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Cranbourne Gets Solar-Charged

By Eleanor Hopkins

CRANBOURNE is leading the way for for solar panel installations in Victoria. The latest installation statistics showed Cranbourne had 62 new sets of panels put on rooftops during the month of May.

Narre Warren was in fourth place on the list, and Berwick in eighth. The results surprised Anthony O’Connell, the CEO of Lynbrook-based Metro Solar. “But we’re definitely seeing an increase in our area because of our localised establishment,” he said. “It generally probably plays down to it appears there’s going be government change. “Financially, there’s never been a better time to invest in solar.”

Mr O’Connell said government support for solar was dropping and there was speculation prices could rise 30 per cent.
He said Cranbourne was a “mum and dad and two kids” area and this was fuelling solar investment. “They see it as a smart investment,” he said. “Most people are getting under a five-year return on investment if not quicker.
“The influx in new housing has definitely been a benefit.”

Mr O’Connell said 90 per cent of his staff were from the Casey area, and about 25 per cent of the 200 installations the company did in Victoria each month were, too. “These areas are generally people most affected by a high power bill,” he said.
He said few turned to solar for the environmental benefits. “That’s exactly the reason why we should be doing it,” he said.
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber celebrated the solar data, which showed 2700 Victorian homes and businesses installed solar panels during May. “This is great for consumers, but power companies don’t like it,” he said. “Powercorp in Western Victoria is throwing up barriers to new connections, while retailer Simply Energy – who also owns Hazelwood power station – wants to charge homeowners an extra daily charge if they have solar on their roof.

“The Greens will legislate to protect solar homes and businesses from power company rip offs and encourage the transition to this cost effective and sustainable energy source.”


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