Environmental Justice Winner
DAREBIN CITY COUNCIL
Darebin Solar Saver
Darebin City Council in Melbourne’s northern suburbs is making solar power more accessible to low income residents through the Solar Saver program – the first of its kind in Australia enabling households to install solar PV systems and pay them off through Council rates, interest free over 10 years. The program has two major objectives, namely to reduce greenhouse emissions at the point of demand, and to support residents most vulnerable to climate change impacts and increasing energy costs.
As a result of the program 1,476 tonnes of greenhouse gas will be prevented each year by participating households, savings that will continue for the 20+ year lifetime of the systems installed and 292 heat-stress vulnerable households will be provided low-cost energy sources and efficiency advice, substantially decreasing the cost of cooling in summer.
These services are provided at minimal financial risk to the households while ensuring a high level of quality and care. In 2015, the Council committed a further $1 million to the Solar Saver program and is considering opening the program to non-pensioners, renters, pensioners and small businesses.