Victorians who swap their old hot water system for a solar one can get a $1000 rebate under a $60 million program as the state government seeks to woo voters on cost of living.
The 10-year program starts immediately, Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Monday at solar hot water manufacturer Rinnai at Braeside.
“It’s real and practical, common sense action to save households hundreds of dollars each and every year and dealing with some of those up front costs that all too often prove a barrier to installing,” Mr Andrews told reporters.
The government predicts the systems will save households between $160 to $400 a year in electricity bills.
The program follows the premier’s announcement on Sunday that a re-elected Labor government would pay for 650,000 homes to get solar panels under a $1.24 billion plan where owner-occupiers would get about $4500 to install panels and repay half through their bill savings.
The government says the panels plan could save Victorians up to $900 a year on their energy bills.
Both plans will be available to households with a combined income of up to $180,000 who live in their own home valued up to $3 million.
The hot water rebate has been created so houses who cannot get solar panels because of roof design or shade can still get a reduction in energy bills.
Houses can take part in the half price solar panels program or the $1000 hot water rebate, but not both.
The schemes will be run through a new independent agency, Solar Victoria, which will also oversee regulation and training of thousands of electricians who will install the panels.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy was dubious of how much the announcements would save households.
“I’ve had solar (panels) at home for about two years and anyone who says that having solar at home is going to drop your bills by $1000 a year, I think they’re dreaming,” he told reporters.
“If the government can come up with magical figures like they do, I’ll be interested to see them.”