Australia's push to put more solar panels on rental homes

(Context, 16 Feb 2024) About one-third of Australian homes have solar panels, but the benefits have eluded renters and those in social housing.

As a university student in Canberra, Eilis Fitt and her two housemates set rules to keep their electricity bill down - no heater in the living room unless everyone was home, and no turning on the washing machine or dishwasher during peak hours.

So she was delighted - and surprised - when their landlord installed solar panels about a year after she moved in. After some initial hiccups, the effect was startling: their electricity bills "went down significantly," she said.

"It made us feel so much more comfortable about turning on the heater when it got cold," said Fitt, 25.

"We got lucky - it's very rare for renters to have solar. Landlords generally don't care about how much tenants have to fork out for their electricity use," she told Context.

Australia has the highest solar capacity installed per capita in the world, with photovoltaic panels in about one-third of households, or 3.6 million homes. That helps many cope with some of the highest electricity prices in the Asia Pacific.

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Context, 16 Feb 2024: Australia's push to put more solar panels on rental homes