Queensland Public Housing Plan to Help Tenants Save on Power Costs

A planned trial phase in Queensland will see installation of about three to six megawatts of solar systems on a total of 2,000 to 4,000 detached houses and buildings owned by the government.

Most tenants in public houses across Australia are bound to benefit hugely from the power costs savings delivered through adoption of solar but aren’t able to make the most of the technology.

Putting the renting issue aside, a comparative few may be able to install solar panels because of the up-front cost. Even though various solar providers avail zero-dollar deposit payment plans, eligibility requirements often exclude those in this group.

Based on data from the Australian Institute of Health And WelfareAustralia had 393,844 households living in social housing as at 30 June 2014. Many of these households (317,000) occupied public rental housing, meaning solar electricity will help many homes with power costs.

The Queensland Government officially announced the trial which will ensure obstacles that have always prevented some of these households from going solar are overcome. The trial will take place in Cairns, Rockhampton, Woodridge, and Lockhart River.

One of three models will be utilized

All solar systems fitted on properties managed by Woodridge Housing Service Centre will be enrolled under a solar PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) arrangement. For those managed by the Cairns and Rockhampton Housing Service Centres, the solar lease model will apply.

For lockhart River, solar power systems will only be fitted on government buildings with all generated power being fed to the main grid. This is expected to cut the total diesel fuel used to generate electricity supplied to the whole township, generally helping public housing tenants to save about $100 annually on electricity costs.

The outcome of the trial is likely to extend far beyond the targeted public housing tenants.

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“Half a million properties in Queensland are rentals which has limited residential solar uptake up until now,” said Mick de Brenni, the Minister for Housing and Public Works.

“As the state’s largest landlord, this trial presents an opportunity for the Queensland government to work through issues and develop a workable model for the private rental sector.”

The trial is an initiative under the Palaszczuk Government’s one million solar rooftops target or 3000 MW of installed generation capacity by the year 2020.

“It’s also part of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to developing renewable energy across Queensland. We’re turning the Sunshine State into the Solar State,” stated Minister for Energy Mark Bailey.CoCreatr

IMAGE via CoCreatr

The Author

I took an interest in the Australian energy sector close to ten years ago and since then have monitored the trends, technologies and direction of the Australian Energy Market. I was drawn to the Australian solar market in 2008 and since then have worked heavily in the field. I am partnered with national and international solar energy companies, from manufacturers of solar panel and inverter technology, online software developers that introduce tools to quote, monitor and manage solar power systems and media organisations who like myself, closely monitor the solar and renewable energy sector.

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