Joint media release: Solar savings on the way for ACT apartment residents

The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Climate Change and Energy

Andrew Barr MP, ACT Chief Minister

More Canberrans will soon be able to enjoy cheaper, cleaner energy from solar, with new Commonwealth and ACT Government funding for the installation of shared rooftop solar on multi-unit apartments.

The $3.6 million dollar investment will incentivise installing rooftop solar on apartment blocks through rebates and concessional loans to body corporates - benefitting apartment tenants and neighbouring residents.

It is anticipated that over 2,100 households will benefit, which could provide a 35 per cent reduction in electricity bills for Canberrans living in apartments.

Multi-dwelling body corporates will be able to access up to $100,000 for rooftop solar, half through a Commonwealth rebate or grant through the Solar Banks initiative and half from an interest-free loan offered by the ACT Government as part of the Sustainable Household Scheme.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said the funding will ensure more Australians can access the benefits of cheaper, cleaner energy.

“Solar banks, that help provide access to solar for people who have traditionally been unable to access solar, is a key part of the Albanese Government’s Powering Australia Plan and will help to deliver cost of living relief to Australian families.

“We know that renewable energy is the cheapest form of energy,” Minister Bowen said.

“This investment in ACT renters and apartment owners, who can’t currently access cleaner, cheaper solar, will ensure that everyone can reap the rewards of the clean energy transformation.

“The Albanese Government has also announced 57,000 households in the nation’s capital will be eligible for energy rebates, saving $327 on their power bills.”

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the new incentives were part of an $80 million boost for the Sustainable Household Scheme in the 2023-24 ACT budget.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with the Commonwealth Government on this initiative, as any investment that prioritises sustainability while also helping Canberrans to reduce the cost of their energy bills is a step in the right direction.

“We are committed to continuing to be a global leader in climate action, and this new program supports apartment households to share the benefits of solar.

“It exemplifies our commitment to transitioning to a cleaner and more reliable energy mix towards our goal of reducing emissions to net zero by 2045,” said Mr Barr.

The Commonwealth funding is part of the $101 million commitment to shared solar, to ease energy bills for more than 25,000 Australian households. The 2023-24 Federal Budget also allocated more than $1.7 billion for energy saving upgrades for homes, businesses, social housing and local governments.

Eligibility for the program will align with the solar eligibility for households under the Sustainable Household Scheme, for which 92% of apartments are eligible. Applications will be open in Q3 2023.