O'Donnell Kerr Financial Planners
  • 16 March, 2015

Solar power can do more than reduce climate warming!

Social Security legislation (like all legislation) is complicated and if you don’t always understand what is going on, you can get caught out or it can leave you with some pleasant surprises.

My Mum, who is in receipt of a Veterans Affairs Service Pension – same income and assets test as the Age Pension – recently decided she wanted to do her bit to reduce the greenhouse gases. So she decided to install solar panels onto the roof of her small home. This would no doubt reduce her electricity bill and over time, this reduction would pay for the outlay on the installation of the solar panels.

The other plus is that Mum, after some time, started to receive solar input credits which helped reduce her bill even further. Now my Mum’s concern was that the credits could be viewed as income and affect her pension and was unsure as to what she needed to tell the Veterans Affairs department.

The good news is that the credits if they are used to offset her electricity bill in other words received as a credit on her bill are not assessed as income, but if she were to receive the credits via a cheque or as direct deposit to her bank account they would be assessed as income and certainly could affect her pension.

So the good news is that for a pensioner Solar Energy can provide a number of benefits outside the obvious environmental, however there can be a downside and you still need to be careful how you arrange your affairs.

Realise your Dream

The Realise Your Dream blogs are written by Peter Kelly and Mark Teale. More information about the authors can be found here

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