A re-elected Labor government will help 50,000 rental properties access solar panels.
The $82 million project will split the costs of solar panel installation between the state government, which will cover half, and the landlord and tenant, who will pay for a quarter each.
The tenant’s costs will be split across four years, with interest-free loans available.
For renters like Black Hill’s Brendan Lalor, having solar panels could reduce his energy bills to zero in the summer.
“We live in an all-gas house … but we still pay about $5 to 600 per quarter for electricity,” he explained.
“(Solar panels) would be fantastic, it means we could put that money into something else, my partner and I are actually saving to buy a house so this would be really important to us and would get us into that house sooner.”
Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford said the solar energy project for homeowners had already had a remarkable response, with about 11,000 homes signing up so far for government-subsidised panels.
“We want to extend that to the more than one quarter of Victorians who rent,” she said.
“This needs to be a matter of agreement between the property owner and the tenant, and we think there’ll be plenty of those conversations going on.
“I think plenty of property owners will think a $4000 installation in their place for $1000 is a pretty good deal.”
The announcement follows the state government committing to extending the renewable energy target to 50 per cent by 2030.
Environment Victoria welcomed the news, chief executive Mark Wakeham adding every solar panel installed means less reliance on coal.
“Until now, people who rent have often missed out on smart, clean energy solutions like rooftop solar and energy efficiency upgrades. These are both essential elements of keeping household energy costs as low as possible,” he said.
“Today’s announcement shows that with ambitious leadership Victoria can be the leading state for solar installations nationally.”
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