A Roundup of This Week in Solar
Posted: 11 Jun 2020
Some stuff happened this week in the solar realm, so we thought we would give you a roundup of what’s happening in Australia to keep you up to date.
A New Garden for Townsville
Townsville is set to have “solar trees” installed in a bid to connect the CBD to their sports and events stadium. These trees are multifunctional, they will beautify the area and be a water feature whilst also generating solar power. What’s particularly exciting about this is how these trees are planned to assist with economic recovery post pandemic lockdown.
The state treasurer and Townsville City Council will be putting a combined total of $8 million into the project. The project will create around 120 direct and indirect jobs during its construction, whilst also encouraging anyone who visits the stadium to walk through the attraction and into the CBD. The placement of the trees is quite strategic, gently guiding people into the CBD in the hopes they enjoy local restaurants, bars and retail stores who have all suffered due to the pandemic lockdown.
MP Reminds Us That Melbourne is Not the Centre of the Universe
Victorian MP Peter Walsh has highlighted that the Solar Homes Program is Melbourne centric, and there are Victorians living in rural areas (like his electorate, Murray Plains) who also want to use the rebate. The Andrews Government claims that since the Solar Homes Program was launched in 2018, more then 79,000 Victorian households have installed solar.
However, every postcode in Murray Plains is excluded from the Solar Homes list of eligibility. To refresh your memory, the program expanded its initial postcodes in November 2019 from the initial 24 to 104. And in March 2020 this number was upped to 247 postcodes. Unfortunately, Murray Plains was not apart of this increase, but this sort of vocal pressure by Walsh hopefully will see more of rural Victoria be included in the scheme shortly.
Buy Now Pay Later is Taken to Competition Tribunal
On the 9th of June the Australian Competition Tribunal heard arguments for the New Energy Tech Consumer Code about what to do with buy now pay later finance in the solar industry. This form of finance means consumers can easily become a victim of predatory lending and inflated prices.
Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) is making the case for the consumer as this type of finance is unregulated. CALC is set to provide the Tribunal with evidence that Australians purchasing solar with this form of finance are being significantly overcharged. Buy now pay later finance also means a consumer can purchase solar without being assessed if they are suitable for the loan which can be dangerous.
This news is just a reminder that buy now pay later is not the best way to finance solar and can seriously affect your debts, credit history and life. This is an extension of the “interest-free” advertising you see, if you’re investing in solar that has no interest or with buy now pay later finance, it’s likely there are many hidden fees or the price is inflated, so please be wary (and compare quotes to be sure).
IKEA has Launched Their Solar Offer in Oz
Ikea have launched its Solstråle range in Australia, making us the first market outside of Europe who can purchase a home solar kit from their website. The range is made in collaboration with leading solar energy provider, Solargain. Ikea has been selling their solar systems to customers in the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, and Belgium since June 2019, so launching into Australia is very exciting.
The collaboration is hoped to encourage customers to live a more sustainable life and to remove the barriers around investing in renewable energy. By the end of 2020, Ikea will be producing as much renewable energy as it consumes, and by 2030 it aims to be climate positive.
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