ACT Budget will offer free registration for electric cars and offer pledged loan program
Free registration for electric cars and interest-free loans of up to $ 15,000 will be funded in next month’s ACT budget, with the goal of pushing Canberra toward a carbon-neutral future.
- $ 150 million loan program will provide financing for electric cars, solar panels and other purchases
- Some of the changes were election pledges from ACT, while others were enshrined in the governance deal between Labor and Greens.
- The new measures will be outlined in next month’s ACT budget
As part of the plan, $ 150 million will be spent on loans to Canberra residents who want to reduce their carbon footprint by installing solar panels, buying storage batteries, buying an electric vehicle or switching to appliances. effective.
The loan program will provide up to $ 15,000 in interest-free support to households, which ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said would remove barriers to the adoption of greener technologies.
“The aim here is to help households reduce their cost of living,” he said.
“One of the reasons people felt unable to make this change is the upfront cost of installing the new devices.”
The government expects the loan program to be operational by April, but Barr said he expects “most” of the program’s money to be used from 2022.
ACT’s Greens-Labor governance deal, signed after last October’s elections, commits the government to sticking to some of the measures earmarked for next month’s budget.
This includes the 24-month free registration offer to anyone who purchases an electric car between May 2021 and May 2023.
“Free registration and interest-free loans for zero-emission vehicles, as well as a new network of 50 public charging stations for electric vehicles [electric vehicles] a real option for the Canberrans who may have hesitated so far, ”said Minister for Emissions Reductions and Greens leader Shane Rattenbury.
The package also contains $ 100 million over the next five years for a “Big Canberra Battery,” and other measures, including stricter regulations on power companies that require them to notify the Canberrans if they could. get a better deal.
An additional $ 50 million will be spent on improving the energy efficiency of ACT’s social housing stock.
The $ 150 million in loans will be made available for a variety of environmentally friendly purposes, including the purchase of zero-emission vehicles, upgrading household appliances and installing solar panels.
But loans will not be open to everyone, with a cap preventing people from improving already valuable homes.
“There will be an upper asset threshold around the unimproved capital value of the properties,” Barr said.
The government plans to introduce an approved list of products and suppliers as the loan program goes live, to avoid a rush to the market of untrained operators.
It also remains to be decided what constitutes a “zero-emission vehicle”, with Barr saying lending might not be limited to cars alone.
“Our intention was primarily around passenger vehicles, but we will be flexible in looking at the types of transportation options that can come from innovation,” he said.
“E-scooters? Let’s think about this one a bit. We’re primarily focusing on passenger vehicles.”
A spokesperson for the Canberra Liberals said the party supports measures to increase energy efficiency and reduce costs, and will review the details of the government’s plan.
“We are concerned about loans offered to financially vulnerable people who may have difficulty meeting repayments,” he said.
“For these families, other support mechanisms must be available.”