Victoria pumps $4 million in to boost rooftop PV roll out

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The Victorian government, which has banned gas connections to all new homes requiring a planning permit, has committed more than $4 million (USD 2.7 million) to boost residential solar uptake and energy-efficient hot water systems as part of its Residential Electrification Grants program.

Solar Victoria, which is overseeing the $10 million grants program for the government, said the scheme will provide rebates directly to organisations to enable bulk installations of rooftop solar and electric hot water systems in a minimum of 50 homes each.

Rebates will be offered to providers installing solar and/or electric hot water systems in more than 50 new or existing homes. Providers will be required to show evidence of completed installations to Solar Victoria before funds are allocated and individual rebates – up to $1,400 for solar and $,1000 for hot water – must be passed on as a benefit to the eligible homeowner.

Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the program is helping to accelerate the transition to all-electric homes after the state earlier this year ruled that all new dwellings, apartments and residential subdivisions that require a permit are required to connect to all-electric networks.

“The Residential Electrification Grants program is increasing solar by broadening the reach and scope of the program to encourage innovation in the use of solar energy,” D’Ambrosio said.

Among the providers to have been approved under the grants program is Victorian-headquartered solar installer Global Energy Solutions which is to supply and install rooftop PV and electric hot water systems to a new 100-block subdivision in the Latrobe Valley town of Moe.

Other successful applicants include solar and battery provider UPowr which will integrate the installation of solar panels into the construction process for all-electric homes in Melbourne, and Victorian network operator AusNet which plans to upgrade gas appliances and install solar PV systems for vulnerable customers.

Solar Victoria said the Residential Electrification Grants program had attracted 40 expressions of interest from organisations, with $39 million in funding requested.

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