Bath seeks answers on Labor’s solar battery program

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath is calling on the Andrews Labor Government to clarify its pre-election promise to provide half-priced solar battery installation.

“I have been contacted by residents and small business owners wanting to know when the policy will be introduced and whether they will be eligible for the rebate,” said Ms Bath.

Last year Minister D’Ambrosio announced the Solar Homes Program, which will provide solar panels, solar hot water or solar batteries to 720,000 homes in Victoria over a 10-year period.

After questioning in parliament by Ms Bath, Minister D’Ambrosio, refused to clarify or identify Gippsland as one of the locations for the battery installation rebate scheme.

“Unfortunately this complete lack of detail is placing financial stress on Gippsland businesses who are experiencing a drop in sales as potential clients delay their purchases, waiting to see if they qualify for half price installation.”

“Small businesses that have invested in solar battery stock have been in limbo for months now as residents who want to purchase and install a solar battery won’t until they know if the program is accessible in our region.”

Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said the uncertainty is frustrating his constituents.

“I have been told that the battery program will be available in growth areas where there are a large number of solar homes with solar panels, but this is an extremely vague description,” said Mr O’Brien.

“My understanding is that the rebate is for half price installation of the batteries, but the details are sketchy and no date of introduction has been set.”

Ms Bath said while it takes time to develop policy, it is over six months since the Andrews Labor Government Solar Homes Program announcement.

“Minister D’Ambrosio must release the solar battery eligibility criteria so Gippsland businesses can move forward.  It’s a simple yes or no.”