Free solar panels for 30,000 NSW homes

Thirty thousand NSW homes will receive free solar panel systems or be able to upgrade their appliances to energy-efficient models to combat rising energy prices.

About a million low-income people in NSW, including concession, healthcare and DVA Gold cardholders, are already eligible for a scheme that offers $285 rebates on their utility bills. annual electricity.

Under the state government’s new $128 million Energy Bill Buster program, they will now be able to apply to redeem their rebates for a solar system to install in their home.

The government says solar power will save consumers $600 on their electric bills a year.

People who can’t get solar panels installed, like those who live in apartments or renters, can instead redeem the rebates of up to $4,000 to upgrade their devices.

“This Energy Bill Buster package is to send (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s electricity prices,” Treasurer Matt Kean told reporters on Wednesday.

The war in Ukraine has played a significant role in driving up the cost of electricity in New South Wales, Mr Kean said.

Unscheduled outages at coal-fired power plants, along with rising gas prices, meant there was no cheaper alternative fuel source to fill the void.

“Because gas is so expensive, it puts strong upward pressure on electricity prices,” he said.

To be eligible for the solar program, homeowners must already receive the low-income household rebate and agree not to receive it for another ten years.

They must also live in certain areas of NSW including the Central Coast, North Coast, Illawarra or a number of western and southern suburbs of Sydney.

Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet said the ability to invest in green technology would ease pressure on household electricity bills, while being good for the environment.

“We know that many families across the state are going through a tough time this time around,” he said.

“We want to use the NSW budget to help families’ budgets and provide a brighter future for people in our state.”

The program will initially roll out to 30,000 households, and additional funding will be considered based on uptake.

The announcement is part of the 2022-23 budget which will be tabled on June 21.

Labor said the government had failed to deliver on its solar battery promises made ahead of the last national election, creating a deficit of more than 19,600 batteries.

“In the 2019 election you promised to deploy 300,000 solar battery systems over 10 years, including 20,000 this year,” NSW Labor Party leader Chris Minns told Question Time.

“You have only managed to deliver 535 so far.

“Is this one more reason why electricity prices are about to explode?”

But the Climate Council backed the new energy policy, saying it would cut electricity bills and emissions.

Climate Council campaigner Louis Brailsford said Australian homes lag behind the rest of the world in energy efficiency.

Soaring gas prices should prompt governments to phase out fossil fuels in favor of cheaper renewables, he said.

“Solid policies and investments to reduce energy consumption can significantly reduce electricity bills and emissions.”

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