Get in on the ground floor: how apartments can join the solar boom

While there are now more solar panels in Australia than people, the many Australians who live in apartments have largely been locked out of this solar revolution by a minefield of red tape and potentially uninformed strata committees.

In the face of these challenges, Stucco, a small co-operative housing block in Sydney, embarked on a mission to take back the power. Hopefully their experiences can serve as a guide to how other apartment-dwellers can more readily go solar.

Full piece in The Conversation

“Everyone’s a winner”: PICA Group secures Australian-first strata solar electricity deal

“I see this as everyone is a winner. The proposition for tenants is they don’t have to change anything that they are doing, they are just now having their electricity bills reduced and they also get to feel better by having that cheaper power also be cleaner power,” Dr Sturmberg said. 

“For generators, power purchase agreements (PPA) have been really quite an important way to de-risk their investments in their developments. 

“What is happening in that PPA is you’re locking in the rates all the consumers will be paying for that power – that means as a generator you have certainty.” 

Dr Sturmberg, who is also the founder of social enterprise SunTenants, says to date these types of energy deals have largely been driven by governments, despite demand from renters and smaller entities. 

“It is a really great way for consumers of electricity to have a more direct relationship or direct buying power towards renewables rather than just buying from the national electricity market,” he said. 

“PPAs have started to become more accessible to smaller entities and currently the ACT government has been extremely successful with its power purchase agreement. It’s made the Territory powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity and has in the process saved Canberra millions of dollars.”

Full article in The Fifth Estate here