Townsville gets on board Solar for Rentals trial

Scott Stewart and Dr Anthony Lynham. Image: @DrAnthonyLynham via Twitter

Hundreds of Townsville landlords and their tenants are teaming up to take advantage of the Queensland Government’s Solar for Rentals trial.

Speaking from Townsville today, Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said in less than seven months the Palaszczuk Government had paid more than $660,000 in rebates for the trial.

“Here in Townsville, more than 280 landlords have registered their interest to share rooftop solar with their tenants and 111 are already up and running,” Dr Lynham said.

“Under our $4 million Solar for Rentals trial, landlords can access rebates of up to $3500 to install solar systems and tenants could save hundreds on their annual power bill.

“More than 580 landlords and tenants, in three trial cities – Townsville, Bundaberg and Gladstone – have registered their interest with 192 systems already installed.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the trial, which started in March this year, would provide rebates for up to 1000 installations across Townsville, Bundaberg and Gladstone.

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“I’m urging Townsville residents today to get on board now. This is the chance for landlords and tenants to enjoy the same savings that more than 500,000 Queensland homeowners are enjoying,” Mr Stewart said.

“As solar systems need to be installed and rebate applications submitted before the program closes, landlords and tenants need to team up now to avoid missing out.”

Landlords and tenants can check the online Solar for Rentals calculator to see how they could both benefit from joining the trial.

Local solar installer Zoe McCarron said business was booming in Townsville, where one in three homes have solar. 

 “Being a local company run by local people it’s great to see so many landlords investing in solar, particularly after the devastation of the floods,” she said.

 “This program has opened up the opportunity to those renting, so that they too can now benefit from the savings of solar power.

“So far, we’ve assisted more than 79 landlords and tenants, and this number is increasing each week.

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“The influx of these rental installs has been great for business and has resulted in us employing another local staff member.”

The Solar for Renters trial, funded under the Palaszczuk Government’s Affordable Energy Plan, will close once available funding has been exhausted or on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

Both property owners and tenants need to agree to join the scheme, as installing a solar system entails a small rent increase offset by power bill savings.

To be eligible to apply for the Solar for Rentals trial:

  • The property must be a house, townhouse or duplex located in the Townsville, Bundaberg or Gladstone local government areas.
  • The house must have its own roof space and electricity meter and must be rented for $350 or less per week before the system is installed.
  • Landlords and tenants must also both agree to a fair increase in rent and sign a new 12-month lease agreement.

Further information and details on how to apply can be found here