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About the author

Gary Warden was raised in the Perth Hills. After graduating from the University of Western Australia with a degree in Geology, Gary joined BHP Billiton where he spent 18 years working in a variety of roles in a number of locations around the world. Prior to leaving BHP Billiton in December 2006, Gary was Global Manager for the company's US$1Billion business improvement program.

While he was originally sceptical about the claims relating to climate change, he became convinced of the urgency of the issue in early 2006. He left BHP Billiton primarily to spend more time with his young family, but also to dedicate himself to creating a more sustainable life for himself and his family and to support others in making that change.

In September 2007 he was trained by Al Gore and has delivered the "Inconvenient Truth" lectures to thousands of west australians since then. In November 2007 Gary ran for the senate in the Federal Election representing the Climate Change Coalition.

In addition to his climate change lectures, he has facilitated Living Smart workshops across Perth. Between 2008 and 2009 he was on the Executive Committee of the Conservation Council of Western Australia including one year as Vice President.

Gary co-founded and is Executive Director of the very exciting Days of Change program, one of the largest sustainability programs in Australia and is now General Manager WA for Eco-Kinetics, one of the largest Solar PV companies in Australia and subsidiary of ASX-listed CBD Energy.

Changes to Federal Government Solar Rebate

by Gary 2/10/2009 5:59:00 AM

I’ve got good new and bad news.

The good news for those of you who don’t currently qualify for the $8,000 solar rebate from the Federal Government because your household income is above $100,000, is that from July 1 this year the $100,000 means test is to be scrapped.

The bad news is that the new scheme is horribly complex, and it is impossible to predict exactly how much the rebate will be as the value of it will be tied in with the Renewable Energy Target Scheme and will therefore vary.

What is certain is that households earning less than $100,000 will also get less assistance under the new scheme.

For example, under the current scheme, a household earning less than $100,000 can install a 1kW system and receive a $8,000 from the federal government.

Under the new scheme starting in July 1, the same household will receive as little as $4,500. To receive the maximum rebate, the household will have to install a much more expensive 1.5kW system, in which case a rebate of approximately $7,500 will apply.

Households earning more than $100,000 will be the big winners, going from receiving no rebate under the current means test, to receiving the same rebate as lower income households as described above.

So what should YOU do?

If your household income (total income less allowable tax deductions) is less than $100,000, then you should move quickly to sign-up for panels before July 1. If you wait until after July 1, you will lose up to  $3,500 in rebates compare to the current system.

If your household income is above $100,000, then you are probably better off waiting until July 1 to sign up for your system.

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Climate Change | Reduce Your Emissions | Tip of the Week

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