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NSW was concerned about the risks of the billion-dollar loan program



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There are new details about the design of the loan program promised by the NSW government for solar home deck installations, including that the government now expects to make the first zero interest solar loans in the coming summer, and that the Corporation for the financing of clean energy has been addressed as a potential financier.

RenewEconomy revealed in June that the NSW government had rejected a previously announced virtual power plant initiative so that it could redirect $ 50 million into the zero interest loan program, but at the request of the real details about the S & # Has made it available.

The documents from the departmental budget obtained by the deputies of Greens NSW, David Shoebridge, have revealed additional details about the potential design of the system, including the concerns raised by the Department that the market may not be equipped to face a rapid increase in the recruitment of solar systems and batteries.

The additional concerns raised by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment include the possibility that it is encouraging families to obtain loans for solar systems and batteries without enough means to pay off debts.

"There is a significant reputational risk with the program that encourages the capture of a non-economic asset and an attraction for middle-income or low-income families in a loan that may not be able to return", say the documents from the internal budget.

The details have been revealed through internal budget documents visited by RenewEconomy, which were prepared before the NSW Government budget for 2019 released in June.

By supporting the use of zero-interest loans under the Empowering Homes program, the NSW government expects to unblock up to $ 3.2 billion in additional private investments in clean energy.

The documents reveal that the NSW Government has approached the Clean Energy Financing Corporation to see if the federal government's investment government can provide the capital to be used as loans.

CEFC has previously provided support for solar and battery loan programs, including the availability of funds available for use through the RateSetter clean energy market loan program.

However, RatesSetter loans are charged an interest rate, although lower than that often can be provided by other loan providers, such as banks.

Budget documents reveal that $ 50 million in funding assigned by the NSW government to the Empowering Homes program will be used to cover lost interests through the provision of loans at zero interest rates and to cover the costs of potential loan default .

The NSW Government aims to support the installation of 300,000 new solar installations and batteries for 10 years under the Empowering Homes Program, but the budget documents show the risk that the market is not ready for a rapid increase of facilities.

The Department of Planning and the Environment warned that there is a risk that "a high installation fee with a hand of unprepared work, poor training, a poor audit scheme could cause damage / death / damages to the reputation ".

A spokesman for the NSW Department of Planning and Environment has minimized the risks, saying that the documents were first drafts of documents related to the Empowering Homes program and that there would be sufficient financial and security protections for households.

"The referenced document seems to be a draft of a high level evaluation of the possible risks of the program, a standard practice for the Government in the early development of such programs," said the department's spokesman.

"These issues are marked in the first stage of the development of the program so that the agencies can consult, test and incorporate the final design to solve the problems."

"Security and affordability are fundamental priorities for this program and, therefore, the Government has invested time and effort from these first drafts to block these factors."

"All applications to the loan fund will be subject to strict loan evaluation criteria to ensure that loans are not offered to those who can not meet payments."

"We are also working with the Clean Energy Council to take advantage of its industry-proven program to ensure that qualified and suitable installers are used to meet stringent security standards."

The Greens NSW MLC David Shoebridge has asked the NSW government to ensure that there are enough security measures to protect families with solar and battery installed systems, as well as protecting homes that may be assuming additional debts in the form of loans . be able to pay.

"This is the only program that this government has proposed for renewable energies, and it turns out it's a long-term policy with real risks and minimal benefits," said David Greenfield Shoebridge.

"The government plan is that private installers and private financial companies deliver loans, with all the risks derived from the debt traps and the security that this entails."

"The right investments in publicly-owned renewable energies could create thousands of good constant jobs. Instead of the liberals in New York, we achieve stunned and dangerous schemes that make workers at risk and households in debt," he added Shoebridge.

Concerns about the design of the Empowering Men program will probably accelerate due to the challenges that have emerged in the recently re-released Victorian Solar Homes program.

While most governments have eliminated the provision of cash discounts for installing roof solar systems, the Victorian government offers discounts of up to 770,000 Victorian homes.

In an attempt to change the availability of discounts in the Victorian program, with a limited number of discounts each month, the government has inadvertently created a situation where monthly installments of returns are depleted within days.

Solar industry associations, including installer groups, have called on the Victorian government to redesign the program, fearing it could see the return to the 'solar-coaster' flyer.

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