The federal and New South Wales governments are behind a relief package to provide solar access and improve energy systems across the state’s most needy households.

More than 10,000 homes will be able to access a solar installation scheme which could save households up to $600 a year in energy costs.

Under the Solar Banks initiative, multi-unit dwellings in New South Wales will be eligible for rebates of up to half the cost of installing rooftop solar.

Low-income households, apartment residents, and renters who can’t install or afford rooftop solar systems will be offered subsidies to purchase a portion of an offsite large-scale solar farm.

This scheme follows similar federal-state government partnerships with Victoria and the ACT last year.

Home energy upgrade funding

As part of the funding package, another 24,000 social and low-income households will be eligible for home energy upgrades including heat pump hot water systems, ceiling fans, reverse cycle air conditioners, insulation, and draught proofing.

Upgrading an average house from a one-star energy efficiency rating to a three-star rating can cut energy consumption by up to 30%.

The governments concede some social housing properties are among the least energy-efficient in the country, saddling low-income renters with high energy costs.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says saving energy means saving money.

“It’s why we’re continuing to deliver cost of living relief for families that need it most without adding to inflation,” he said.

“We want all Australians to have access to cleaner, cheaper energy. Renewable energy for social housing helps power bills and is good for the environment.”

This latest initiative comes on top of current federal and state government schemes contributing up to $500 towards electricity costs to more than five million Australian households.

Image by Justin Lim on Unsplash