A GIRRAWHEEN development on a former school site is part of a solar power project expected to give households long-term cost savings.
Yolk Property Group and Infinite Energy, in collaboration with the Department of Communities and Ventura Home Group, will roll out the solar power purchasing agreement pilot program at The Amble Estate.
The 10-year agreement will involve installing solar systems at no cost to participating homes, which could save those households 40 per cent on daytime solar electricity.
That could mean residents save up to $600 a year, or $6000 over the life of the agreement.
Yolk director Tao Bourton said the agreement was an innovative way to reduce household electricity costs with long-term savings.
“Australians pay the highest rates for residential electricity in the world and this aims to remedy that with a model that can be rolled out nationally,” he said.
“(It) allows residents to take advantage of significant savings on their solar electricity for an entire decade.
“After that, residents can take ownership of the solar equipment to enjoy free solar power for the life of the equipment, which is over 20 years.”
Infinite Energy managing director Aidan Jenkins said the model could disrupt the residential solar industry across Australia, which was one of the sunniest continents and had solar panels on nearly a quarter of homes already.
“This solution allows for an even greater number of households to access the benefits of solar energy, without the upfront cost of installing a system,” he said.
“This pilot paves the way for solar power purchasing agreements to become the norm for millions of homes across the country.”
Under the agreement, Infinite Energy owns and maintains the solar system on each house and residents buy daytime electricity at a rate equating to 40 per cent less than the Synergy A1 tariff.
Any extra electricity the resident uses above what their solar system produces is taken from the grid.
After 10 years, residents have the option to take ownership of the solar system and thereafter, will not pay anything for solar generated electricity.
“It is not without risk, but we’re committed to pushing the boundaries of green development to find ways to make sustainability affordable and attractive for developers, government and purchasers,” Mr Bourton said.
The department’s commercial operations assistant director general Greg Cash said homebuyers were seeking more when they invested in properties.
“By offering homebuyers this solar energy package, we see this project as leading the way in combining affordable home purchase with improved affordability of living,” he said.
Ventura director Phil Di Masi said the company was proud to be the first builder in WA to provide the ground-breaking initiative.
Bioregional’s One Planet Living framework is guiding built form and land development at the estate as well as part of a broader approach to sustainability.
Officially launched in March, The Amble Estate on the former Hainsworth primary school site is a collaboration between Yolk Property Group, Ventura Home Group and the Department of Communities.