Victoria’s Solar Homes program has been expanded by the State Government, allowing eligible landlords to apply for an interest-free loan in addition to the existing rebate available.

Landlords can apply and pay for the entire solar system themselves, or work with their renters for a loan repayment co-contribution of up to $19.27 a month.

The expansion of the program has been designed to allow renters to access cheaper energy by offering an interest-free loan to landlords and allowing them to access up to two solar rebates per financial year for their rental properties. 

Victorian Minister for Solar Homes, Lily D’Ambrosio, said, “This is great news for the third of Victorians who currently rent their home and haven’t yet been able to participate in Solar Homes.

“In Victoria, not owning your own home shouldn’t stop you from having access to cheaper, cleaner solar energy.

“We know renters often dream of the chance to cut their energy costs and this expansion will help thousands more get that chance.”

Northcote landlord Cass Dolby, who has already converted her home to solar power, installed solar panels on her rental property in late 2019, with the Solar Homes rebate making this financially viable.

A comparison of the tenant’s bills from July 2019 and July 2020 show a saving of more than $120 for the same two-month period, thanks to the solar panels.

Solar Victoria is encouraging renters to discuss rebate opportunities with their agents and landlords and has developed resources to support them.

More than 550 rental households across Victoria have utilised the Solar Homes program so far, and eligible landlords can apply for a solar PV rebate and equivalent loan of up to $1,850, reducing the upfront cost of installing a solar PV system by up to $3,700.

The Victorian Government said with so many Victorians currently working and studying from home and using more energy during the day, rooftop solar helps keep energy costs down, even in winter.

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