Up to 1000 landlords and their tenants have the chance to team up and cut power bills and emissions under a trial scheme in Bundaberg, Townsville and Gladstone.
Speaking from Bundaberg, Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the State Government was trialling rebates of up to $3500 to encourage rental property owners and their tenants to go solar.
“A typical household could save between $400 and $500 even after a $10 per week rent increase,” he said.
Under the scheme, tenants and owners must agree to having rooftop solar installed. The owner receives a rebate of up to $3500 to install solar and any rent increase must be fair and reasonable and agreed by both parties.
“This trial is all about giving tenants the opportunity to save on their power bills and their carbon emissions similar to the other 500,000 Queenslanders who are enjoying the benefits of solar,” Dr Lynham said.
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“Queensland has one of the highest solar penetration rates in the world, with solar rooftop panels on one in three households.
“This trial is to encourage more renters and landlords to work together in reducing energy consumption through sharing the value of installing solar systems.
“Most importantly, the government rebate will only be available if the tenant and property owner have agreed to a fair rent increase, offset with power bill savings.”
Tenants Queensland chief executive officer Penny Carr said it was important that solar should not be confined to just those who own their home.
“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 lowering their living expenses and breaking into the solar market to get involved.”
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The trial will run in Bundaberg, Gladstone and Townsville until June 30, 2020, or when the $4 million funding has been allocated.
“This trial is another chapter in our Affordable Energy Plan which continues to place downward pressure on electricity prices and this time we are focussing on tenants,” Dr Lynham said.
“We have worked with industry and stakeholders including Tenants Queensland and the Real Estate Institute of Queensland to establish this trial.
“If owners and tenants take up the challenge, this will also help expand our growing renewable energy sector which continues to create jobs and drive economic growth.”
To be eligible to apply for the Solar for Rentals trial:
- The property must be a house, townhouse or duplex located in Bundaberg, Gladstone or Townsville.
- The house must have its own roof space and it must be rented for less than $350 a week.
- Landlords and tenants must also both agree to a fair increase in rent and sign a new 12 month lease agreement.