If you are looking for a way to accelerate the transition to zero emission energy sources and zero emission vehicles, then making them more affordable is probably the best thing you can do.

This is exactly what the ACT government is doing, with the announcement that in its 2020-2021 budget is $ 307 million over 5 years to help ACT move to net zero emissions.

One of the most important and immediate steps is to provide interest-free loans of up to AU $ 15,000. While many like the idea of ​​adding rooftop solar power, home battery storage, or buying a zero-emission vehicle, the upfront cost often means it’s not available.

By lowering the cost of entry more households will move, it’s smart, easy and simple to understand and a move that I would like to see repeated across the country.

ACT will spend $ 150 million on this program. After adding a 6.5kW solar system to our house in 2020, the cost was around AU $ 12,000 (including installation), well below that threshold for an interest-free loan.

Installing a typical home battery costs between AU $ 8,000 and AU $ 15,000, so it would also be possible to add a battery, ideal for those who already have solar power.

When it comes to the electric car, buying an electric vehicle now costs more and reducing the initial outlay by A $ 15.00 would certainly put some cars in the price bracket of many more buyers. Take the example of Australia’s cheapest electric vehicle, the MG ZS EV, which costs $ 43,990 in-car. Under this new budget, ACT residents could have it in their driveway for just $ 28,990 and there are huge numbers of Australians buying cars in this price range.

Assuming the interest-free loans extend over the 5 years of the program, you will need to make 60 payments of $ 250 per month to pay it off, assuming you have taken all of the $ 15,000. Many Australian families don’t have the savings to factor in the price of the electric vehicle sticker, but with a steady income, they could afford $ 250, or $ 57.69 per week in refunds.

Naturally, you’ll still have to pay off the loan, but in the electric car example you’ll have much lower ongoing costs, with cheaper charging and lower service costs, which means it should be manageable.

In the solar example, a lower quarterly electricity bill will free up cash that can be redeployed to repay the loan. Considering that the loan would be paid off in 5 years and the panels last around 20 years, this seems like an investment that many would like.

What is not clear is if you can split the loan between several eco-friendly purchases, say $ 5,000 on solar power and A $ 10,000 on an electric vehicle, up to the value. of A $ 15,000, if so, it will allow even more people to move. to sustainable energy in more aspects of their lives.

If that wasn’t enough, the ACT government is also offering electric vehicle owners a break from check-in. This corresponds to a saving of several hundred dollars for those who wish to invest in an electric vehicle. It’s also great to see the state investing more in charging infrastructure, with the announcement of funding for 50 more chargers.

“We are aiming for an electric vehicle revolution over the next decade, with ACT leading the transition to zero emission transportation.

Free registration and interest-free loans for zero-emission vehicles, along with a new network of 50 public electric vehicle charging stations will make EVs a real option for the Canberrans who may have been hesitant until now.

Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury

The budget included a number of other measures also aimed at reducing emissions.

  • Funding of $ 100 million over five years, including fiscal year 2020-21, will be allocated to provide a large Canberra battery of at least 250 MW of new ‘large-scale’ battery storage spread across ACT .
  • Eliminate registration fees on new ZEV registered vehicles during the first two registration years from May 2021 to encourage more Canberrans to purchase electric vehicles.
  • Establish a $ 5 million Building Energy Efficiency Improvement Fund to help community clubs undertake energy efficiency improvements through initiatives such as water and ventilation audits , partial grants for certain energy and water efficiency improvements, and interest-free loans for certain improvements such as rooftop solar power.
  • Establish a $ 50 million Vulnerable Home Energy Support Initiative to improve building efficiency and sustainability for social and public housing, low-income homeowners and low-performing rental properties.
  • Make it easier for ACT households to obtain better energy deals by requiring electricity retailers to provide customers with a reference bill for a typical consumer and to inform customers of plans that would reduce customer bills.
  • Initial funding of $ 855,000 to support the phase-out of fossil-fueled gas by continuing work on ACT’s sustainable energy policy actions and the development of legislation to prevent new connections to the gas distribution grid. gas at future stages of entirely new residential development in ACT.
  • Invest $ 915,000 over two years to establish an office of the General Coordinator of Climate Action to coordinate government efforts and oversee major projects to maintain our climate action commitments.

ACT plans to lead the country in phasing out gas, with a commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2045. It prevents gas hookups in new suburbs and offers interest-free loans to households to switch to efficient electrical appliances.

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Mark Lewis

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