Community housing tenants invited to join Tesla VPP in SA

Aerial photo of community housing with rooftop solar panels
Image: SAVPP

In an Australian first, 1,750 community housing tenants are being invited to access the lowest electricity prices in South Australia through Tesla’s virtual power plant, which was previously accessible only to public housing residents.

Unity Housing, one of the state’s largest community housing providers (CHP), in partnership with Tesla, will be the first CHP to provide tenants access to South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant (SAVPP)—the largest VPP in the nation.

Related article: Tesla launches Phase 4 of South Australia’s VPP

This is the first time the SAVPP—set up by Tesla in 2017 with support from the State Government initially for public housing tenants—is being opened to low to moderate income tenants in community housing.

Unity Housing CEO Matthew Woodward said the partnership was a game-changer for the national community housing sector, benefiting tenant households and the environment.

Woodward said Tesla would install batteries and/or solar panels to the homes of eligible Unity Housing tenants so they could generate and store green energy, returning excess into the grid, at no cost to the tenant.

“Unity Housing tenants will be the first in the community housing sector to share the benefits of cheaper and renewable energy at scale by participating in this scheme at a time when household budgets are under increasing pressure from rising living costs,” he said.

“That’s what makes this initiative so important—it provides people in greatest need with no-cost green energy infrastructure that will help manage the household budget, reducing stress and anxiety and improving health and wellbeing, while helping the environment. It’s a win, win, win.”

Tesla, through Energy Locals, shares the benefits of savings from energy produced via the solar and battery systems by providing tenants the lowest energy prices in SA.

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Unity Housing tenants could save up to $562 a year—or 25% off the South Australian Default Market Offer based on average tenant household usage.

To date, more than 250 Unity Housing tenants, located predominantly across Adelaide’s western suburbs, have registered to join the SAVPP and more than 150 have been benefitting from cheaper electricity over the past three months through the installation of batteries and/or solar panels.

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