MEDIA RELEASE 12th Februay 2019: The NSW Greens have today launched a $1.25 billion comprehensive plan to ensure at least one million extra households in NSW can either install solar panels or be part of community renewable energy schemes within four years. The Household Solar Plan is part of the Greens Roadmap to 100% Renewable Energy by 2030 and involves:
- Mandatory solar plus batteries for all new dwellings – 350,000 in four years
- $2000 rebate for rooftop solar and batteries for 500,000 households
- Solar panels on all public housing and government buildings – 110,000 public housing tenants receive electricity rebates
- A community solar offset scheme for apartment owners and renters – 200,000 participants in four years
- A Fair Price for Solar – mandatory extra 4.4c/kW for avoided health and social costs
Greens MP and Environment spokesperson Cate Faehrmann said:
“We are seeing the devastating impacts of climate change now. That’s why we need more ambition for household solar than the plans announced by the Labor party and the Government.
“The Greens household solar plan will make it mandatory for all new dwellings to either have solar power and batteries or pay into a community renewable energy offset scheme.
“It is negligent that in 2019 we have over 70,000 new dwellings in NSW every year and no requirement for solar panels on these developments.
“Our plan will also provide a $2000 rebate for rooftop solar and batteries for up to 500,000 households and build solar panels on all public housing”
Greens Energy Spokesperson and candidate for Lismore Sue Higginson said:
“The Greens $1.25 billion plan ensures that households which have been locked out of solar power, such as apartment dwellers and renters, can support renewables and save on their electricity bills through a community solar offset scheme.
“We want to ensure 1 million households in NSW can either install solar panels on their home, or be part of a community solar offset scheme, within the next four years and be paid a fair price for the power they produce.
“Of course increasing household solar on rooftops is like banning plastic bags – it is essential but only a small component of what is needed to fix the problem of coal fired power.
“The Greens will be announcing additional policies in coming weeks as part of our Roadmap to 100% Renewable Energy by 2030.”
NSW Greens Household Solar Plan
Mandatory solar for all new dwellings
This will ensure that 350,000 new households which are expected to be built in NSW over the next 4 years either have solar panels and batteries installed or contribute to a registered community renewable energy provider. The policy will ensure:
- All new detached dwellings must install at least a 5 kW solar system and 4.5kW battery – this will cost approximately $3,800 per new house.
- All new apartments and other attached dwellings must install at least a 3 kW solar system per household or pay $2000 to a registered community renewable energy provider
$2000 rebate for rooftop solar and batteries for 500,000 households
This will cost $1 billion over 4 years and be available for households with a weekly income of up to $3000/week. This means up to 2 million households will be eligible for the rebate.
Solar panels on all public housing and government buildings
The Greens will make $250 million available to ensure solar panels and batteries are installed on all public housing buildings. The electricity produced will then be deducted from the electricity bills of 110,000 public housing tenants saving them approximately $500/year.
A community solar offset scheme for apartment owners and renters
Currently 19.9% of all private dwellings in NSW are apartments (519,390) and 31.8% of households rent (826,922). This has meant that these households are often locked out of the benefits of rooftop solar, including the associated reductions in their energy bills, because they cannot build solar on their own buildings.
The Greens will establish a community solar offset scheme, allowing apartment owners or renters to purchase credits in registered community renewable energy providers. Advances in smart metering mean that the energy generated can directly offset electricity bills of households who have credits in the scheme. We will assist community providers to build solar arrays either on apartment buildings or off site which can be eligible for the scheme.
The Greens estimate that such a scheme could allow 200,000 more households to access solar over the next 4 years.
A Fair Price for Solar
The Greens have developed legislation to mandate a fair, minimum price for households who feed excess solar electricity into the grid. The Electricity Supply Amendment (Fair Price for Solar and Other Renewable Sources of Electricity) Bill mandates that IPART must set the minimum rate that an electricity retailer must pay for electricity generated from household solar that is supplied to the grid.
The Bill also mandates that solar households receive a minimum payment for the health and environmental costs of coal fired power which are avoided by solar generation. This will add at least 4.4c/kwh to the amount solar households are paid for electricity fed into the grid additional including 3.1 c/kwh for reduced CO2 emissions and 1.3c/kwh for avoided health costs. This means a household with a 3kw solar system which feeds an average of 6kw/h of energy to the grid each day will earn an extra $96.35 per year.