Green Energy gets red light

THE Federal Government’s decision to wind back its Green Loans program has left local sustainability assessors stunned and angry.

Sawtell-based assessor Peter Reuter said he is still trying to absorb the implications of last week’s announcement that will see an end to interest-free loans of up to $10,000 being made available to improve the energy efficiency of homes.

“I am astounded by what the government has done,” Mr Reuter said.

“Without the interest-free loans there will be very little incentive for people to get their houses assessed and so they will continue to live in homes which are unsustainable and consume too much energy.

“The government’s decision to limit the number of assessments any assessor can do to five a week was also concerning.

“Five assessments a week means an income of just $1000 a week and when you take out the costs we’ll be working for below the minimum wage.”

Mr Reuter said the true professionals with qualifications will be forced to find other work.

“I’ll probably continue but will have to go back to building to earn a decent wage,” he said.

Andrew Goodfellow, from Aussie Home Inventories, said he was angry that the government had tried to justify its decision by saying not enough people were interested in taking up the interest-free green loans.

“That is a blatant lie,” Mr Goodfellow said.

“The biggest problem with the program has been the government itself.

“The government call centre is a shambles, contractors like me are not being paid on time and it is taking ages to get the data we generate turned into reports. It has been a joke,” he said.

“They have now ripped up the contracts we (assessors) had with them to our financial detriment, but what I’m most worried about is that through the government’s own actions people will become very suspicious and wary of anything scheme labelled green in the future.

“Even if you have to pay interest on a loan to make your home less costly to run I believe it will still be worth it.”

The true professionals with the qualifications, experience and knowledge will be forced to find other work.

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