Victoria solar rebate to re-open Thursday, with 6,000 applications remaining

The Victorian government’s rooftop solar rebate will re-open to applications on Thursday morning, Solar Victoria has announced, with around 6,000 offers of discounted solar panels still up for grabs.

In an update posted late on Tuesday, Solar Victoria – the body set up by the Labor Andrews government to oversee its Solar Homes policy – said the online application portal would re-open on Thursday September 5, at 9am.

“Please be assured there are still plenty of rebates left in this month’s allocation, with around 6000 rebates available in this round, and another 3250 due to be released on Tuesday 17th September,” the statement said.

As One Step has reported, the site was taken offline on Monday, after technical difficulties resulted in customers not being able to find their accredited retailer, retrieve their quote, or commence their application online.

The situation remained unchanged on Tuesday, and increasing numbers of customers and solar retailers took to social media to vent their frustration.

The website meltdown dealt yet another blow to the troubled scheme, which had been under fire from industry for months for effectively putting a cap on rooftop solar installations in the state, due to what were seen as flaws in its design.

Two separate public demonstrations were held in protest against the scheme, amid reports of job losses and struggling solar retailers and installers going into liquidation.

But the mounting tension between industry and government was expected to have eased starting Monday, after a raft of changes to the scheme was announced by energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio last week.

An additional 23,000 rebates would be offered across the financial year, and two separate rebate allocations would be released each month, to better meet demand for discounted rooftop solar.

The re-boot of the September offer on Thursday – presuming it proceeds without any further hitches – will be watched keenly, after the August allocation of 3,333 rebates evaporated within hours.

Solar Victoria and the state government will no doubt be hoping that the boosted number of rebates on offer will see supply and demand begin to level out, and that the broader residential market will start to regain its previous momentum.

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