Fabian Demicoli

Renewable Energy Sector meets at GRTU

 GRTU's Renewable Energy Section has today met at the GRTU to discuss the Solar Water Heaters and Photovoltaics Rebate Scheme. The meeting was very well attended and all present made very valid contributions. The meeting was chaired by the president representing the sector and GRTU Council Member Noel Gauci. Prior to this meeting another preparatory meeting was also held and several meetings with the MRA to iron out the issues the sector had to put forward.

 

Solar Water Heaters

Applications

Even though the MRA has now accepted receiving applications by post all present agreed that if consumers wanted they could have their application checked by a knowledgeable person and receive an acknowledgement.

The application was also simplified so that consumers do not have to indicate how much income they have and there is no longer the requirement to provide pictures before, only after.

Technician Courses

Here was general agreement that the requirements set are difficult to reach so much so that there is currently very low participation and GRTU is therefore studying the possibility to start offering these courses itself if the requirements remain so high.

Price of products

Members complained that sometimes the MRA enquires about the price of a product if it sees it as high or increase. GRTU is of the belief that consumers have a vast choice and higher prices usually result in better products. GRTU therefore advised its members that MRA are providing public funds and they should have some form of possibility to enquire however they can go no further as there cannot be any price fixing. To be fair only very few cases of such were reported.

Use of funds

It was decided that if funds are not taken up more funds should go into advertisement.

Photovoltaics

Increase in panels

GRTU is disappointed that MRA has declined the sector of the possibility to add panels to an existing system which is designed to take more panels. We firmly believe that this will only help Malta in becoming more dependable of renewable energy. There are consumers who were skeptical of the technology but still decided to try it out. These now want to increase panels on a system that is equipped for more panels as they have experienced the benefits. These however have to wait 5 years as MRA will not let them touch the system.

Deposits

MRA had put forward a suggestion that an energy audit is carried out at a fee for potential clients however this was voted against as it would be something to add bureaucracy.

Launch

GRTU is chasing and insisting with the MRA to launch the scheme as soon as possible as the sector is in dire need for the scheme to be launched and we have already started to experience redundancies.

On a general note the participants agreed that the GRTU should continue pushing Government for repeated schemes, which the GRTU will do.

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