A new program has launched in Moreland in Victoria that allows renters and landlords to benefit from the advantages of solar power.
The program called Solar for Renters was launched by SunTenants and the Moreland Energy Foundation and would allow renters to lower utility bills and landlords to receive subsidies.
The Moreland Energy Foundation is a non-profit organisation established at the turn of the century to focus on energy solutions to climate change.
Together with SunTenants, a social enterprise founded by Dr Bjorn Stromberg, the foundation has been able to come up with the program.
Dr Stromberg told CleanTechnica that the idea was borne out of being a renter in Sydney and the frustration at not being able to access solar power.
“I would spend all day doing research on improving the efficiency of solar cells and then I would come home to a building with a huge sunny roof, but that conventional wisdom said couldn’t access cheap clean solar power because we were renting,” the founder said.
Solar for Renters was launched in Moreland due to the high percentage of renters in the area, said Alison Rowe, CEO of the Moreland Energy Foundation.
“Moreland has a growing number of renters who until now have faced a major barrier to accessing solar power. By launching our Solar for Renters pilot program, we hope to identify an effective mechanism to unlock solar on rental properties,” Ms Rowe said.
Rooftop solar installations will cost between $4,700 and $7,000 during the trial, with a reported 10 per cent return on investment for landlords.
For tenants who use the solar power, they can feed excess electricity back to the grid to earn credits which would lower their bills.
Because renters do not own their properties, they are unable to have solar systems installed, so the Solar for Renters program would allow them to do this and create financial benefits for landlords, all while reducing their carbon footprint.
The program in Moreland is the latest in a global push for renters to be able to access solar power, as similar programs have been launched in California and New York.