A group of local government councils in Sydney has worked hand in hand to shake things up a bit as far as federal and state policies regarding renewable sources are concerned. Their aim is to drive Australian solar uptake through providing homeowners and businesses with easy access to cheap solar PV systems.
Cheap solar for residents in Sydney
According to the SMH, 8 councils in Sydney have together approached solar PV suppliers as well as solar hotwater and heat pumps with the goal of getting them to provide their best offers. The councils want to attain at least 30% of the energy needs of the region produced through renewable sources.
The decision to join forces in pushing for cheap solar for residents and small business owners was motivated by the Institute for Sustainable Futures study which found that residents in Sydney who wanted to install solar PVs in their rooftops could not do so due to the price.
Because of this, local government groups collectively known as the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils or SSROC, have asked suppliers of solar to provide several finance options including buying solar in bulk and solar leasing, which is still a new concept in Australia.
Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils
The group, which includes councils in Bankstown, Ashfield, Canada Bay, Canterbury, Kogarah, Marrickville, Leichhardt and Rockdale represent 750,000 people in Sydney.
Our Solar Future, which is the name of their scheme, and is part of the bigger Our Energy Future scheme, will be launched in 2015 where suppliers can also sell their best offers.
SSROC’s programme manager, Helen Sloan, has said, “Solar leasing is a relatively new option whereby households can purchase the electricity generated from a solar system on their roof rather than having to buy the system.”
Cheap solar for residents bringing in new clean energy consumers
She adds, “If they are successful in cheap solar for residents, it would open up solar to people who previously could not afford the upfront cost, allowing them to save money. It may also prove to be a solution for tenants who want to install solar on their rented property.”
In order to get cheap solar for residents and businesses in Sydney, they will have an option to contact chosen suppliers directly or they can also request for a quote online. This approach is similar to the one that has been adopted by the city of Melbourne, in which large energy users joined forces to setup a Request for Information Process, in the hopes of challenging the market so that renewable energy solutions will be provided at a fair price.
Cheap solar for residents will aid in the energy revolution
Another NSW local government program, which is comprised of 32 regional councils, uses their collective weight to finance the installation of a huge PV (0.5 megawatt) in some parts of their areas in order to achieve the goal of cheap solar for residents.
This plan is known as the Solar Energy eXchange Initiative, and it seeks funding from the federal government amounting to $200 million within a period of 5-6 years so as to fulfill 6 solar projects amounting to at least $30 million each along with the demonstration of 5 kinds of solar technologies. Cheap solar for residents could bring on a solar revolution for Sydney-siders.