ADJOURNMENT & RESPONSE | SOLAR ENERGY

Mr Melhem (Western Metropolitan)- My adjournment matter is directed at the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Solar Homes, the Honourable Lily D’Ambrosio, in the other place. Electricity costs remain a serious concern for constituents in my electorate of Western Metropolitan Region. Although prices have stabilised in January, they remain at historic high rates. This can be incredibly stressful, particularly for the families of individuals with low or fixed income. I want to praise the Andrews Labour government and the minister for their actions on this vitally important issue through the solar homes package. This policy provides half-price rebates up to $2225 for the installation of solar panels, as well as $1000 for solar hot water systems. It is a game-changer for those struggling with high electricity prices. The data released in mid-January shows that around 7000 Victorian households have installed solar panels since this announcement and around 16 households have already received their rebate. It is exciting to see that some of these areas with the highest level of new solar power installation are in my electorate, with 212 households in Tarneit and 123 households in Truganina taking advantage of the solar energy boom. This program is reducing electricity costs for families and also creating new jobs. While these policies are life-changing for some, I am aware that lower socio-economic households often struggle to take advantage of the policy. The action I seek from the minister is to outline how the Andrews Labor government is helping low-income households access solar home packages and how this government is ensuring they are aware of the benefits of this initiative.