NSW Government initiative promotes rooftop solar for renters

A NSW Government initiative backing clean energy projects is set to bring solar power a step closer to more than 800,000 renters.

Minister for Resources and Energy Don Harwin said SunTenants, a Sydney company that helps renters and property owners enjoy the benefits of solar, has received $33,000 from the NSW Government’s Clean Energy Knowledge Sharing Initiative to install solar panels on 100 residential and commercial rental properties.

“I’m delighted to announce that we are backing SunTenants on a pilot project to help people who are renting property join the solar revolution,” said Minister Harwin.

“This fantastic project is a real win-win for property investors and tenants and has already been shown to have halved tenants’ energy bills in an earlier pilot scheme.

“It’s one of 10 projects we are supporting across the state as part of the NSW Government’s $300,000 Clean Energy Knowledge Sharing Initiative.”

Mr Harwin said the Government’s investment would leverage an additional $680,000 of private sector investment as well as close to $400,000 project participant and industry-in-kind contributions to help deliver the successful co-funded projects.

The NSW Government is also helping 4,500 vulnerable households take control of their energy bills by installing roof top solar under its Home Energy Action Program.

“Government relies on strong partnerships with the private sector as part of our transition to a clean, affordable and reliable energy future,” Mr Harwin said.

“The Clean Energy Knowledge Sharing Initiative provides an opportunity for innovators and early adopters to test and trial new clean energy solutions.”

SunTenants founder Dr Bjorn Sturmberg said the 100 tenants taking part in the project would see their annual bills reduce collectively by more than $25,000.

“This pilot will help people save some 130 tonnes of carbon emissions, reducing tenants’ bills and helping property owners increase the value of their investment,” Dr Sturmberg said.

“SunTenants incentivises owners to install solar by arranging for tenants to pay a little extra rent in exchange for free solar power. Our technology monitors tenants’ solar savings, showing how the savings exceed any increase in rent.

“One of the best ways to attract and retain quality tenants is to create shared value, with solar benefiting everyone financially while reducing our impact on the planet.”

Since 2001, there have been 422,662 small solar units installed in NSW with latest Census data showing 814,549 renter households state-wide.

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