The Victorian government will expand its $1.3 billion Solar Homes program to include renters if re-elected later this month, with tenants solar now on the cards.
According to the government, the move will save tenants hundreds of dollars on electricity bills. Owners corporations will also be eligible to receive the 50 per cent rebate on solar installations.
The announcement builds on the Victorian Solar Homes program, which offers 720,000 owner occupiers half-price solar panels or solar hot water systems.
If re-elected the Andrew Labor government will invest $82 million over 10 years. This will provide an extra 50,000 rebates on solar panels for Victorian renters.
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Renters to strike solar power deal with landlords
Landlords will have to strike a deal with their tenants to share the cost of solar installation.
Renters would then make a 25 per cent contribution through a rent levy spread over four years. The landlord and government rebate would cover the rest of the cost.
For example, the government would cover half the cost of a $4,000 solar panel system. The landlord invests a total of $1,000. The renter’s monthly levy would then amount to $250 per year over a four-year stretch.
Solar power systems are expected to save renters up to $890 on their annual power bills.
Owners corporations will also be able to access a 50 per cent rebate and low interest loan. However, they must show how tenants will benefit from the solar installation.
Subsidised home batteries also on the cards
The Andrews Government will also provide half-price solar batteries for 10,000 households if it is returned on November 24. The $40 million energy storage plan is also part of the Solar Homes initiative.
Eligible homeowners will then save up to $4,838 on the cost of their solar battery system. Annual electricity bills could therefore fall by around $650 using a standard 11 kWh home battery.
The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is also calling for all political parties to support solar and battery rebates. This would ensure continuity if the Andrews Labor Government is removed.
Solar Homes expansion puts tenants in control
According to Premier Daniel Andrews, the Solar Homes program acknowledges tenants’ rights to solar energy.
Renters are only eligible, however, if their landlord agrees to participate.
The CEC says programs like Solar Homes boost renewable energy generation. They also address social and economic issues, while reducing carbon emissions.
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