Solar program cut pours cold water on clean energy job prospects

The clean energy industry says the unexpected cut of a key government solar hot water program late yesterday will put jobs under threat and make it harder for people to save on their electricity bills.

Clean Energy Council Acting Chief Executive Kane Thornton said solar hot water systems and heat pumps were the cheapest way to heat water in people’s homes over the life of the system.

“This decision will immediately affect sales and will put more than 1200 manufacturing jobs and 6000 installation, sales and back office jobs in jeopardy. This industry has been struggling with the effects of a high Australian dollar just like the car industry, just like the steel industry and just like other home grown manufacturing industries,” Mr Thornton said.

“Cutting this program without warning in the middle of a financial year is yet another example of stop-start policy making that continues to plague the entire clean energy sector. It has given the industry no time to prepare and makes business planning almost impossible.”

Mr Thornton said water heating was one of the most energy intensive activities in the average Australian household, accounting for about a quarter of all energy use.

“Solar hot water systems are one of the best ways for households to reduce steadily rising power bills over the long term, but have a higher up-front cost than other types of technology.

The Author

I took an interest in the Australian energy sector close to ten years ago and since then have monitored the trends, technologies and direction of the Australian Energy Market. I was drawn to the Australian solar market in 2008 and since then have worked heavily in the field. I am partnered with national and international solar energy companies, from manufacturers of solar panel and inverter technology, online software developers that introduce tools to quote, monitor and manage solar power systems and media organisations who like myself, closely monitor the solar and renewable energy sector.

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