The Victorian state government has sweetened its offer of discounted solar for the state’s rental households, with the addition of an interest-free loan program that would allow landlords to cut the upfront cost of installing a rooftop PV system by up to $3,700.
Energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio said on Monday that eligible landlords could now apply for an interest-free loan to install rooftop PV on their rental properties, on top of the two rebates per financial year they were already able to access through the state’s Solar Homes scheme.
Solar Victoria, which runs the Solar Homes scheme, said the combination of the loan and the rebates could reduce the up-front cost of installing solar by up to $1850, further clearing the way renters – too often locked out of the solar market – to access cheaper power bills.
Landlords could apply and pay for the entire solar system themselves, or work with their tenants for a loan repayment co-contribution of up to $19.27 a month.
Solar Victoria, which runs the Solar Homes scheme, said it had developed resources to support and encourage renters in discussing the rebate opportunities with their agents and landlords.
Uptake of rebates for rental properties have so far numbered 550 across Victoria – a good start but well below the massive uptake of the Solar Homes rebate and loan scheme among home owners in the state.
D’Ambrosio said that with Victoria thrown back into indefinite stage three lockdowns in response to a spike in Coronavirus cases, the need for rental households to keep home energy costs down was greater than ever.
“This is great news for the third of Victorians who currently rent their home and haven’t yet been able to participate in Solar Homes,” the minister said.
“In Victoria, not owning your own home shouldn’t stop you from having access to cheaper, cleaner solar energy.”
“We know renters often dream of the chance to cut their energy costs and this expansion will help thousands more get that chance.”
As is the case for home owners, the number of rebates on offer each round is limited. At the time of publication, the Solar rebates for renters page was showing 73 remaining.