A petition calling on the Australian Federal Government and all state premiers to make solar panels mandatory on new houses is gaining quite a bit of attention.
“It’s not rocket science. More solar panels sitting on houses means less reliance on fossil-fuels in Australia. Are we committed to lowering carbon emissions or not?,” says David Corbett, who started the petition.
Petitions abound on Change.org; but relatively few of them have legs. This one certainly seems to; with more than 12,000 people having signed it since it launched just a week ago. With increasing publicity, the figure could climb substantially.
Whether the Ministers and Premiers being addressed take any notice is another matter entirely.
There has previously been strong support for such legislation or at least the general concept among Australians. Back in 2010, we reported on a survey that indicated 83% of Australians either ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ believed that by 2015 all new Australian houses should have solar power systems.
Much has changed in the solar world since then. The technology has further proven itself, solar panels are even more efficient and prices have dropped considerably; so it would be interesting to see a similar survey run today.
As far as we’re aware, there are only two places in Australia in the foreseeable future that will require solar panels to be installed on all new homes. One is in the new suburb of Denman Prospect in Canberra where each house will need to have a minimum 3kW system.
In 2014, the City of Nedlands in Perth also made solar compulsory on new homes and some commercial buildings. For houses, the minimum system size is 1.5kW. The City Of Nedlands incorporates suburbs including Nedlands, Dalkeith, Mount Claremont, Swanbourne and Karrakatta.
Legislation has also been introduced beyond our shores for mandatory solar – but mainly in relation to government and commercial buildings. For example, the government of Haryana, a state in north India, made solar compulsory for all buildings occupying 418 square metres or more.
Nepal’s government is also preparing to make the installation of solar power systems mandatory on all government and commercial buildings in the nation’s capital Kathmandu.