Queensland’s solar for renters trial ran from March 2019 to June 2020 and encouraged landlords and tenants in Bundaberg, Gladstone and Townsville to share the value of installing solar systems. Rebates of up to $3,500 were offered to landlords for installing a solar system on their rental property, with rent increase agreements also struck between landlords and tenants to help pay off the system over time.
The trial resulted in 670 solar system installations across the state, 426 of which were in Townsville, in what the state government described as a “win-win for both landlords and tenants.” Analysis showed participating landlords and tenants were most likely to benefit if they had solar systems with a 5 kW inverter and 6.6 kW panels and a rent increase of between $10 to $20 per week.
On average, this scenario saved tenants around $600 a year after the rent increase, with landlords payback period for the system lasting seven years thanks to the rebate.
Solar Citizens applauded the results and is now calling for the state government to extend the program. “Renters and social housing tenants are some of the main groups that face hurdles to accessing rooftop solar to slash their energy bills, which is especially important as our summers keep getting hotter,” Ellen Roberts, National Director of Solar Citizens, said in a statement.
“We’ve just seen the Victorian Government expand their Solar Homes package and invest over $650 million in helping more households get solar and boosting energy efficiency. This is a smart initiative coming into summer and the Queensland Government should follow suit.
“The State Government has a real opportunity to help all Queenslanders drive down their electricity bills, while also stimulating jobs, by expanding this trial and rolling out solar and storage across Queensland’s social homes.”
Roberts says installing solar coupled with energy efficient upgrades on social homes across Queensland could save households up to $1,100 per year on their energy bills and create more than 1,800 jobs.
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