Whilst owner-occupiers are installing solar panels on their homes like it’s going out of fashion, many renters are still missing out. Luckily, enlightened landlords like Hans and Anne van Gemert of Castlemaine realise that ‘going solar’ is a good financial move for them as well as their tenants – and they’re keen to spread the word.
After researching the market, they decided to go with local community solar bulk-buy MASH and invest in a 3.3kW solar system. Like many landlords, they were eligible for the Victorian Government’s Solar Homes Rental Rebate of $1,850 which reduced the system cost to $2,500.
“All our tenants had to do for us to get the Solar Homes $1,850 rebate was to sign the Solar Homes Tenant Landlord Agreement which states that the tenant gets full benefit of the lower bills,” said Hans. “The tenants were very happy to sign the agreement. They had nothing to lose and everything to gain as we were paying the full cost. The Solar Homes application process was very easy and straightforward and MASH’s solar provider, Cola Solar, were very professional, quick and very good on the communications side of things.”
“The three reasons we wanted to put solar on our rental are:
- To do our bit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- To give some benefit to our tenants by reducing their electricity bills.
- In the future, when these tenants leave, having solar will make it easier to find good tenants.
“The only issue we came across was that Powercor will not accept exports for this property which is on Princess Street in Campbells Creek because the local grid infrastructure can’t handle it. This means that our tenants can’t export any excess solar power to the grid and get credited for it on their bill which is a shame. We think that Powercor needs to do their bit by upgrading the infrastructure in order to support the State Government’s policy which is to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”
“Our message to other landlords is that solar is a good investment and an easy way to help tenants”, said Hans. “By way of comparison, this system cost less than half what we paid for a similar size solar system on our other property in Castlemaine 10 years ago. Plus our experience going through the MASH bulk-buy was a really smooth one, so we’d recommend that anyone who’s interested takes a look at what MASH offers.”
MASH (More Australian Solar Homes) is a community solar bulk-buy owned and organised by the not-for-profit Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance which is based in Castlemaine. Partners include Mt Alexander Shire Council, Macedon Ranges Shire Council, Mt Alexander Sustainability Group and Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group. To learn more and request a quote visit mash.org.au or call 1300 466 274.