The Victorian Government has announced that tenants will be able to negotiate with landlords to install solar panels under a new government program aimed at subsidising installations.
Under the new scheme, renters will have access to interest-free loans to subsidise household solar panel installations in a bid to make energy more affordable for renters and landlords. This is a continuation of the Victorian Solar Rebate for households.
Solar Homes Minister Lily D’Ambrosio announced on Monday that eligible households can apply for loans of up to $1850 to supplement existing rebates for homeowners who introduce the renewable power into their energy mix.
“We know renters often dream of the chance to cut their energy costs and this expansion will help thousands more get that chance,” said Solar Homes Minister Lily D’Ambrosio.
The government said landlords could work with their renters for a loan-repayment system where both parties contribute up to $19.27 a month to pay off the panels they say can reduce electricity bills by up to $74 a month.
Households that earn a combined taxable income of more than $180,000, whose home is valued at more than $3 million are not eligible to apply.
The announcement comes as recent Climate Council research suggested thousands of jobs could be created in large-scale renewable energy schemes to tackle steep job losses expected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There has been several reports calling for government stimulus to focus on renewables, and was informed by current proposals from around the world, including the recently announced European Green Deal.
Ms D’Ambrosio said it was good news for renters, whose ability to participate in solar programs was limited because they didn’t own homes and couldn’t make the modifications on their own.
“We know renters often dream of the chance to cut their energy costs and this expansion will help thousands more get that chance,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
“Not owning your own home shouldn’t stop you from having access to cheaper, cleaner solar energy.”
On an average 4kW system, there will be no upfront costs for the tenant and the loan is required to be repaid over the course of four years via direct debit.
How to Apply
The rebate and loan process has been updated by Solar Victoria to make it easier for potential customers.
Once and once you have researched and identified the authorized solar retailer you want to use – contact them to obtain a quote or let Solar Choice take care of this step for you and obtain up to 3 quotes from authorized retailers with our instant solar quote comparison. Make sure to negotiate with your landlord ahead of time that you are both in agreement.
The solar retailer will then upload the quote into the Solar Victoria Portal, triggering your application for eligibility. Once you have successfully completed this application via the portal you will be issued with an eligibility number. You must then provide this number to your installer as it will confirm that they can go ahead with your installation. Without this eligibility number, the installation cannot proceed. The repayment will then come out of your account as a direct debit. You can find more on the FAQ on the Solar Victoria Website.