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FED: Aussies swamp solar scheme

By Cathy Alexander
12 May 2009 7:37 PM
Subject: FED: Aussies swamp solar scheme FED: Aussies swamp solar scheme

CANBERRA, May 12 AAP - Australians have gone crazy for solar panels - and the government's picking up the tab.

Unexpected demand for the $8,000 rebate on household solar panels has forced the government to find another $270 million to pay for the scheme.

As expected, the scheme will change from July 1 and some households will get a smaller rebate.

The budget has delivered on a range of promises to help households reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Free ceiling insulation and an increased $1,600 rebate for solar hot water are available until 2012, at a budget cost of $3.9 billion .

This is expected to slash household power bills by up to 40 per cent.

Low-interest green loans are on offer to households to cut their emissions - but the program has been cut by $125 million and fewer people can access it.

And progress has been made on better informing consumers about making green choices.

There's $64 million over four years for schemes to mandate better energy efficiency labelling on electrical devices, and minimum efficiency standards.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett said the moves would help households buy clean, green products and cut their power bills.

AAP ca/kms/jlw


FED: Aussies swamp solar scheme