WA public housing gets $6 million in solar panels

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The McGowan Government’s Smart Energy for Social Housing plan has commenced with 10 public housing properties receiving rooftop solar panels in Clarkson, Gosnells, Balga, Ellenbrook, Rockingham and Girrawheen.

Energy Minister Bill Johnston and Housing Minister Peter Tinley visited the Cooper family in Clarkson today who are one of the first recipients to receive rooftop solar.  

Last July, the McGowan Government announced it will install $6 million worth of solar panels at 500 public housing properties as part of the WA Recovery Plan’s $66.3 million renewable energy technologies package.

Synergy will install and maintain the rooftop solar systems at eligible Department of Communities’ rental properties throughout WA’s main electricity grid.

Tenants will also have access to Synergy’s Future Communities Plan, which offers a significantly discounted rate for electricity consumed during peak generation times (9am to 3pm) when the sun is shining.

It is expected tenants will save up to 20 per cent on their energy bills.

The State Government will also aim to install solar panels on all new social housing properties built under the Social Housing Economic Recovery Package, and the Housing and Homelessness Investment Package where possible, provided they are connected to the South West Interconnected System.

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The Social Housing Economic Recovery and Homelessness Investment Packages will see the delivery of more than 750 new homes, and the refurbishment of thousands of others, to help meet Western Australia’s social housing needs and create local jobs.

Energy Minister Bill Johnston said, “The Smart Energy for Social Housing plan is an exciting, first-of-its-kind initiative that will help our state become greener and cleaner.

“The McGowan Government set a target of installing the first systems by Christmas and I’m very pleased to say that Synergy, Energy Policy WA and the Department of Communities have completed this task ahead of schedule. 

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“It was a pleasure to meet the Coopers today and I’m sure they will see significant savings on their energy bills as a result of their participation in this project.” 

Housing Minister Peter Tinley said, “This continues our massive investment into social housing infrastructure that will not only provide more options for Western Australians, but also make existing homes more liveable.

“Adding rooftop solar to the department’s existing program of works result in financial savings for hundreds of WA’s most vulnerable people.

“[The public housing initiative] will also help stimulate the economy and support local jobs by activating trades not currently involved in social housing construction.

“This is a great example of the McGowan Government’s commitment to exploring new ways to improve the lives of Western Australians in social housing.”