New scheme offers solar incentives for landlords and tenants
A SOLAR power scheme being trialled in Gladstone, Bundaberg and Townsville is giving landlords and tenants a chance to save on power.
Coinciding with the Affordable Energy Plan, the State Government's Solar For Rentals scheme is offering rebates of up to $3500 to encourage rental property owners to shift to solar.
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the scheme also required tenants and owners to both agree to a "fair increase” in rent, offset with power bill savings.
"A typical household could save between $400-$500 (yearly) even after a $10 per week rent increase,” Dr Lynham said.
"This trial is all about giving tenants the opportunity to save on their power bills and their carbon emissions.
"Queensland has one of the highest solar penetration rates in the world, with solar rooftop panels on 1 in 3 households.”
He said the trial was an opportunity for more people to help expand the state's renewable energy sector which "continues to create jobs and drive economic growth”.
Solahart Gladstone is one of the approved scheme providers in the Gladstone region.
Managing director Grant Bond said he expected clients to increase as the scheme progressed.
"We expect there will be landlords keen to take up this offer because they do get a rebate towards covering the cost to it,” Mr Bond said.
"And they're going to end up with a building with solar on it which increases the value of the building anyway.”
Mr Bond said the Gladstone store generally installed solar water and solar power systems multiple days a week.
He said over time residents were becoming more aware of the implications of using solar power.
"And there's no actual cost for them to get a quote,” Mr Bond said.
"We go out to houses, we look at their roofs, we look at their meter boxes, we look at their bills and give them an idea of what sort of savings they can expect.”
He said "extra monitoring” would be carried out on systems installed under the new scheme to measure how much money was being saved by recipients.
Tenants Queensland chief executive Penny Carr said it was important more landlords considered solar power an option.
"Solar in rental properties is commonly overlooked by Queensland's landlords so it's fantastic to see the Queensland Government helping tenants access the benefits of solar,” Ms Carr said.
"I encourage both landlords or tenants that are interested in ... breaking into the solar market to get involved.”
To be eligible for the Solar for Rentals trial scheme:
The property must be a house, townhouse or duplex.
The house must have its own roof space and be rented for less than $350 a week.
Landlords and tenants must both agree to a fair increase in rent and sign a new 12 month lease agreement.
The trial will run until June 2020 or when the $4million in funding has been allocated.
For more information visit qld.gov.au/community/cost-of