Australia’s top solar post codes are in areas with below-average incomes

New analysis of Australia’s solar PV installations has shown that regional and lower income households are the most likely to put solar systems on their roofs.

The study, released on Tuesday by the REC Agents Association (RAA) found that, almost all of the households of Australia’s top 10 solar suburbs had a lower income than the state or territory average.

The analysis also shows more than 40 per cent of solar installs are in rural and regional communities, despite these making up only 32 per cent of Australia’s housing stock.

“Installation of solar systems in the capital cities were typically characterised by postcodes in the outer metropolitan mortgage belt,” the report says, establishing a trend where solar uptake declines as income levels increase.

Solar system penetration by post code & income level

Of the top 10 postcodes in each state (80 in total across 8 states and territories) 45 per cent were in rural and regional areas, 45 per cent in capital cities and the remaining 10 per cent in other major urban centres.

According to RAA, the five suburbs in Australia with the largest number of solar systems were the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay areas in Queensland, WA’s Mandurah and Weribee and Hopper’s Crossing in Victoria – all with below state average income levels.

The report also notes that the factors driving rooftop solar uptake in these demographics were most likely to be: level of home ownership; building suitability; relative importance of energy bills; and level of new home and renovation activity.

© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson

Giles Parkinson regularly contributes unique content to Solar Choice News. Giles is the founder and editor of clean energy industry news service RenewEconomy. He is a journalist of 30 years experience, a former Business Editor and Deputy Editor of the Financial Review, a columnist for The Bulletin magazine and The Australian, and the founding editor of Climate Spectator.
Giles Parkinson