MEDIA RELEASE – Solar homes study shows lower income families are building Australia’s solar future

Click here to view to full report

A detailed analysis of solar installations in Australia has shown lower income families and regional communities are most likely to install solar.

The report released today by the REC Agents Association (RAA), a national industry body representing firms that create and trade in renewable energy certificates, analyses the uptake of solar panels and hot water systems by postcode and income.

“Five million Australians have embraced solar because it protects their families from soaring power bills”, said Ric Brazzale, RAA President.

“Families living in lower income suburbs are much more likely to install solar than families living in wealthier suburbs”, said Mr Brazzale. “The further you live away from the CBD of a major city, the more likely you are to install solar.”

“RAA’s study reinforces the importance of the Renewable Energy Target to lower income families and people living in rural areas. Without the RET, lower income households would not be able to reduce their power bills. The RET helps families with the upfront cost of installing solar”, said Fiona O’Hehir, RAA Vice-President.

RAA’s assessment of the top 10 solar suburbs in each State and Territory shows in almost all cases they had a lower income than the state average. RAA’s analysis also shows more than 40% of solar installs are in rural and regional communities, despite these communities making up only 32% of Australia’s housing stock.

Of the top 10 postcodes in each State, 45% were in rural and regional areas; 45% in capital cities; and the remaining 10% in other major urban centres.

The five suburbs in Australia with the largest number of solar systems are:
• Bundaberg area, Queensland;
• Mandurah area, Western Australia;
• Hervey Bay area, Queensland;
• Werribee area, Victoria; and
• Hoppers Crossing area, Victoria.

All five areas have below State average income levels.

The major factors driving solar uptake are likely to include the relative importance of power bills, level of home ownership and level of new home and renovation activity.

The full RAA report, which includes data on the top ten postcodes in each State and Territory, can be found at here

For comment and more information, contact Ric Brazzale on 0419 522 659 and Fiona O’Hehir on 0409 176 167.

29 April 2014