systems installed across Australia and the range of solar companies, installers and products is mind-boggling,” he said.

“Although the solar industry has an excellent safety record, being an informed consumer has never been more important.

“The guide is a general introduction to solar PV systems. It includes a list of sensible questions to ask when inquiring about solar power to ensure the installer and type of panel you choose is up to scratch,” Mr Marsh said.

The solar industry has grown very quickly over the last couple of years and the solar energy installed across Australia avoids more than 260,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year – the equivalent of taking around 60,000 cars off the road.

The Clean Energy Council runs an accreditation program for solar PV designers and installers to ensure a high standard of installation quality. To qualify for Federal Government subsidies, solar PV systems must be signed off by an accredited professional who has completed training in the design and installation of solar power systems.

Mr Marsh said there were more than 2000 accredited installers across Australia and the system had helped the industry maintain a high standard over the last decade during a period of remarkable growth.

The new consumer guide to buying solar panels and a list of accredited installers can be found here.

S.A. Could Become Renewable Hub

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

The Australian Greens propose an extended electricity grid across Australia to bring renewable energy on line.

“This can convert South Australia, an importer in the age of fossil fuels, to a renewable energy exporter,” Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

Speaking in Adelaide today, Senator Brown said South Australia had huge potential for geothermal, solar and wind power.

“However, there should be a full inventory of this potential to ensure investment in the grid is configured to meet future renewable energy production.

“South Australia has it all – wind, geothermal and solar – and it should be exporting clean energy to the rest of Australia and the world,” said Senator Brown.

“Investment in the state’s transmission grid would help make renewable energy export a major jobs provider and revenue producer.

The Greens South Australian renewable energy plan includes:

  • Connecting South Australia’s electricity grid directly to Queensland’s, to allow renewable energy to be exported
  • Upgrading power lines from Port Augusta to South Australia’s North East to capture solar and geothermal
  • Building a transmission grid ‘spine’ through Eyre Peninsula to capture wind potential
  • Phasing out the brown coal-fired Northern and Playford power plants  Australian Greens South Australian Senate candidate Penny Wright said there were many renewable energy projects waiting for investment in the grid to get off the ground.

“For example, the Macquarie Capital Green Grids report this year showed four potential wind energy projects on the Eyre Peninsula that with better transmission infrastructure, could more than double South Australia’s generation capacity to 7500 Megawatts.

“That could provide up to 3000 jobs in the construction phase and 250 ongoing positions.

“Estimated electricity sales would add $158 million to the state economy and save 2.75 million tonnes of carbon dioxide across the national grid each year.

Source: Wotnews.

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