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Solar companies worried over rebate

A delegation of leading Australian solar companies, including Welshpool based Solco Ltd, have taken their concerns about the Rudd Government's means test on the Solar PV (photovoltaic) Rebate Program directly to Environment Minister Peter Garrett, Shadow Environment Minister Greg Hunt, Senator Christine Milne and a number of other MPs in Canberra.

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Perth
What a typical Labor "hit the rich" strategy gone wrong. It is only the upper incomes that can afford to put in PV's, so Labor has in effect closed the PV industry. Well done!! Kiddies in control. The $100K + pay more taxes than the lower to middle income hholds, so why shouldn't they get the benefit of Govt subsidy for a good policy - which BTW is simply a precurser to more dramatic attempts to reduce Greenhouse emissions.

Adelaide
We are in exactly that position. We cant tell whether we comply as we emigrated here last year so were only here for part of year. I think government has got it wrong. My experience is that higher earners install bigger systems. We were looking at putting in a 5KW system and we could just fit in in affordablity. Now that its chnaged the decision is whether its worth installing a 3.5KW unit. We presently have shelved the idea. Sometimes we see high earners as bad they have the interests of climate change just as much as lower earners. I think the system was fair it gave you the basic unit at a good price but in reality you are making a longer term investment so you would be prepared to put in a bigger system. I think government got it wrong

Perth
Two things frustrate me about the government's means test on the solar PV rebate program: Firstly, as individuals in Australia are just beginning to realise that they can actually do something to support sustainability (for example, provide clean power to their homes and the grid), the government is proposing that an important incentive be removed. So what happens - people become discouraged at the seeming u-turn in government policy and stop trying? Secondly, ABS data released on 21 February 2008 shown a full time adult total earnings, public+private sector is $1173.50 per week, or $61,002 per year. So, a couple working in average jobs, earning the average wage smash the means test threshold by $22,044! Means testing 'high income earners'? hah! A government committed to reducing carbon emissions? Double hah!! SJ

Bibra Lake
I fully agree with the protests around the solar PV means testing. The capital investment is such that even families with $100K annual incomes struggle to make the transition. I am not against means testing perse, but I think they should pick much more appropriate targets (the baby bonus, for instance).

sydney
Until I recently got made redundant I was seriously considering becoming an early adopter precisely because I had the financial means added to the fact that the rebate would have made it affordable. If this threshold is implemented then Russell Crowe will need to buy them all for us - because he will be the only one who could afford it. Or perhaps a petro-chemical executive with some spare cash...

Perth
When I first read about the new means test regarding solar pv, I thought it\'s just that, MEAN! I mean why would the government take away this incentive for a majority of Australians who want to play a part in making a difference by using alternative energy to reduce their dependence on coal fired energy. It doesn\'t make sense. They should be doing more to encourage people to look into solar (and wind) energy where appropriate. The Government should be putting more funding into renewable energy. The writing is on the wall with an increase of 20 to 40% in customer pricing predicted over the next few years for energy. That\'s why this means test does not make any sense at all. The essence of character in a person is determined by whether they can admit when they were wrong, apologise for the mistake and ask, what they can do to make it better?! There\'s no congruency here. I don\'t think the government in all honesty can say \"We are concerned about global warming and are taking measures to reduce our carbon footprint on our environment\" and in another breath, create a means test to determine if they will support you in reducing your household carbon footprint on society. Can you please just consider how the public will now look upon your government, with up to 80% of orders for Solar PV systems now cancelled, I know I\'m left scratching my head as to why a means test was introduced at the budget!

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