Information for tenants
We are helping tenants in the Bundaberg, Gladstone and Townsville local government areas get easy access to solar power and reduce their electricity bills.
If you're renting a house, townhouse or duplex in one of these areas and are interested in solar with no upfront cost, contact your property manager or landlord and let them know.
Tenant benefits of the solar for rentals trial
The solar for rentals trial provides a new way for tenants to access the benefits of solar and reduce their electricity costs.
In return for use of the solar system, you (as a tenant) will pay a fair rent increase to your landlord. The rent increase should be set at a rate that is less than your savings from solar.
Tenants in the solar for rentals trial will:
- receive access to a solar photovoltaic (PV) system with solar monitoring technology at no upfront cost
- potentially save up to $300 per year by either using the solar power or selling it back to the electricity grid (assuming $1,000 in electricity savings and a fair rent increase of up to $700)
- have access to the solar monitoring portal or mobile app to see how the system is performing
- get tips on how to make the most of solar and monitoring to reduce electricity costs.
How to participate
Both you and your landlord need to agree to participate in the trial, but it is your landlord who must apply for the solar rebate. If your landlord has invited you to join the trial to have solar installed at your place and you would like to participate, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Provide property access for a quote
You may need to provide access to the property so your landlord can get a quote for the solar system from an approved supplier. Some solar suppliers will quote without a site visit.
Step 2: See what you could save with the solar for rentals calculator
The solar for rentals calculator helps you work out a fair rent increase for different sized solar systems and estimate what you could save on your power bill after the fair rent increase is applied. You must agree to a fair rent increase so both you and your landlord can share the benefits from the new solar system.
Step 3: Sign up to the trial
There are 3 forms for you to fill out to sign up for the trial.
- Complete and sign the tenant consent form (DOC, 136KB) declaring you are the electricity account holder at the rental property and agreeing to participate in the trial. You’re signing up to a fair rent increase in return for use of the solar system and to share the data from the system with us for a year. At least one tenant must be the electricity account holder for the rental property.
- Sign the end lease letter (DOC, 16KB) indicating that you agree to end your current lease in order to enter into a new lease covering the solar installation and fair rent increase. This is only needed if you already have a lease in place.
- Sign the new lease. Before you sign, check that the new lease:
- has a fair rent increase
- is for a period of at least 12 months
- includes the solar special conditions.
Note: The solar special conditions (DOC, 273KB) set out the rent increase and responsibilities for system installation, maintenance and access to solar monitoring data.
Solar monitoring technology allows you to see how the solar system is performing. Information is accessible in real-time (or near real-time) via a website or a mobile app. The solar supplier will help set up access to solar monitoring so you can make the most out of going solar.
When you sign the tenant consent form you agree that the government can access the solar system data for up to 1 year to evaluate the trial. The solar supplier will provide the data to us. Your landlord should not have access to your consumption data while you are living at the rental property.
The solar special conditions have been drafted as a guide for landlords and tenants. The parties should satisfy themselves that the conditions are satisfactory for their needs and, if they need further assistance, seek their own independent legal and financial advice.
To the maximum extent permitted by law, the Queensland Government makes no statement, representation, or warranty about the quality, accuracy, context, completeness, availability or suitability for any purpose of, and you should not rely on, any materials, including the special conditions, available on or through this website or in solar for rentals program fact sheets.
Step 4: Provide access for installation and connection
At this stage, the property manager should contact you to let you know the solar system is being installed. You can agree to a time for the install either through the property manager or directly with the approved solar supplier. The solar supplier may need internal access to your home to install the system.
Access to solar monitoring
You or the property manager will need to provide your contact and email details to the solar supplier before or during the installation process so they can organise grid connection of the solar system and set you up with access to the solar monitoring portal or mobile app.
After the system is installed, you will be contacted by your electricity retailer to organise connection of the solar system to the electricity grid. This may take a few weeks. You won’t need to be home but you will need to make sure your electricity meter can be accessed.
Once the system is connected, the solar installer can tell you how to turn on the system and start enjoying the benefits of solar.
If you have any questions about the connection process, talk to the solar installer or your electricity retailer.
After the installation
Savings on your power bill
The expected savings from solar power (including any feed-in tariff payment) should be reflected in your electricity bills after grid connection. Contact your electricity retailer if you have any questions about the impact of solar on your electricity bill.
If your electricity retailer is Ergon Energy you will automatically receive a feed-in tariff payment (credited on your power bill) for any electricity generated by the solar system that you don’t use.
If you have a different electricity retailer, contact them about their feed-in tariff.
Making the most of your solar
Solar monitoring helps you better understand how the solar system works, and take steps to manage your home energy usage and reduce your electricity bills.
Read about household appliances (PDF, 599KB) that typically use the most electricity and how shifting the time of day you use these appliances can help save money on your electricity bill.
Watch the video about how to use solar monitoring technology to get the most out of your solar system.
Maintaining the solar system
It’s in your interest to keep an eye on how the system is performing. If you believe the solar is not working properly, let the property manager or landlord know.
Solar systems generally benefit from a clean and service every few years. The solar special conditions allow tenants to arrange for a solar system clean and service through an accredited installer, at their own cost.