While Australia leads the world in the take-up of solar panels with more than a quarter of households with rooftop solar systems, the application of solar for multi-dwelling community housing sites has been slower.
The benefits of solar for this sector are obvious – lower power bills, reduced ‘bill shock’ in winter, and lower carbon emissions. However, the barrier to many community housing residents being able to access solar power is technological rather than attitudinal. Until now, there have been limited options for residents in apartments to access the benefits of solar power and still retain independence through the ability to choose their energy retailer.
Melbourne company Allume has made the benefits of solar power possible for the tenants of community housing provider Housing Choices’ Altona apartments. Using their SolShare technology, Allume has worked with Housing Choices’ tenants to install a solar system that delivers financial and environmental benefits while retaining separate metering and choice of energy supplier.
This technology enables the solar power to be shared among apartments using resident’s existing electricity meters. The units can be supplied to any solar installer, allowing tendering processes for installation of solar systems to be open and competitive.
To date, the residents of Housing Choices’ Altona apartments are saving an average of $423 per year on power bills, and 93 tonnes per year of CO2.
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