Hindmarsh Island – Fleurieu residents have just a few business days to cash in on big solar panel rebates, before the federal government halves them.
As announce last month, the rebate on solar panels installed by the new year will be cut from $2000 to $1000 as of January 1, 2013.
Director of Adelaide-based solar company SunTrix, Jenny Paradiso, said the changes would push solar panels beyond the reach of average South Australian families, who are at the mercy of rising electricity costs.
“This decision will hurt more South Australian families who are already suffering from soaring power bills and will create even more uncertainty for homeowners and many solar businesses,” she said.
ZEN Energy Systems Victor Harbor manager Lisa Fredberg said about one in four homes in the Victor Harbor and Goolwa areas currently has a solar system installed, which is the highest adoption rate in South Australia and number three in Australia.
Despite the solar rebate deadline looming, before rushing in to any contract, Ms Fredberg suggests buyers carefully review the products being offered by solar providers in the marketplace to ensure they get a system that meets their requirements.
“Solar home energy is a long-term investment and it is critical to invest in a quality system that will best cater for current and future needs,” she said.
“People should look to purchase from suppliers that have an established presence in the market and experience in the solar market.
“A low quality system installed by a fly-by night company is a recipe for disaster.
“You do get what you pay for and a rushed decision may cost you more than you would save in government rebate.”
Each month ZEN energy Systems install about 30 systems in the Victor Harbor area and has installed nearly 200,000 solar panels on metropolitan, regional and rural homes across Australia since 2004.
Retirees and new Hindmarsh Island residents Max Hodge and Wendy Robinson moved to the area about a month ago and immediately installed a four kilowatt solar panel system, after having a positive experience with the technology at their house in Adelaide.
“We were averaging about $400 per quarter (on our electricity bills), then we were in credit by $130 for the next bill and we were always in credit since,” Wendy said.
The house is connected to the gris and they are yet to receive their first bill, but they are expecting to be in credit again this quarter with the summer months.
By Anthony Caggiano