Helping low income households in NSW access solar

Origin is working with the NSW Government as an approved installer to provide free, fully installed 3 kilowatt (kW) solar systems for low income households in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven, Central Coast and Sydney South regions.

The Solar for Low Income Households Trial is expected to help participating homeowners save up to $600 on their annual electricity bills and achieve long-term energy savings.

For households on a lower income, cost-of-living pressures can mean that solar is generally unaffordable. The trial aims to improve access to solar for those in the community who will benefit the most from reduced electricity bills.        

Kerina from the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region applied for the trial to save money on her energy bills.

“I wouldn’t be able to afford solar panels by myself outside of the program, and for people in my situation who have bought a home but don’t have a big chunk of money to spend on solar – it’s just great,” says Kerina.

Homeowners with a valid Pensioner Concession Card or Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card, who live in an eligible postcode, and receive the NSW Government’s Low Income Household Rebate are eligible to participate in the trial, however they will need to give up the annual $285 rebate on their electricity bill. 

Participating homeowners can also choose to upsize from the standard 3kW solar system to a larger 6 kW system, but need to cover the additional costs. And that’s just what Illawarra-Shoalhaven resident, Michael decided to do.

“I always wanted to get solar, but being on the pension means it’s hard to get a decent system installed. It’s been a great opportunity to get the 3kW system for free, and I paid the extra to get the 6kW system installed – I knew I wanted to upgrade straight away”, says Michael.

“I was more interested in going green than energy cost savings, but saving money is obviously another benefit.”

So far, Origin has installed over 100 solar systems as part of the NSW Government’s Solar for Low Income Households Trial and many of these have been upgraded to 6kW systems – delivering 350kW of new solar capacity.

For further information on the program including eligibility criteria visit www.energysaver.nsw.gov.au/solar-low-income-households.

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