Mullumbimby businessman Graeme Wilson will take advantage of the Federal Government’s new solar panel rebate to build on his existing solar system.
Mullumbimby businessman Graeme Wilson will take advantage of the Federal Government’s new solar panel rebate to build on his existing solar system.

Mullum man just misses out on solar panel rebate

FOR Graeme Wilson, the news this week that the Federal Government will scrap its means test on the solar panel rebate was bittersweet.

Mr Wilson installed a $12,800 solar system at his electrical store in Mullumbimby three weeks ago, but was not eligible for a rebate.

Under new rules announced this week, his business would have received a rebate of up to $7500, more than halving his set-up cost.

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett announced the means test on solar panel rebates, which had restricted them to households earning less than $100,000, had been dropped and the rebate would be available to all households, small businesses and community groups.

However, Mr Wilson said he had no regrets.

He made the decision to install the solar system last year and was not going to wait around. “It's like buying a computer,” he said. “People say 'oh, we'll wait until the computer gets cheaper and better', but if we all took that approach we'd never get anything done.”

Mr Wilson said this week's announcement was welcome news, as it would help the store build on its existing solar system.

The panels currently supply only a small portion of the store's energy needs and he plans to keep adding panels until the shop is completely self-sufficient.

“If it means buying another system to get the rebate, then that's what we'll do,” he said.



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