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Community solar project to tackle rising prices for low-income homes

  • Labor will partner with community housing to deliver solar houses
  • Trial will mean lower power bills
  • Community housing tenants will be able to monitor power usage

A re-elected Majority Labor Government will partner with Tasmania’s community housing providers to deliver cost of living relief for low income households with a ground-breaking solar energy trial.

Shadow Housing Minister Josh Willie said the Hodgman Liberal Government had been missing in action on not only important bill-busting initiatives for lower income Tasmanians but on the crucial need to take advantage of the state’s renewable energy capabilities.

Joining today with the peak body for community housing Shelter Tasmania, Mr Willie said a Labor Government will work with the sector and identify a new community of up to 100 low income houses for solar panels and battery storage be installed.

“It’s critical we do everything we can to support lower income Tasmanians who are dependent on community housing by reducing their exposure to rising electricity costs,” Mr Willie said.

“The trial will mean not only lower power bills but will allow households to monitor how much energy they are using and how to use less by giving residents access to real time feedback on energy use and conservation.

“TasNetworks will fund the upfront cost of infrastructure and installation through forgone dividends and the installation will be carried out in partnership with renewable energy and battery storage companies.

“TasNetworks will have the ability to monitor household energy use and draw down on stored energy during times of peak demand and will also have the ability to turn appliances like hot water services off when they are not in use to manage loads.

“The trial will also give TasNetworks the important opportunity to prepare for the inevitable take-up of battery storage and better understand how these systems can work in harmony with the traditional grid.”

Mr Willie said Labor’s policy was consistent with the findings of the government’s own Energy Security Taskforce report, which recommended partnerships with local businesses to trial new products and services.

“That’s also consistent with Labor’s Target 500 plan which will generated at least 500MW of additional renewable energy,” Mr Willie said.