A Tasmanian government scheme to provide interest-free loans to residents and small businesses which implement energy efficient technologies has found a finance partner and program provider in sustainable home platform Brighte Capital.
The Tasmanian Energy Saver Loan Scheme will provide interest free loans of between $500 and $10,000 over 3 years to customers who implement rooftop solar panels, battery storage, heat pumps, energy efficient appliances, and double glazing and insulation on their properties and businesses.
Under the scheme, the upgrades will need to be purchased and installed through a network of accredited vendors across Tasmania, which Brighte is working to expand.
Katherine McConnell, founder & CEO of Brighte said the scheme would help households manage the set up costs of implementing energy efficient changes.
“Our research shows the upfront cost is one of the biggest barriers households face to making change and this program will inspire action,” said McConnell.
“Tomorrow’s homes will be powered by the sun and accelerating the transition is a progressive and positive step.”
The scheme is part of a broader push to address energy costs, sustainability, and efficiency amongst the states and territories by helping residents finance home upgrades like rooftop solar.
In 2021, Brighte was tapped to implement the ACT government’s $150 million Sustainable Household Scheme, which similarly provided zero-interest loans to households for energy efficient upgrades.
At present, Brighte offers a range of services to assist households with the purchasing and installation of rooftop solar and energy efficient home upgrades, including zero and low-interest loans. The loans are designed to be paid off using households’ savings on electricity costs due to the upgrades.
It is part of a wider culture of ‘buy now pay later’ arrangements in the Australian rooftop solar industry, which has attracted attention of regulators in recent years, amidst suggestions that solar retailers had used short term credit arrangements to pressure consumers into purchasing products.
The Energy Saver Loan Scheme follows a suite of measures being pursued by the Tasmanian government to address energy efficiency across the state, including $4.5 million yearly investments in upgrading glazing, insulation, ventilation, cladding, heating, hot water systems, and lighting across its social housing developments.
The Energy Saver scheme will begin to be rolled out in October.