Darebin Solar $aver – AEF | Australian Energy Foundation

Darebin Solar $aver

Working with City of Darebin and Energy Matters, AEF’s Positive Charge program was able to co-ordinate the installation of almost 300 solar PV installations on to the roofs of low income households in Darebin. The program, called Solar $aver, was completed in 2014 and is believed to be an Australian first.

Darebin City Council covered the up-front cost of the solar installations, which households are then paying back through their rates payments over a ten year period. The repayments have been structured so that households will save more each year on their electricity bill than the amount by which their rates are increased, so that they will financially benefit as soon as the installation is complete. This is an innovative financial arrangement known as “Save As You Go”.

How the project worked

AEF’s Positive Charge team dealt directly with home owners to ascertain whether or not the program would suit their needs and energy usage and to advise on the best sized system for them. We then guided them through each step of the process ensuring that they fully understood the commitment and how best to use their electricity for maximum savings.

The repayment plan is attached to the house, so that if ownership of the house should change before the ten year period is up then the next owner will have the benefit of buying a house complete with a solar PV system, which they can pay back at minimal cost through their rates.