Home solar power system installations will generally *not* be able to go ahead in Melbourne due to Stage 4 restrictions while those restrictions are in place â€“ but can proceed in regional Victoria under certain conditions.
On Monday, the Victorian Government announced a range of measures relating to how work will be carried out in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. For solar installers and their customers, itâ€™s been an anxious wait since then to find out whether solar panel installation is considered a permitted industry in Melbourne.
Thereâ€™s finally been clarification via Solar Victoria and the news isnâ€™t good for Melbourne.
Solar Victoria advises solar panels cannot be installed on residential properties in metropolitan Melbourne under Stage 4 restrictions unless it is a residential renovation where the home is fully vacated or a construction site. In those two situations, specialist contractors must adhere to the worksiteâ€™s COVIDSafe Plan and are included in the daily workforce caps.
Critical repairs can be made to an existing system where required in an emergency or for safety reasons.
Solar businesses in regional Victoria can continue to operate, but must follow the guidance for Stage 3 restrictions. My understanding is metropolitan installers wonâ€™t be able to travel to regional areas to perform installations.
For Victorians who can go solar during this time, back in April we outlined how to go about a COVID-safe solar power experience â€“ from the research phase right through to handover. The good news is the whole process can be carried out with minimal in-person contact, and any in-person contact there may be can (and must) occur in a very safe way.
Bear in mind installers will be as keen as customers to keep any face-to-face contact to the absolute minimum and at the maximum distance possible as itâ€™s in everyoneâ€™s interests to do so.
Even if Stage 4 restrictions prevent you from going solar in Melbourne right now or youâ€™ve decided to put it off for a bit for whatever reason, you can start researching, reading installer reviews and getting quotes.
Itâ€™s a really good time to go solar in Victoria and will still be after Stage 4 restrictions are over. Victoriaâ€™s solar rebate and interest-free loans are and will continue to be available, along with the generous national subsidy. Installing a solar power system will also help support Victorian jobs at a time when they are particularly needed.
On a related note, Solar Victoria is providing assistance to potential applicants, existing customers and businesses struggling as a result of the pandemic â€“ more information can be found here. Â The agency notes the Solar Homes Program remains open and it is continuing toÂ process rebates.