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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill today announced significant financial incentives for householders who install renewable energy systems.
Senator Hill said the $31 million Photovoltaic (PV) Rebate Program would encourage home owners to generate their own electricity from the sun.
"The four-year program will provide cash rebates of up to $8250 for a 1500 watt photovoltaic system.
"This is a significant financial incentive for Australian's who install rooftop and building-integrated PV systems. They will receive a rebate for much of the capital costs and in time the units will pay for themselves.
"The rebate is designed to boost an area of renewable energy technology where Australia has a significant manufacturing and research capacity.
"The program is delivering on a commitment made in the Measures for a Better Environment announced by the Prime Minister, Mr Howard, last May as part of the GST package.
"The participation of BP Solar Australia, Canon Australia and Pacific Solar in today's event demonstrates the enthusiasm and support from industry for the program."
In the scheme's first month, the Australian Greenhouse Office has already received more than 1500 inquiries and 60 applications, approving rebates for 19 PV projects.
The Commonwealth Photovoltaic Rebate Program was developed in conjunction with State and Territory Governments and the PV industry. The involvement of ACT Urban Services Minister, Brendan Smyth, in today's launch demonstrates the commitment by the States and Territories to work with the Commonwealth in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Senator Hill said the PV program is just one of three renewable energy programs under Measures for a Better Environment.
"Renewable energy is often a viable alternative to diesel-generated electricity in those areas of Australia not serviced by a main electricity grid.
"The renewable Remote Area Power Supply (RAPS) program, with funding of up $264 million over four years, will support the conversion of remote off-grid diesel-based electricity supplies to renewable energy.
"The more effective electricity supplies will be a great boost to regional communities, including indigenous communities.
"The Australian Greenhouse Office is developing the program in conjunction with State and Territory governments, with funds available from July 1, 2000."
In a further demonstration of its commitment to commercialise and showcase renewable energy technologies, the Federal Government will soon announce the results of a third round of funding of for the Renewable Energy Commercialisation Program.
"This is in addition to the $22 million in commitments made in the last twelve months toward projects to," Senator Hill said.
Under Measures for a Better Environment the successful Renewable Energy Commercialisation Program (RECP) is almost doubling its expenditure having received an additional $26 million over four years.
Rod Bruem (Minister Hill's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364
Carol Bartley (Australian Greenhouse Office) 02 6274 1859 or 0412 994 800