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2 August 2008
Environment Minister Peter Garrett said new figures released today show that applications for the $8000 solar panel rebate have grown at significant levels since the Federal Budget.
“We’ve seen record growth in the number of solar rebate applications lodged since the Government acted on budget night to better target the rebate to those earning less than $100,000.
“An average of 522 applications have been lodged weekly since the budget –with 794 in one week alone. To put this in perspective, the current weekly average is:
“This confirms that the Government took the right step in bringing funds forward for this program and ensuring that they go to those Australian families that most need financial assistance to install solar systems in their homes.
“Despite the scaremongering of the Opposition, in the 10 weeks since the budget we have seen continuing solid demand for this program and I am confident that will continue.
“Combined with the $480 million solar schools program, which has now commenced, and the $300 million green loans program commencing next year, the recent Budget saw the most significant investment in the future of solar ever made by an Australian Government.”
Mr Garrett said the Government had also acted to bring forward further funds to enable the program to continue to meet demand.
“This commitment will ensure that Australians who most need assistance will have an ongoing opportunity to install solar in their homes.”
Mr Garrett said the Government was committed to ensuring a strong and sure pathway for the solar industry, recognising the importance of renewable energy in Australia’s future energy mix, particularly for households.
“Through the Green Paper, we have undertaken to provide additional support for Australian households to reduce energy use and save on energy bills.
“I will shortly begin a series of roundtables with key stakeholders on practical action households can take to save on energy bills and reduce their environmental impact.
“I am looking forward to these discussions with representatives of the community, NGOs, business groups and industries, including the solar industry, as the Government brings forward a framework to help households improve their energy efficiency, reduce their environmental impact and save on energy bills.”
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