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Information for renters

Information for renters primary campaign
Information for renters primary campaign

Renters will see benefits through reduced energy bills.

We're helping renters and landlords to benefit from the installation of solar panels on their homes.

As a renter, you will see benefits through a reduced energy bill. An average rental household can expect to save hundreds of dollars per year. Your landlord can save thousands off the upfront cost of installing solar and will benefit through the improvement to their rental property.

Your landlord can apply for a rebate of up to $1,850 on the cost of installing a solar system on their rental property and have the option to also apply for an interest-free loan to match their rebate amount.

How do renters  get involved?

If you're renting your home and would like to explore options for installing solar, contact your property manager or landlord to let them know about the Solar for rentals rebate and the potential to save thousands of dollars on the upfront cost of installing a solar system.

Typical yearly savings with solar

Savings for renters table
Typical yearly savings with solar
1 person household/  low solar usage home  2-3 person household / medium solar usage home  4+ person household / high solar usage home 
Typical yearly electricity bills before solar  $1,070 – $1,220  $1,490 – $1,730  $1,830 – $2,180 
Typical yearly electricity bills after solar  $438 - $532  $643 - $796  $790 - $992 
Estimated typical yearly savings with solar (with no loan contribution*)  $634 - $689  $849 - $938  $1045 – $1,160 
*You can choose to contribute towards the loan for the solar system but no more than 50% of the monthly repayment amount. 
Notes:
The annual contribution by the tenant cannot exceed $231.25 and it can be lower following agreement with the landlord.
The results included in this table is supplied as a guide only. Consumption profiles reflect the Essential Services Commission’s Victorian Energy Usage Profiles, while calculations of savings are based on the Victorian Default Offer 2020 tariffs and make reference to dwellings located within Melbourne Metropolitan area.
Your actual energy consumption may differ from these estimates depending on many factors such as the characteristics of your dwelling, your energy mix and your lifestyle. Additionally, the actual savings that you may be able to achieve with PV depend on your electricity consumption, your electricity plan and other factors specific to your dwelling such as geographic location, roof shading, roof area, roof pitch and more.
Download Typical yearly savings with solar

Draft letter to landlords

  • To start a conversation with your landlord about getting solar, copy and paste the below text into an email to your landlord. Remember to add your own details, and your landlord's, in the spaces provided.   

    Subject: Solar Victoria Rebates for Landlords now available – save up to $3,700 off solar

    Dear <INSERT YOUR LANDLORD’S NAME HERE>,

    I write to you in the hope that we may be able to work together to help us both save some money. 

    The offer

    Solar Victoria, an agency of the Victorian Government, is helping Victorians take control of their energy bills, tackle climate change and build a cleaner, renewable future through the delivery of solar rebates. They have recently launched a solar rebate specifically for landlords to dramatically reduce the cost of installing solar panels on rental properties in Victoria.

    I believe we are both eligible for up to $1,850 off the cost of installing a solar system on your rental property.

    And you can then further reduce the upfront cost, by applying for an interest-free loan to match the rebate amount, representing an overall saving off the upfront cost of installation of up to $3,700.

    Why install solar on your rental property?

    I recognise that a rental property is a significant investment and the addition of solar is likely to increase the value of this property. It will also make a huge difference to us as tenants, reducing our energy bills and improving our comfort as we can enjoy the benefits of renewable energy to heat and cool our home. We love where we live and having the added benefit of solar and decreased energy bills would increase the likelihood of us staying on longer than the usual 12-month rental period. It’s also a great way for us to both do something good for planet, but also our own back pockets, at a time when we could all do with a financial boost.

    How can we (the tenant) contribute?

    What is unique about this rebate program is that it allows us, the tenant, to contribute financially to the loan. Under this model, we could contribute up to 50% of the monthly repayment amount, less than $20 a month (equal to one takeaway coffee a week), to pay back the cost of the system, slashing our energy bills and improving the value and attractiveness of your property.

    Are we eligible?

    Only one application is available per address, however you can apply for up to two rental properties in a financial year, provided all of the eligibility criteria below are met.

    Victorian landlords are eligible to receive a rebate for their rental property if:

    • their renters have a combined household income of under $180,000 per year (based on any of the last two year’s taxable income)
    • the property is valued at under $3 million and does not already have solar panels (PV) installed
    • there has been no prior participation in the Solar Homes program for that address
    • a Solar Homes Landlord-Tenant Agreement is signed by the landlord and all renters
    • the property is currently tenanted with a rental agreement in place.

    Next steps

    If this sounds like an offer you’d like to take up I would welcome the opportunity to talk more and work out the best way forward.

    There are lots of resources on the Solar Victoria website, including a pre-drafted agreement that will make it easy to apply and ensure we’re both protected.

    The best number/contact email for me is <INSERT MOBILE or EMAIL>.

    I look forward to talking more about this soon.

    Yours sincerely,

    <INSERT YOUR NAME>

Both you and your landlord need to agree to the installation, but it is your landlord who must apply for the solar rebate and interest-free loan (if applicable).

Landlords can choose to install a system on the rental property without seeking any repayments from you. You will still need to agree to solar being installed on the property and this arrangement is formalised through the completion of a Landlord-Tenant Agreement (no payment). In this situation, the landlord is responsible for all costs related to the system, its installation and maintenance.

Landlord-Renter co-contribution

There is also an option for renters to agree to contribute up to 50% of the monthly repayments cost of the interest-free loan as a further incentive for landlords to take advantage of the offer. The agreement to contribute is formalised through the signing of a Landlord-Tenant Agreement (co-contribution) and the maximum amount you can be asked to contribute is $19.27 per month.

The landlord is responsible for all other costs associated with the system, its installation and maintenance. Costs relating to the installation of the system cannot be recouped by increasing your rent or taking money from your bond when you vacate.

If you agree to contribute to the repayment of the interest-free loan, the amount of the repayment:

  • must be agreed upfront in the Landlord-Tenant agreement.
  • must be paid directly to your landlord.
  • cannot be altered after the loan has been established.
  • If you agree to co-contribute, you do so for the four-year life of the loan or until the you vacate the property, whichever is earlier.  

Based on an interest-free loan of $1,850, the percentage of your repayments can be negotiated with your landlord based on the figures in the table below:

Percentage %  Repayment $ per month Percentage %  Repayment $ per month
5%  $1.92 30%  $11.52 
10%  $3.84  35%  $13.45 
15%  $5.76  40%  $15.40 
20%  $7.68  45%  $17.31 
25%  $9.60  50%  $19.27 

Landlord-Tenant agreement

Regardless of the repayment model chosen, you will be required to complete and sign the Landlord-Tenant Agreement. The agreement sets out the responsibilities and obligations of both the tenant and the landlord.

No renter contribution

Download and complete the Landlord-Tenant agreement (no payment) if the landlord will be repaying the loan with no renter contribution.

Co-contribution between the renter and landlord

Download and complete the Landlord-Tenant agreement (co-contribution) if the landlord and renter will be contributing to the monthly loan repayments.

If either party does not follow through with their responsibilities under the Landlord-Tenant Agreement, you can contact the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV) for free advice on dispute resolution, and potential options for mediation.

What comes next?

You may need to provide access to the property so your landlord can get a quote for the solar system from an approved supplier.

Once the quote has been uploaded to the Solar Victoria portal, your landlord will apply for rebate eligibility. Once their application is approved, they can schedule the installation of the solar system.

At this stage, your landlord or the property manager should contact you to let you know the solar system is being installed. You and your landlord will need to be present at the time of the install as the solar supplier may need internal access to your home to install the system.

Grid connection

After your system is installed and inspected, you will be contacted by your electricity retailer to organise connection of the solar system to the electricity grid. This may take a few weeks. You won’t need to be home, but you will need to make sure your electricity meter can be accessed.

If you have any questions about the connection process, talk to the solar installer or your electricity retailer.

After the installation

Savings on your power bill

The expected savings from solar power should be reflected in your electricity bills after grid connection. Contact your electricity retailer if you have any questions about the impact of solar on your electricity bill.

Feed-in tariff

When you speak with your electricity retailer about your grid connection, they will also speak with you about your feed-in tariff (credit on your power bill) for any electricity generated by the solar system that you don’t use.

For more information about feed-in tariffs visit www.energy.vic.gov.au.

Make sure you are getting the best energy deal

Victorian Energy Compare is an independent Victorian Government energy price comparison site. With just a recent energy bill or smart meter data file, you can compare the best energy deals for your circumstances.

For more information, visit the Victorian Energy Compare site  https://compare.energy.vic.gov.au/welcome.

Maintaining the solar system

It’s in your interest to monitor how your system is performing. If you think there is an issue with your system, be sure to let your property manager or landlord know.

Downloads

Find out more

Further information

Reviewed 21 May 2021