Labor's proposed household solar and battery loan scheme will only be offered to homes with land values of $600,000 or less, Chief Minister and party leader Andrew Barr has said.
Mr Barr formally announced the $150 million scheme as the party's first major election pledge on Monday, effectively signaling the start of Labor's campaign for re-election on October 17.
Under the scheme - which Mr Barr described as a "win-win-win" for homeowners, the economy and the environment - householders will be offered interest-free loans of between $2000 and $15,000 to fund rooftop solar panels, household battery storage and hot water heat pumps.
A typical household battery, without solar panels, costs between $8000 to $15,000 installed.
Mr Barr said between 10,000 and 75,000 households could take up the offer, depending on the size of the loans each of them took out.
He estimated the program would create up to 1200 jobs, on the assumption that every million dollars invested in the sector generated employment for eight people.
But the scheme would not be open to all, with Mr Barr saying loans would only be available for detached homes with an average unimproved land value of up to $600,000 - which is about 85 per cent of all Canberra households.
A $200,000 cap would apply to unit titled properties.
Mr Barr said the caps had been put in place so that the scheme would benefit middle-income households, which might have struggled to afford the upfront costs of rooftop solar panels or batteries.
Applicants would also be subject to a "simple" credit check to ensure they were capable of re-paying the loan.
The size of the $150 million scheme could be expanded depending on the take up, Mr Barr said.
Anticipating a surge in demand once the scheme went live, Mr Barr said the loans would rolled out progressively from 2021 to avoid "flooding the market".
He said the loan scheme would be regulated, with households restricted to choosing products from accredited suppliers.
"There will be a regulated process around how the loan money will be used," he said.
"Because it is a loan, we don't believe that it will bring into this industry the sort of cowboy players that you might see otherwise.
"We are very conscious in designing this scheme to address those sorts of issues that have been problematic for schemes in the past."
Mr Barr has until now been reluctant to talk about this year's ACT election, choosing instead to focus on the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But with two-and-a-half months until polling day, the Chief Minister said now was the time to "start talking about what the next four years will look like".
He said the solar and battery loan scheme was the type of policy which would achieve a short-term goal of easing cost of living pressure and creating jobs, while advancing a longer-term ambition - in this instance, tackling climate change.
"When you look at what governments do over this period, what sorts of investments they make, they have got to have those dual outcomes around economic stimulus and around advancing important policy issues," he said.