Solar Panels for Renters; How it Works

Solar energy is becoming the preferred option for many households, but for the most part, it’s been homeowners who have installed panels. But what about renters?

Although it’s not as straightforward for a renter to convince their landlord to install solar panels, the government rebates specifically for renters make it a lot more affordable and will help you build your cases.

Can you get solar panels while renting a house?

Yes, but you will need your landlord’s content. You could pay to have the panels installed yourself, but if you move house, you will need to take them with you, which will be expensive. So convincing your landlord to foot the bill and coming to an agreement for the price of power is going to be key. 

Who pays for solar panels while renting a home?

When installing solar panels for rental properties, the question of who is to pay depends majorly on the lease or rental agreement that the renter and the landlord agreed to. According to GoSolarQuotes, this means that whoever assumes the cost of electricity for the property in the lease or rental agreement is responsible for the costs.

However, property owners are responsible for the cost of their property’s electricity and are supposed to pay. They can then charge the renters for reimbursement minus any rebates they received from the government. 

How would I approach and ask my landlord to pay for solar panels?

If you are a renter looking to install solar panels, you will need your landlord’s permission. However, since the cost of getting solar panels is expensive, getting your landlord to foot the bill is very important. 

Having the right approach as a renter when asking a landlord to pay for solar panels can be the difference between a positive and a negative outcome. Here are a few steps to help renters correctly approach and ask the landlord to pay for solar panels.

  1. Research the topic adequately

Before approaching your landlord to ask them to pay for solar panels, make sure that you understand everything about the process by researching all the facets. Adequate research on solar panels will allow the renter to answer any questions the landlord may have on the matter correctly and with facts. 

  1. Prepare a proposal

Owning a rental property is a business, so approach your landlord as if it was a business proposal. The proposal should include the reasons why solar panels are more efficient than your current electricity source, the long-term gains and profits, etc.

  1. Approach the landlord from his point of view

When trying to sell an idea to anyone, you must be able to speak to them in their language. This also goes for landlords; when convincing your landlord to pay for solar panels, ensure you plead your case from their pov. This can be from a profit standpoint or a green earth standpoint, whatever resonates best with the landlord.

  1. Dos and Don’ts when presenting your idea.

When approaching your landlord, remind them of the benefits of solar panels business-wise and Earthwise. However, make sure you do not blabber about saving the earth and all that boring stuff. This is because landlords are business owners and the main point of every business is to make a profit.

  1. Close the discussion on a positive note

Approaching your landlord to ask them to pay for solar panels can be a stressful situation especially if you need to improve with direct conversations. However, make sure to a,lways end such conversations on a good note and set a date to follow up on the issue.

Would my rent increase if my landlord installed solar panels?

Yes. When landlords install and pay for solar panels on rented properties, they usually recuperate their costs by increasing the rent of their property. Solar panels are expensive and can cost landlords high amounts of money. Since the renters get to enjoy the solar panels, landlords are allowed to reimburse themselves through a rise in rental rates.

However, this rental rate increase must be less than the amount renters will save by using solar energy. This means that renters do not need to bother about the rent increase, and the solar panels will save them some cash on their electricity bill, which can go to the rent instead. 

Is there a solar rebate for renters or landlords?

A Solar rebate is a percentage decrease in the cost of installing solar panels. They are usually dollar for dollar, meaning the installation cost is split equally, with both parties getting dollar for dollar. 

  1. Solar rebates are generally paid to the solar installers before or after the installation as a one-time payment or spread over a few months. The solar panel installers pass on the landlord cut to them afterward.
  2. Solar rebates are available for landlords, who can then decide to pass them to their renters. This depends on who paid for the solar panels, as they have the right to the solar rebates.
  3. When landlords seek reimbursement for installing solar panels on their rental properties from the renters, they have to minus the solar rebate from the total amount. The renters are only entitled to pay the rest after solar rebates. 
  4. Solar rebates can reach upwards of $1200 to even $2,000 depending on the type and cost of the solar panel you installed, the electricity needs of the property, the location of the rental property, and others. 
  5. Solar rebates serve as incentives to encourage more and more households to switch to solar energy. It also reduces the cost burden from landlords making solar energy more affordable for the general public.

How would the feed-in tariff work for renters?

Feed-in-tariffs, also known as buy-back rates, were introduced to increase investments in the renewable energy sector by offering long-term agreements to producers of renewable energy. The feed-in tariff is the credit received for any electricity that a household does not use but sends back to the grid. 

Solar rebates for landlord/ renters by state

Solar rebates are monies to homeowners and landlords that purchase solar panels. These solar rebates are usually government funded and help to promote renewable energy such as solar energy. In Australia, the percentage of solar rebates received per household is dependent on the state of the home. Here are some of the solar rebates for landlords and renters by state; 

Landlord solar rebate New south wales (NSW)

There are many solar rebates available to landlords in New South Wales (NSW). some of the popular solar rebate schemes include 

  1. The Renewable Energy Target & Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs); 

The Australian government funds the rebate to increase green energy in Australia. The number of STCs you will receive depends chiefly on the house’s location and the solar panel size. The solar system including, solar batteries and solar panels, must be on the Clean Energy Council’s approved product list to be eligible for this solar rebate. This rebate can save homeowners up to 30%. 

  1. NSW Feed-In tariffs; 

For every kilowatt hour a home sends back to the grid, they get a feed-in tariff fee. This is a solar rebate to encourage more and more households to send more electricity back to the grid and replace their energy needs with solar energy. The tariff is dependent on the energy provider. 

  1. Solar rebates for low-earning households;

The New South Wales government has provided rebates for low-income households to increase the number of households using solar energy. These solar rebates include reducing their electricity bills by installing a free 3-kilowatt solar panel system. Households already receiving any other form of the rebate can also swap it for a free solar panel. 

Solar rebates for renters Queensland (QLD)

With more than 35% of the households in Queensland occupied by renters, the state government has offered solar rebates to landlords as an encouragement to install solar panels. 

Queensland solar rebates for landlords offer a rebate maximum of $3,500 for every rental property installed with solar panels. The rebates depend mainly on their capacity, as houses with 3-kilowatt systems will receive $2,500. Houses with a 4-kilowatt system will receive $3,000, and houses with a 5-kilowatt system will receive $3,500. 

The properties must be located in Bundaberg, Gladstone, and Townsville with a maximum rent of $350 a week to be eligible.

Note; Landlords in Queensland can still apply for Australian government solar rebates and feed-in tariffs. 

Solar rebates for rental properties in Victoria (VIC)

Landlords with properties in victoria have state-government solar rebates and federal-government solar rebates available. The Victorian government offers landlords a $1,850 solar rebate as long as they meet the requirements. 

This solar rebate is given freely, and landlords can apply for a $1,850 no-interest loan to be paid in installments of $38.54 monthly over four years. This is a total of $3,700 to pay for solar panels.

Landlords can make their money back by increasing the rent slightly to cover half or the entirety of the no-interest loan. This means landlords can afford solar panels for their rental properties without breaking the bank. 

Solar rebates for renters and landlords Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Landlords and residents of the Australian capital territory have access to federal government solar rebates such as STCs and feed-in tariffs. However, other solar rebates are available to top landlords and residents of the ACT. they include; 

  1. Solar rebates for low-earning households; 

Low-earning households in the Australian capital territory have solar rebates to encourage them to install solar panels. Eligible households will receive up to $2,500 plus a no-interest loan to cover the cost of solar panels. There is also an additional $2,500 for installing any solar equipment like solar hot water, batteries, and solar panels.

  1. The ACT sustainable household scheme;

Landlords can apply for a no-interest loan to purchase solar panels. The loans can go up to $15,000, and the landlord pays installments. Landlords can also increase rent to cover their payments and reimburse themselves. 

  1. ACT solar battery rebate

This solar rebate is known as the Next Generation Energy storage program and is funded by the ACT government. This solar rebate covers 50% of the solar battery cost, maxed at $3,500. The battery has to be bought along with solar panels and connected to the electricity grid to be eligible for this rebate. 

Are portable solar panels worth it for renters?

Portable solar panels have become increasingly popular, especially among renters, as the residence is temporary, and they do not have to get a landlord’s permission if there are no major changes to the house. However, a portable solar panel comes with its advantages and disadvantages. They include;

Pros and Cons 
Portable solar panels are easy to move from place to place and can be a good option for renters.Portable solar panels are usually unreliable. They are affected greatly by weather conditions.
Because of their small size, many portable solar panels are very efficient.When portable solar panels are damaged, their disposal can cause pollution, and they cannot be recycled.
Portable solar panels come with charge protectors to prevent damage from overcharging.Portable solar panels need space to be placed to receive optimal sunlight. So they require space.
Portable solar panels provide users with renewable energy for electricity. Portable solar panels are more expensive than their counterparts. 
When portable solar panels are used in addition to grid electricity, they help reduce that household’s electric bill. Portable solar panels are often water-resistant not water-proof so staying clear of wet weather is advised.
Portable solar panels require minimal maintenance and are a good choice for renters due to their small size. Portable solar panels may not produce enough electricity for a household. It is usually for camping trips etc.

Are solar panels on a rental property tax deductible?

When a landlord installs solar panels on a rental property in Australia they can claim a tax-deductible. This tax-deductible is on the fact that they bought solar panels and is listed as a capital expenditure which is claimed over many years. 

This is a financial win for many landlords and an encouragement for many more to install solar panels on their rental properties.


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