The looming expiry of solar paybacks has spurred a south-west environmental sustainability group to hold public talks to inform consumers on important next steps.
Replenish Our Planet Association is holding its Solar House Updating seminar on Sunday, October 2 at the Koroit Theatre as part of its 'Show Me How' series which has included instructional forums on recycling and redesigning homes to improve thermal efficiency.
The seminar comes as Victoria's solar feed-in tariff scheme ends on November 1, 2024, when energy retailers are no longer required to pass on credits to solar customers.
Replenish Our Planet's chair Barrie Baker said the seminar would be a "perfect opportunity" for anyone looking to install or upgrade their solar systems to learn about their options from experts.
"Technologies keep changing. Solar panels have upgraded quite a bit in the last couple of years... and one of the impacts is that some of the older panels are not really compatible with the new panels," he said.
"If you're upgrading your system, you may have to throw your old panels away and replace them entirely.
"Those sort of subtleties are the things that people might want to know about."
Mr Baker said the seminar would also be useful for those unsure about available government rebates but called for more state funding to support an extension of the feed-in tariff system.
"Some people think that they only get rebates for a first installation, but you can in fact get the rebates for upgrades as well," he said.
"While they've been valuable, they're very finite.
"Something like an ongoing guarantee of a feed-in tariff would be good for consumers too."
The Victorian Government announced an expansion of its solar rebate program for new-home builders in August allowing access to a $1400 rebate and $1400 interest-free loan to install panels.
Solar Homes Minister Lily D'Ambrosio said the scheme would save Victorians "thousands" on electricity bills and help the state reach its emissions reduction goal of 50 per cent by 2030.
"We know energy prices are putting pressure on households," she said.
"We're putting power back into the hands of Victorian households - driving down energy costs and boosting supply, creating thousands of jobs and cutting solar installation costs for new builds by hundreds."
Admission to the Solar House Updating seminar is free with more information available online.
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