The Moreland Energy Foundation Ltd (MEFL) and SunTenants launched their Solar for Renters pilot program today which will test out the ‘split incentive’ model for landlords and renters.
Moreland is an inner-northern region of Melbourne, where around 38 percent of homes are rentals. Renters often get locked out of the benefits of solar, as there can be limited incentives for landlords to install solar panels.
The program will enable 10 initial participating households to test out the ‘Solar for Renters’ model.
Both tenants and landlords could potentially benefit from the installation of solar panels – landlords from subsidies and increased rents, and tenants from cheaper electricity, through the SunTenants model.
Depending on the size, rooftop off grid solar installations cost between $4,700 and $7,000 under the scheme.
Landlords would pay SunTenants a small annual fee to calculate a fair rent increase and positive returns for owners, and to monitor the system to ensure good outcomes for tenants.
The program aims to deliver a win-win, scalable renewable energy solution that can benefit tenants and landlords says MEFL CEO Alison Rowe. Calling it a “big step forward” towards a zero-carbon future.
Solar panel installations are more of an investment than just a cost in this type of ‘split incentive’ scenario. Returns-on-investment for landlords under programs of this type is typically over 10 percent.
Participating tenants in programs of this type could also earn credits on any electricity they feed back to the grid.
Solar batteries is another way to reduce energy costs for households. This method would reduce a user’s need to draw energy from the grid, saving more money on their power costs.