Melbourne homeowners have been reaping the benefits of the Victorian Government’s solar rebate Melbourne wide scheme for years, while renters and landlords have looked on in envy. But not anymore! The latest rebate is specific to renters and landlords, putting clean energy and lower energy bills into their hands at long last. So what is it, who can you get it, and what are the perks? Finally, how does solar benefit you and the planet? Let’s break it down.
Introducing the Solar Rentals Program
The Solar Rentals Program offers eligible landlords and tenants a rebate of up to $1,850 for the installation of solar panels, lowering the upfront cost of going solar.
Solar panels add value and market appeal to rental properties and renters flock to solar powered properties for the perks of lower energy bills. Landlords can also take advantage of an interest free loan equal to the rebate! All up, landlords can save up to $3,700 off the up-front cost of a solar panel system, as well as continue to benefit from the increased desirability of their rental.
Landlords can solar power up to two properties per financial year, meaning they can share clean energy across their entire property portfolio over time. Good for them, good for renters, but also good for the planet.
Am I eligible for the Solar Rentals Program?
Good question! To be eligible your renters must have a combined household income of under $180,000 per year (based on their last two years’ taxable income). The property must also be valued at under $3 million and it cannot already have solar panels installed. Seems reasonable right?
The remaining eligibility rules require that there has been no prior participation in the Solar Homes program for that address (seems only fair, everyone should get a turn). The Solar Homes Landlord-Tenant agreement must also be signed by the landlord and all the tenants (also sounds totally fair) and the property must be currently tenanted. Too easy!
Landlords can go it alone, or there can be a co-contribution agreement between the landlord and the renter. While landlords must cover all the associated costs of installation, this extra bit of help from a green-thinking tenant can be a great incentive to finally install solar. Every little bit helps!
Renters can opt to contribute up to 50% of the loan repayments until they vacate the property.
Alternatively, landlords can go it alone for the good of their property, and the planet.
I’m a renter who wants solar panels. What can I do?
If you’re renting a property that doesn’t have solar panels and would like to explore the options, you can contact your property manager or landlord to let them know about the Solar Rentals Program.
There’s even a draft letter to landlords that you can download to get off on the right foot. Both you (and any other tenants) and the landlord need to agree to the installation, although it’s your landlord who must formally apply for the rebate and load scheme.
So how good is a solar panel system really?
A lot of online space is dedicated to the question of how much solar panels will save you on your electricity bills. Will they lower your bills? The short answer is yes.
The total savings you will take away depends on what system you install, and whether or not your landlord also installs a battery unit. That said, on average, you can expect to save at least 500 dollars off your quarterly bill. You’ll have to look into the specifics of your energy use and solar panel system to come to a more precise figure, but in a country as sunny as Australia, the outlook is good.
In terms of benefits to the environment, you’re heading in the right direction as well. Solar panels reduce household emissions as well as dependence on fossil fuels. Solar panels also have a long product life-span, so not only do pay back their manufacturing emissions “costs” but they keep on generating clean energy for many years to come thereafter, something we definitely can’t say about fossil fuels.