Like many Australians, Darren Burden was shocked by the rising value of electrical energy at his rental in Kangaroo Valley, south of Sydney.
“I’d been there for a month once I obtained my first invoice,” he stated. “I’ve by no means seen a invoice so excessive.
“It was over $500 and I believed this isn’t sustainable.”
Burden determined to take issues into his personal fingers and began measuring to see if any specific system or supply in his residence was utilizing a considerable amount of electrical energy.
“The most important factor was the pool pump, so I then thought I may do some small issues and tweak it, which I did,” he stated.
“The subsequent month, the invoice dropped by $100, nevertheless it was nonetheless very excessive.”
He thought to himself that he had nothing to lose, and put collectively “a case” for his landlord to put in photo voltaic power on the property.
Burden stated he supplied to pay elevated hire to cowl the price of the set up, and his landlord was pleased to “come to the get together”.
What’s to lose?
“Even in case you don’t have a very good relationship, you possibly can all the time ask. What have you ever obtained to lose?” he stated.
“I had solely been renting off them for a number of months, so there was an opportunity they had been going to say piss off, however in actuality it advantages everybody.”
In September 2022, Burden’s energy invoice was $480. One 12 months later it was simply $50.
Stefan Jarnason, power skilled and co-founder of Photo voltaic Analytics, stated throughout a cost-of-living disaster, landlords and renters must search for methods to make it cheaper for everybody.
“Even a typical seven-kilowatt photo voltaic system will prevent about 70 per cent of your power invoice,” he stated.
“It’ll save individuals a median of $1400 a 12 months. And who doesn’t need an additional $1400?”
Australia is present process a file quantity of photo voltaic panel uptake in residential houses, with excessive power costs driving adoption.
Jarnason stated in his view, each rental property ought to have photo voltaic panels put in.
Issues of a decent market
“The problem for the time being is that it’s a decent rental market and in case you’re a tenant, you’re simply pleased to have a spot to reside,” he stated.
“It actually does require that cut up incentive between the owner and the tenant, and infrequently there’s an actual property agent within the center who doesn’t assist them.”
With the world’s highest per-capita photo voltaic power technology and virtually one in three houses having photo voltaic panels put in, rooftop photo voltaic is producing as a lot as 15 per cent of energy calls for throughout peak occasions.
Burden stated a very powerful factor when approaching your landlord about putting in photo voltaic is “to make it simple for them to say sure”.
“I knew who the nice installers had been, I’d already approached them,” he stated.
“I had considered the truth that they could wish to set up a battery or get an electrical automotive sooner or later, so I put all of that into my pitch.”
Photo voltaic-powered future
Jaranson stated he wish to see extra executed to make sure rental houses are power environment friendly.
“There may very well be some one-off grants, however in return, you possibly can’t increase costs for X period of time,” he stated.
“On the very least, mandate for rental properties and the sale of latest properties a star score, similar to we’ve got on all of power home equipment and automobiles.”
For Burden, the expertise has taught him that simply asking the query can create an enchancment in his rental scenario.
“it appealed to each of us, that they had environmental causes nicely,” he stated.
“I didn’t know they’d have that, so it wasn’t simply me providing more cash, but in addition that they cared concerning the atmosphere.”