Western Australia’s City of Stirling, in the northern suburbs of Perth, is looking to offer its residents a renewable energy rebate – or for low-income households, a government-backed loan – to boost the uptake of rooftop solar in the electorate.
The new incentives were proposed by Council at a meeting last week, after it was noted that the City’s PV installation rate was almost half that of the rest of the state, and less than half of one of its near neighbour.
More the most part, WA – like the rest of Australia – has been installing rooftop solar at an impressive clip, adding a total of 18.5MW in February, its highest ever total for a single month.
But according to Council minutes, Stirling averages just 15 per cent of homes with rooftop solar installed, compared to the state average of around 27 per cent, and the neighbouring Cities of Wanneroo and Joondalup, at 35 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.
To remedy this, the council has proposed that the City extend its existing Living Green Program initiatives to offer a rebate for residents to install solar PV systems.
And for those homes not able to afford the upfront cost of a solar system – in order to get the rebate – Council has proposed investigating other methods of delivering incentives, such as zero interest loans.
One possibility, Council said, was to model its incentives on the City of Adelaide’s “Solar Savers” scheme, which provides upfront funding for solar for low-income and rental households.
“There are considerable benefits to both the community and the environment when residents install renewable energy system and/or energy efficient appliances,” the Council minutes said.
“However, up-front costs are a known barrier and many local governments provide financial incentives such as rebates, grants, discounts and loans to reduce these barriers to adoption.
“Based on the City’s current programs and investigations undertaken, it is recommended to increase the uptake of solar PV and other energy efficient systems and develop a targeted incentive scheme,” it concluded.