Media release from ACT Energy Consumer Policy Consortium: ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS), Care Financial Counselling Service, Conservation Council ACT Region, SEE-Change, and Small Business Taskforce of the Canberra Business Chamber – 19 December 2017.

A consortium of business, conservation and community groups has welcomed the launch of a new program to assist low income households install solar panels today by the ACT Government.

According to the ACT Government, the program will help Canberrans living in low income households significantly reduce their energy by offering participants a rebate of up to 60% on costs for the supply and installation of a rooftop solar photovoltaic system with estimated savings of $300 to $900 a year. The subsidy will also cover upgrades for a switchboard and smart meter if required. Participants will have access to an interest free loan to pay back the remaining installation costs over a three year period.

Members of the ACT Energy Consumers Policy Consortium have today welcomed the announcement.

According to Carmel Franklin, Director of Care Financial Counselling, “Low income households need support to adapt to more extreme weather events and to reduce their energy costs. Without this assistance we see growing hardship associated with bill shock and poor health caused by inadequate temperature control in cold winters and hot summers.”

The Canberra Business Chamber’s Ron Thompson also welcomed the announcement stating that, “Reducing household budget pressures from energy bills leaves money for other essential items and builds capacity to spend money in the local economy.”

The Conservation Council’s Larry O’Loughlin noted that, “The ACT Climate Change Council has recommended the ACT Government accelerate the transition to zero net emissions from 2050 back to 2045. Measures like this announced today are needed to ensure we reach this earlier target date.”

Edwina Robinson, Executive Director of SEE-Change, said that, “Government investment in reducing carbon footprint is both urgent and supported by the community.”

Welcoming the focus on low income households, Susan Helyar, Director of the ACT Council of Social Service, said that, “Middle and higher income households in Canberra have been provided with significant subsidies to invest in solar panels. It is vital that lower income households are given better access to this technology and infrastructure.”

More information about the program can be found at:

For more information or comment please contact Susan Helyar, Director ACTCOSS, on 0448 791 987 or 02 6202 7200.