Solar energy rebates

Under the Solar Energy Rebates Scheme it seemed that what was being given by one, was being taken by another. The news isn’t all bad and there is still hope of utilising the rebate without it affecting your pension.

YOURLifeChoices has received several questions and comments on how Centrelink will assess any income from the Solar Energy Rebate Scheme. We contacted Centrelink which has provided the following clarification:

There has been a change around whether solar energy rebates are counted as income by Centrelink. In the light of community concerns and after consultation, the Government has reviewed this policy.

If you get a payment for your solar power (generally with a cheque or credit to your bank account), it’s still counted as income. However, if you get credits or discounts on your bill, it is not counted as income.

The Government has recognised it’s not practical or cost effective to require pensioners and other customers to identify and advise of these credits.

This is also the approach adopted by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The change applies from 14 May 2010 and applies to all social security income support payments. People should contact Centrelink if they would like to discuss their individual circumstances.

Written by Debbie McTaggart