The Fifth Estate – Tackling solar for renters

A series of grants totaling over half a million dollars have been awarded to researchers from four institutions to delve into making Australia’s energy markets more fair and equitable.

“These projects have each demonstrated the potential to make significant positive impact in areas where consumers are currently not best served by the energy system,” Energy Consumers Australia chief executive officer Lynne Gallagher said.

With Australians who live in rental properties seven times less likely to have rooftop solar, researchers from Australian National University (ANU) have been granted $77,070 to discover and advise on what policies will best address the discrepancy.

Adding to the issue, which has growing public awareness, is the fact rental properties are likely to be less energy efficient, which means higher energy costs.

“Renters are a cohort who have often been excluded from achieving greater energy independence, cheaper bills, and lowered emissions,” Gallagher said.

”We need to better understand the policy interventions that can address this gap, and this project is set to provide that knowledge in a highly collaborative way.” 

ANU researchers will first interview policy-makers, landlords, and property managers followed by an online survey of landlords to understand what drives their decision-making.

They will then hold a workshop with energy officials, renter advocates, and the community sector to identify possible policy interventions.

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