RDAWEP Ecomonic Development Manager Peter Scott with EPLGA President and Tumby Bay Mayor Sam Telfer.

A new Community Solar Scheme will help pensioners, renters, businesses and low-income homeowners access solar power on the Eyre Peninsula.

The recent blackout across the Eyre Peninsula on May 18 brought energy issues into focus, with uncertainty about solar raised by many parts of the community.

Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association (EPLGA) and Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula (RDAWEP) are working with Local Government Association Procurement (LGAP) to recommend trusted solar panel providers, based on the findings of an expert panel.

EPLGA President and Tumby Bay Mayor Sam Telfer said this scheme will deliver savings on electricity bills directly to the community with no up-front costs, meaning more money straight into their pockets and back into our local economy.

“Cooperation between the 11 Councils and an expert assessment panel will deliver affordable solar and solar/battery solutions that the community can trust,” he said.

“Innovations such as solar solutions for residents who rent and businesses that lease will become a reality with this scheme.”

The scheme is designed to assist people traditionally locked out of the solar market due to barriers such as lack of funds, lack of information or being in the renting/leasing market.

Optional finance can be structured to deliver financial returns in the very first quarter, with the combined cost of the repayments plus the new electricity bill expected to be lower than the original electricity bill.

The scheme will enable pensioners and low income home owners to access finance for rooftop solar with no money up front and repayments lower than electricity savings.  People who rent and businesses who lease will be able to rent solar to lower their total spend.

Schools and community organisations are also great potential candidates.

RDAWEP Economic Development Manager Peter Scott said the more people that express an interest in solar, solar/battery or battery solutions, the better the deal with solar companies and the greater the benefit to our local economy.

“Community solar initiatives are not new but there are learnings and ways in which previous programs could be expanded and built upon.

“Many successful schemes have delivered outcomes to middle-income property owners but have been limited in their capacity to provide finance options for low-income earners, retirees, tenants and those who are socially disadvantaged,” Mr Scott said.

“RDAWEP is researching all of the bulk buy rooftop solar programs delivered around Australia to determine the best approach for the Eyre Peninsula.”

The Community Solar Scheme will be a great opportunity for communities across Eyre Peninsula to access trusted, affordable solar which will deliver direct savings from the very first quarter.  Battery solutions will also be offered.

Go to the eplga.com.au website to find out more and register your interest.  Your local council is ready to help you fill out the form if needed.