solar_landlords - Solar Citizens

Landlords want solar for rental properties

The Solar Potential Report - produced by the Australian PV Institute for Solar Citizens - showed that rental households could be saving $1,372 for houses and $681 in apartments per year if they had solar panels, but in most instances they do not. Collectively they could be adding almost 14GW of renewable energy capacity to help all Australians meet our carbon reduction targets. 

Whilst over half of all Australian households face barriers to rooftop solar, for around 30% it’s because they are renting. Our research indicates that landlords overwhelmingly want to help their tenants access rooftop solar, but renewable energy incentives for owner-occupied housing (such as bill-savings) do not work the same for rental properties as they do owner-occupied properties. 

The latest Solar Citizens Supporter Survey included 321 respondents indicating that they are landlords. 96 of these landlords have already installed rooftop solar on their investment properties, and 94% of landlords who had not yet installed rooftop solar reported that they ‘would’ or ‘maybe would’ do so if the right incentives were provided through rebates or tax concessions.

Simply put: Australians are installing solar panels at record rates, and they are doing it because they will save on their energy bills. That financial incentive does not exist in the case of landlords, and the renters that stand to benefit from reduced energy bills are not able to make energy upgrades to the homes that they are living in. 

We need to encourage solar panels uptake on rental properties in other ways. 

As a landlord, using the guide and form below, you can send a message to the Federal Assistant Minister for Energy Jenny McAllister for an Australian renewable energy transformation for investment properties.

Points you might like to include in your submission, editing to reflect your personal circumstances:

  • Landlords do not see a financial return on the installation of solar panels on their investment properties because they are not account holders for energy bills related to the property. Their tenants, the energy bill account holders, would see the full benefit of rooftop solar energy savings, but Australia’s insecure tenancy laws discourage renters from making capital upgrades to their homes. 

  • As a landlord, I believe it is important for renters to also benefit from cheap, clean renewable rooftop energy because… (finish sentence)

  • Accelerated depreciation of rooftop solar panels would be an effective way to subsidise solar panels so that my tenants could benefit from the energy bill savings. Accelerated depreciation makes sense to me because… (finish sentence)

  • More than half of Australian households face barriers to rooftop solar, for around 30% of households it’s because they are renting.

If your investment property already has rooftop solar 

  • Landlords have a direct interest in helping our tenants benefit from lower energy bills, and helping them participate in the renewable energy transition. We had solar panels installed because… (finish sentence)

  • Not all landlords are in a position to install solar panels and rebates targeted to owner-occupied housing generally do not help landlords with the upfront costs of solar panels, and nor are we able to finance the upfront cost through energy bills ourselves. Specific support tailored to landlords is required.  

If your investment property does not have rooftop solar

  • Unlike owner-occupied housing, there is no direct financial incentive for me to install solar panels on my investment property. I wish to support my tenants, but I also need to make smart investment decisions. 

  • If an adequate incentive like accelerated depreciation of rooftop solar panels was available, if possible I would install solar panels for my tenants. I would do this because… (finish sentence) 

The government needs to get involved to ensure that the barriers to electrification are overcome. 

The social benefits–including cost-of-living impacts and emission reductions–can't be ignored. And we won’t meet the net-zero emissions goals without overcoming the barriers to electrification and rooftop solar.

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