Aussie technology company Matter has developed a platform to make it possible for renters and landlords alike to benefit from rooftop solar. They’ve done this by removing one of the biggest hurdles that has made solar inaccessible to renters – the fact that their landlords have virtually no incentive to install a system on a property that they do not live in themselves.
Why is solar on rental properties tricky?
Nearly everyone in Australia knows that solar makes sense for homes and businesses, and solar systems are affordable enough for virtually anyone with property to purchase (which is why solar leases & PPA dealss haven’t taken off in the same way that they did in the USA). These facts go a long way towards explaining the proliferation of rooftop solar in Australia, which has one of the highest rates of solar adoption in the world.
One segment of society that has been missing out on these benefits is renters. Because they do not own the roofs above their heads, installing a solar system is not their decision to make in the first place. Furthermore, even assuming that they were granted permission by their landlord to install a system, their living situation is effectively impermanent (they could opt to or be asked to move out at virtually any time), and there is no incentive for them to make a significant investment in something that they would likely end up having to leave behind.
Similarly, on the landlord’s side, there’s little reason to install solar panels on a building that they rent out; tenants usually pay their own energy bills, so any savings to be had would go direct to the them. While the landlord might be able to charge a higher rent if their property has solar panels, this would be a soft benefit and a bit of a gamble, as there’s a chance that they might not be able to get their asking rent.
How Matter fixes the problem
Matter’s technology gets around these obstacles by essentially allowing the landlord to become a micro electricity retailer to their tenants. The landlord pays to have the solar system installed, and then sell the energy to their tenants at a discounted rate. The landlord earns a profit and the tenants benefit from lower energy bills, while both can say that they supporting clean energy – a win-win situation.
Matter doesn’t do all this behind the scenes; instead, its platform brings a high level of transparency to how the solar system is working and how it is benefiting both parties in the deal – in real time and in aggregate. This allows the landlord to keep track of how their investment is working for them, while the tenant sees clearly how solar power is helping them to reduce their energy bills (as explained in the video below). The details will vary depending on your individual situation, but landlords can expect returns of up to $1,200 per/year on a typical 6kW system, while tenants can expect to receive up to 20% discount on the energy they buy from their landlord.
Interested in learning more? Contact Matter
Phone: 1300 GOMATR (1300 466 287)
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