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Low-income Renters and Solar Energy

Finding solutions for low-income households to access solar energy

Energy affordability is a pressing issue for Australian households. Renter households are generally unable to access cheaper energy sources to reduce their electricity bills. This project aims to develop solutions for low-income renters to access solar energy.

The issue

Access to solar-generated (solar PV) electricity has become a key mean for households to reduce their energy costs and improve energy affordability. Although Australia leads the world with the rate of residential solar PV update, solar energy however is not available to all households. 

Business models and government policies privilege owner-occupiers with adequate financial resources and rooftop capacity. This means that renters are excluded from the cost-cutting benefits of solar as they do not have the right to access rooftops or make the required property alterations.

Nearly a third of all Australian households are renters, and over 1.3 million low-income households are renters.

Our work

The 3-year ARC Linkage project funded by Australian government aims to develop feasible and practical solutions for low-income renters to access solar energy whether they live in private, public or community housing across metropolitan or regional Australia.

The project team will undertake research with 

  • Low income renters 
  • Property owners 
  • Property managers 
  • Solar PV and battery installers 
  • Public housing providers 
  • Community housing organisations  
  • Local government councils  
  • Electricity retailers  
  • Meter providers 

Get involved

The Australian Households and Solar Energy Survey is part of a larger ARC Linkage Project to find solutions for solar energy to reduce household energy bills that do not require a householder to pay upfront costs which are a significant barrier for too many. Solar energy is a key means to reduce household electricity costs. Many Australian households do not have this opportunity.

Participation in the survey is voluntary, all answers are confidential, and it will take about 10 minutes to complete.

If you have any questions, please contact

Thank-you in advance for your assistance with this project to improve energy affordability for all—not just some—Australian households.

Our people

This project is a collaboration between the University of Sydney researchers and industry partners.



Portrait shot of Associate professor Lynne Chester
Associate Professor Lynne Chester
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