The SA government’s new pilot program aims to provide 1000 eligible South Australians with a free solar system.
Announced by the SA Government and Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink, the appropriately named Switch to Solar program, gives households that currently receive certain concession payments the opportunity to switch to renewable energy at no cost. Giving South Australians the chance at hundreds of dollars of savings each year.
The $4.25 million dollar program supports employment as well as providing the economy with a much needed boost. In addition to footing the cost of the systems themselves, the installation costs will also be covered by the government.
The program’s main benefit of allowing households priced out of the solar market to acquire a system with zero upfront cost.
Being in its early stages, few details of the ‘Switch to Solar’ program have been released.
That said, it’s still unknown what size and specifications the solar systems being installed with the program include.
A similar trial’s being implemented by the New South Wales government. With the opportunity for up to 3000 low income rebate receiving households to apply for free solar systems. 3kw systems have been provided in this trial.
The multi million dollar program targeted towards South Australian residents that meet low income provisions as well as receivers of eligible Centrelink repayments or holders of eligible concession cards. In exchange for households giving up their annual energy and cost of living payments from the government. It’s estimated that participants could potentially save up to $890 off their annual energy bill.
Outlined by the terms, households would also need to be the owners of their home and not be renting nor currently own an existing solar system.
In addition to the requirements above, the roll out of the program is to selected suburbs around South Australia. These suburbs have been selected by the Department for Energy and Mining due to the existing network and where the volume of new solar installations can be best accommodated.
The suburbs included in the pilot program:
- Tea Tree Gully
- Banksia Park
- Modbury North
- Hope Valley
- Redwood Park
- Modbury Heights
- Hindmarsh Island
- Holden Hill
How much will they save?
Cost of Living concession payment recipients receive up to $446.51 annually towards their energy costs. These payments will be forfeited by recipients however, predictions suggest solar systems will generate huge savings. Estimated by the SA government, participants could save up to $890 annually. As a result households would be annually $400 better off, even after giving up concession payments.