Solar Power Slashes Energy Costs For Australian Pensioners

Posted 3 December 2014

294 pensioners will have their energy bills slashed by solar power in a pilot program funded by Victoria’s Darebin City Council; carried out in partnership with leading solar provider Energy Matters and Positive Charge.

Installations under the new Solar $aver program are expected to save over $400 per annum.

This pilot program focuses on helping senior home-owners make ends meet and offers the opportunity to install solar power at no up-front cost, with repayments to occur via council rates over the next ten years.

Darebin City Council is funding this program with $900,000 allocated from their 2013/2014 budget.

“We were determined to find a way to make solar power available to even the lowest income earners in our ongoing efforts to make the homes of Darebin residents safer and less costly,” said Darebin Mayor Steven Tsitas.

“Through the design of this program, Darebin City Council’s investment will also be returned after ten years, freeing up capital for other initiatives,” continued MayorTsitas.

Darebin pensioner, Mal Owen, who has had a 2kW solar panel system installed on his home, said he is thrilled with the steps Darebin City Council is taking to deliver the benefits of solar to elderly pensioners.

“Now that I’ve installed solar, I don’t have to worry about the cost of air conditioning, particularly as we approach the hottest months of the year,” said Mr Owen.

“The demand for this program has been incredible,” says Jeremy Rich, CEO of Energy Matters. “In just 9 weeks, we’ve reached installation capacity and there’s a waiting list for future installations.”

“The initial success of this pilot program with the Darebin City Council opens up a national discussion with councils throughout Australia. Our goal is to work with other councils around the country to implement this initiative and support low-income pensioner home-owners with the introduction of solar power,” said Mr Rich.