Victoria expands Solar for Rentals program

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Landlords and renters in Victoria can now apply for interest-free loans in addition to generous rebates offered under the state government’s Solar Homes program. In so doing, eligible landlords will be able to cut the upfront cost of installing PV by up to $3,700.

Victoria’s landmark $1.3 Solar Homes program currently offers landlords a subsidy of up to $1,850 on a solar power system, which is now coupled with an equivalent interest-free loan to encourage more solar installations that benefit renters.

“In Victoria, not owning your own home shouldn’t stop you from having access to cheaper, cleaner solar energy,” Minister for Solar Homes Lily D’Ambrosio said on Monday. “We know renters often dream of the chance to cut their energy costs and this expansion will help thousands more get that chance.”

Under the boosted program, landlords can apply and pay for the entire solar system themselves, or work with their renters for a loan repayment co-contribution of up to $19.27 a month. These convenient conditions in Victoria come in addition to the national solar rebate that can get thousands of dollars off the PV system price.

As per eligibility criteria, the property value must be under $3 million and have no solar panels installed. The landlord can have no more than two properties receiving the rebate under the Solar Homes program. The tenants have to be already renting the place and their combined household income must be under $180,000 per year.

In addition, the landlord and renters have to sign a Solar Homes Landlord-Tenant Agreement that will specify whether or not the tenant contributes to the zero-interest loan repayment. The tenant’s contribution can be from 5-50% each month of loan repayment, or up to $19.27 a month.

So far, more than 550 rental households across Victoria have benefitted from the Solar Homes program, according to the state government. As is the case with all benefits offered under the Solar Homes program, the number of rebates for rental properties is limited in each round. At the time of writing, there were 66 rebates for rentals remaining in this release.