Low income earners to get priority access to solar panel rebates from City of Stirling

Stock image.
Stock image.

LOW income earners will get priority access to solar panel rebates from the City of Stirling.

Councillors at the April meeting voted to expand the Living Green program to offer solar photovoltaic system rebates and prioritise applications from low income residents.

A $45,000 increase to the program will be considered as part of the 2018-19 budget.

A report by the City said residents were installing less solar systems that those in other local government areas, with only 15 per cent of households having a system.

This compared to 35 per cent of City of Wanneroo residents and 28 per cent of households in the City of Joondalup.

It also cited a Curtin Economics Centre 2017 report that showed 7.4 per cent of low income residents in WA had panels installed compared to the state average of 27.3 per cent.

Councillor David Lagan moved the original motion and said he was inspired by a City of Adelaide solar system loan scheme.

But Cr Karen Caddy said she would rather see the money spent on making City buildings more energy efficient.

“I’m not convinced City ratepayers should be funding a pool of $45,000 for just some ratepayers to put solar panels on their roof,” she said.

The funding would allow the City to provide 30 system rebates for $1500 each and Cr Lagan suggested it was fair as ratepayers funded compensation for businesses affected by the Scarborough foreshore redevelopment.

The City will also investigate other ways to provide incentives for the 2019-20 financial year.

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