The NSW government's solar battery program risks injury or death because of a lack of training in the industry, according to internal budget documents.
The Empowering Homes program, which was touted as an election promise in February by the Berejiklian government, provides interest-free loans for up to 300,000 households for the installation of solar-battery systems.
Budget documents obtained by the Greens show the 10-year scheme could lead to injury and death because of high installation rates and an “unprepared workforce”.
“High installation rate with an unprepared workforce, poor training, poor auditing scheme leads to injury/death/reputational damage,” the document, seen by AAP, said.
There is also a significant risk of medium- to low-income families being “enticed” into loans they may not be able to pay back, the document said.
The program was designed to help bring down the cost of power bills to NSW residents and to cut emissions.
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment insists the document is a preliminary draft of potential program risks.
Issues are flagged at the earliest stage to enable consultation, testing and building of the final design, a spokeswoman told AAP in a statement.
“Safety and affordability are critical priorities for this program and so the government has invested time and effort since these early drafts to lock these factors in,” she said.
Further risk mitigation will take place as part of the final program design, she added.
NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge believes the scheme comes with “real risks” and minimal benefits.
“From the NSW Liberals we get dodgy and dangerous harebrained schemes that put workers at risk and households in debt,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
Mr Shoebridge argues letting private installers and finance companies deliver the loans increases the risk of “debt traps”.
“Letting private industry write the rules has given us buildings that crack and flammable cladding, it makes no sense to give them millions of public money to roll out anything,” he said.
Under the program, no-interest loans of up to $9000 for a battery system or up to $14,000 for a solar battery system will be available to owner-occupied households with an annual combined income of up to $180,000.
The first battery or solar-battery systems are expected to be available for installation this summer.