Opposition to Victoria’s rooftop solar rebate is reaching fever pitch across the state, after the August round of applications to the scheme was closed within two hours.
As Warwick Johnston puts it so well in RenewEconomy today, “Already at a crisis level, the rebate scheme has now entered nightmare territory, with solar installers across the state – already hurting – forced to sit out another month without sales.”
Certainly, this is the clear message being communicated by installers, retailers and consumers on the Facebook page of Solar Victoria, the government body set up to manage the Solar Homes policy, including the ill-fated rooftop rebate.
A post from 10.53am on August 01 confirming that the month’s rebates were “fully subscribed!” has attracted more than 120 comments, the vast majority ranging from frustration to sheer desperation, and confirming industry reports that businesses are shutting down in the fallout of the scheme.
“Solar Victoria, you have completely destroyed our ability to make money, we will now let our staff go, close our doors and pray that we can keep our sanity,” one comment says.
“We attempted to support 47 people in their quest to get the rebate but all they received was a spinning wheel that led no where. The rebate is now closed and we haven’t had a single application accepted.”
Another comment, from the office manager at a company called Solar Integrity said her small business had customers miss out on getting a rebate for the second month running.
“I am lost for words this is exactly what I feared. We have had customers miss out 2 that’s TWO months running. AND it’s no fault of their own when YOUR system/portal does not work.”
And on they go:
“Thanks for destroying my business Solar Victoria and in particular Daniel Andrews.”
“I logged our application before 930am this morning and technically my window is still spinning an orange wheel. I know we are unsuccessful as our installer has already informed us the news. He’s devastated, he has no guaranteed work for the next month as NONE of his quotes were successful.
“I hurt for him it’s his livelihood we are putting on hold, awaiting confirmed rebate status before install. If that many people want the rebate and are eligible, release more, it’s only going to get worse.”
“I have an abundance of work piling up for months that I can’t actually do because none of my eligible customers can navigate your minefield in less than 108 minutes. You’re absolutely insane if 108 minutes at 9am on the first of the month seems an acceptable or reasonable format for customers to fulfil complex rebate applications.
“Solar Victoria was so careful not to make another insulation scheme that they made something worse, its destroying businesses and it’s virtually inaccessible. It’s choking the whole industry.”
And finally, a conspiracy theory (and it’s not the first time One Step has heard this…)
“The cynic in me fears there’s no way a system could be so bad with out it being a deliberate shutdown of the industry. It would be pleasing networks who couldn’t seem to handle the solar uptake. If this is the case then it will not change.”
Installers, retailers or consumers keen to share their stories of negative – or positive! – experiences with the Victorian Solar Homes rooftop panels rebate can get in touch via this email: firstname.lastname@example.org