Canberra embraces solar after new scheme shines light on zero-interest loan

John Coleman30 March 2022
man with battery

All smiles: Canberra resident Chris Caine with his solar battery. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

Canberra has never been a city to shy away from green energy options.

Five months after the ACT Government announced the Sustainable Household Scheme, more than 800 Canberrans have used it to add solar energy installations to their homes.

The scheme, opened in October last year after a successful pilot, offers Canberra households 10-year zero-interest loans of up to $15,000 to finance the initial outlay in ‘going greener’.

This can mean upgrading to more sustainable household appliances, such as swapping your 1970s gas stove for a new electric unit, or larger purchases such as an electric car or installing solar or batteries.

It’s open to new applications for the next five years. Over the life of the scheme, you can install one item or several up to the maximum value of the loan.

READ ALSO: Solar powered electric appliances ‘hot options’ as ACT homeowners go green

Chris Caine is one Canberran onboard. After purchasing solar panels, prior to the introduction of the scheme, he decided it made sense to invest in a battery to store the energy during off-peak periods. This allowed Chris to compare investing in renewables before and after the scheme.

“I had already engaged the solar system in May,” he said. “Had the scheme been in effect, I would have used it from the get-go.”

He reminded fellow residents they didn’t need to buy everything at once under the Sustainable Household Scheme.

“Some of the misinformation is that you can only apply once – you can’t add on, you have to buy everything at once. Not true.”

In fact, Chris recommended anyone still hesitating should take it step by step. “Start small and see how you go. And add another battery maybe later.”

READ ALSO: Determining how many panels you will need for your rooftop solar system

He doesn’t see the merit in holding off from participating in the scheme though, especially when it comes to buying a battery to store solar energy.

“People are waiting for prices of batteries to drop, but what they need to consider is that rebates also drop.”

Chris originally contracted one of Canberra’s leading solar suppliers, Mondiaux Solar, to install his solar panels and battery.

Archie Zhang from Mondiaux Solar said the Sustainable Household Scheme had led to an explosion of interest in going solar.

“More customers are coming to us for quotations,” he said. “I’m fielding more and more phone calls each day.”

Canberrans are also selecting better renewable technology.

“In the past, customers may choose $5000 or $6000 products, but they can now choose more expensive products and better quality products thanks to the interest-free loan.”

The Sustainable Household Scheme runs until October 2025. Apply via the ACT Government Climate Choices website.

Original Article published by John Coleman on Riotact.


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