Changes to Victoria's solar rebate scheme have hit the sector, costing jobs as operators report significant financial losses.
Consumers snaffled up the state government's $1.34 billion Solar Homes program which included half-price solar panels for 650,000 households and $1000 off the cost of solar hot water with rebates for 60,000 homes.
It was so popular the scheme had to be modified, with the government imposing a temporary freeze and implementing monthly cap on rebates.
Bendigo-based solar installer Peter Angove said the change had a significant impact and other operators were in the same position.
He had to dismiss two office workers and cut two electricians back to part-time.
"It hasn't been easy, we look like we're running out of installs," Mr Angove told AAP on Monday.
From July 1, the rebate scheme operated with a cap of 3333 applications per month.
"They're just really half-cocked," Mr Angove said of the scheme operators, noting the application for processing rebates has been tedious.
The businessman was down $230,000 in sales in the June quarter this year compared to the same time in 2018, he said.
Before the rebate was announced Mr Angove said his three-year-old company had been growing.
He hoped the scheme doesn't change again but wants to see caps increased and the system simplified.
For people to be able to access the rebate there is facial recognition software and layers of bureaucracy, Smart Energy Council chief executive John Grimes said.
"Now is the time to get rid of all the bureaucratic madness, remove all the blockages, and get this program back on track," Mr Grimes said.
"Right now the government's causing tremendous amount of pain to small businesses, and they've got to fix it."
This financial year the program aimed to support 49,000 installations including 42,000 rooftop solar systems on 40,000 owner-occupied homes and 2000 for rented homes, according to the state government.
The rebates would be released each month to ensure the program is allocated fairly, rolled out safely and provides certainty for the industry, Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio said in July.
"The program has been designed to give consumers and industry certainty about how many rebates will be available this year - releasing a set number each month to ensure the 10-year program is delivered effectively," the government said at the time of the scheme revamp.
Solar panel installers plan to rally in front of Victorian Parliament House on Thursday morning.
Australian Associated Press