Tasmanian Labor pledges low income home solar scheme

Tasmanian Labor PartyTasmanian Labor Party

Low income households in Tassie could have their power bills slashed under a Labor scheme to install solar panels and battery storage.

In a press statement, Shadow Housing Minister Josh Willie said 100 residences will get solar panels and home battery storage.

Mr Willie said a Labor government will deliver cost of living relief for low income households.

“It’s critical we do everything we can to support lower income Tasmanians who are dependent on community housing by reducing their exposure to rising electricity costs,” he said.

The publicly owned TasNetworks would fund the upfront cost of infrastructure and installation through foregone dividends. Installation would be carried out in partnership with renewable energy and battery storage companies.

Bruny Island experiment in solar battery systems

In fact, TasNetworks is already carrying out a project on Bruny Island, near Hobart. The network is installing storage batteries and panels in 40 houses with low income residents.

Solar rooftop installation.

Tasmanian Labor pledges solar rooftop installation scheme for low income housing. Image: iStock

The project aims to reduce Tasmania’s reliance on diesel power and ease stress on the undersea power supply cable. It also allows householders to monitor their power use.

Mr Willie told The Advocate that so far the Bruny Island project was a “reasonable success”.

“It’s inevitable that battery storage is taken up by households,” he said. “We want to ensure that the people who can least afford it can get it.”

In addition, he said the policy was aimed at cutting household costs so homes benefit from solar and solar power battery storage.

Batter storage technology to meet peak demand

Mr Willie said smart battery storage technology allowed TasNetworks to monitor and manage peak demand across the network.

“It would allow the company to draw down stored energy in batteries when it’s not in use. The results of the pilot will help inform our energy policy.”

Labor’s policy is aiming for 500 MW of renewable energy. As a result it will invest up to $200 million into eligible projects.

It then aims to get three dollars of private money for every public dollar, to reach an $800 million investment in renewable energy.

In addition, the policy would also see low interest loans offered for commercial scale solar installations and community solar grids.