Victoria’s Labor government has announced regulatory changes that will give the state’s households access to rooftop solar at little-to no up-front cost, through leasing deals solar companies.
According to a media release from the Andrews government on Wednesday, the arrangement enables solar companies to provide, install and maintain a solar panel system on a household, and in exchange the householder buys the energy they provide for an agreed price.
Known as solar leasing, it’s a well established residential solar growth market in the US, where companies like Solar City have spear-headed its success, as well as in Europe.
It targets those households who wish to install solar and reduce their electricity bills, but cannot afford the $4,000-$6,000 lump sum payment.
Like other solar market trends, it has been slow to take off in Australia – partly do to regulatory challenges – despite predictions that it could quickly become a sub-sector worth tens of billions.
The change to Victorian regulations is part of Labor’s Renewable Energy Roadmap – a relatively ambitious plan to accelerate renewable energy generation and create sustainable jobs.
It also accompanies the Andrews government’s ongoing review into the regulations surrounding small-scale renewable energy companies, to allow them to operate more effectively in the market place.
“We are making it easier for Victorian householders to take up renewable energy technology,” said state energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio.
“We are helping boost investment in renewables, creating new energy jobs and protecting the environment.”