A Labor Government will create a $5 million Solar Schools Fund to encourage state schools to install solar panels and reduce their power costs.
Labor Leader Rebecca White said the initiative builds on Labor’s plan to install solar panels and energy efficiency upgrades in social housing properties.
“Labor has listened to Tasmanians who are desperate for some relief from the huge power bills they are struggling to pay under the Liberal government,” Ms White said.
“A Labor Government would create a $5 million Solar Schools Fund to encourage schools to install solar panels to reduce their energy costs. The program would create around 45 jobs.
“An important element of Labor’s policy is that schools will be able to retain their savings as an incentive instead of having to return this money to the department, which is the current Liberal policy.
“Labor candidate for Franklin and Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year 2021 Toby Thorpe has been campaigning on this issue for several years and was instrumental in fundraising to help Huonville High install solar panels when he was a student at the school.
“We estimate that by installing solar panels, each school could save around $22 thousand a year from their power bill. Under Labor’s policy this is a significant saving that can be poured back into increasing the learning outcomes of students at each participating school.
Today’s announcement builds on Labor’s plan to install solar panels and energy efficiency upgrades in social housing properties to build safer, more energy efficient homes and save tenants money on their bills.
“It is important that social housing tenants are given better living conditions which would in turn help reduce their household bills,” Ms White said.
“Under Labor’s Better Living in Social Housing initiative, $17.5 million will be allocated towards installing solar panels, heat pumps and fixing the public housing maintenance backlog over two years.
“The program will provide a significant shot in the arm for the building and construction industries, creating 150 jobs.
“Peter Gutwein has been ignoring the thousands of Tasmanians doing it tough.
“Under the Liberals, Tasmanians would see a privatised Hydro which means higher power bills. In stark contrast, Labor won’t privatise Hydro and will drive down the cost of power bills.”
Rebecca White MP