12 February 2023

Solar powered electric appliances 'hot options' as ACT homeowners go green

| Katrina Condie
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Household gas cooktop

Homeowners are swapping gas cooktops for more energy efficient electrical appliances under the ACT Government’s Sustainable Household Scheme. Photo: Katrina Condie.

Climate-conscious Canberrans are taking advantage of the ACT Government’s Sustainable Household Scheme and making the switch to more ecofriendly appliances and energy systems.

Under the scheme, eligible homeowners can borrow up to $15,000 interest-free to purchase energy efficient products such as rooftop solar panels, electric heating and cooling systems, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

National Electrical and Communications Association CEO Oliver Judd says the scheme is “another positive step in the electrification of the economy that is critical to reducing emissions”.

“Households across Canberra are benefitting by adopting solar, battery storage and electric vehicle charging points, as well as other measures that reduce energy use such as energy efficient lighting or heat pumps,” he says.

“This has the dual benefit of reducing emissions and household electricity bills, and is shifting Australia to a more sustainable future.”

Detlev’s electrical services managing director Grae Munro says since the Sustainable Household Scheme was introduced in October he has been swamped with enquiries from Canberrans keen to take up the offer to improve their home’s energy efficiency.

“The interest-free loans are a great way for households to save money on their energy bills straight away and enjoy more environmentally friendly homes,” he says.

“There have been a lot of people going for rooftop solar systems and batteries, but our niche market is installing energy efficient appliances.”

Detlev’s commercial manager Scott Mukojid says people in the ACT are jumping on the program’s bandwagon and doing their bit for the environment.

“The incentives are very hot right now,” he says.

“We’ve been flat out installing a lot of heat pump hot water systems and electric stovetops, which are often the last appliances in the house that people want to replace.

“Getting rid of gas cooktops and gas hot water systems, and replacing them with energy efficient electric appliances will save homeowners money as the electricity cost can be offset by their solar system.

“Because of the rising prices, even just to have a gas connection, everyone is turning to solar and going fully electric.”

Household dryer

The ACT Government’s Sustainable Household Scheme is encouraging people to ditch their old appliances and switch to ecofriendly products. Photo: Katrina Condie.

The Sustainable Household Scheme will run until 2026. Until that time, homeowners can install one product or a bundle of eligible products valued from $2000 to $15,000.

Eligible applicants must attend a free one-hour live online workshop to help them make energy efficiency choices.

The ACT Government has expanded the scheme to include zero-interest loans for the purchase of zero-emission vehicles.

Through phase one of the scheme, more than 2000 households have already applied to have sustainable upgrades installed in their homes with around $20 million in loan applications received so far.

The scheme has also provided a welcome boost to the local industry, with more than 80 per cent of work generated going to ACT and region suppliers.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr says the goal is to support more Canberra households to share in the benefits of a net-zero emissions future, while at the same time creating and protecting local jobs.

“So far the scheme has been a great success and we look forward to seeing more Canberrans support the ACT Government’s efforts to reduce emissions without leaving people behind,” he said.

ACT Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury said transport is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the ACT.

“The addition of zero-emissions vehicles to the Sustainable Household Scheme is another great incentive to support Canberrans to switch to electric vehicles,” he said.

“Many Canberrans want to take action on climate change, and these no-interest loans for zero-emissions vehicles will help people to do this.”

Find out how the Sustainable Household Scheme and the team at Detlev’s electrical services can help you make the switch to greener energy in your home.

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Shame there’s no ACT government incentives or legislation requiring those with rental properties or the body-corporates of apartment blocks to have solar. ACT rental prices are crazy high, but there’s literally no reason for someone to install solar/battery tech in an investment property. I’m sure there’d be plenty of renters who would welcome reduced electricity bills, but with the greed of the rental market any “costs” will be passed on to the tenants.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but you are looking for the Government to provide an incentive or subsidy for landlords, so they can install solar /batteries on investment properties without needing to recover their cost through higher rent and as a bonus, tenants would receive cheaper electricity?

Sad truth is when the Government spends money, someone still pays and mostly it’s in the form of higher Rates and it’s twin sister; Land Tax.
For every $1.00 increase in Rates, there is a $1.50 increase in Land Tax, and so what might seem like cheaper electricity isn’t that cheap when the rent gets increased due to increases in Government taxes.

A large portion of rents in the ACT is due to Government taxes. If I was to rent out our house, the first $145 per week would go towards Government taxes.
(PS I don’t own any investment properties).

“ with the greed of the rental market any “costs” will be passed on to the tenants.”
If the lessor were to install a solar/battery system (a capital cost) then why should they not expect extra rent acccordingly, a return on capital invested?

“ with the greed of the rental market any “costs” will be passed on to the tenants.”
Really?! If a property owner is not recovering costs from the property user (renter), then they are subsidising the renter to live in a property that the owner is paying to provide – I’ll tell you who’s the greedy one: the person who wants to live in a property and expect someone else to subsidise it for them.

If the greedy landlords removed themselves from the market totally, how bad would the rental situation be then? Reality is, if you cant recoup your costs and know your going to get a capital gain eventually, why would you own an investment property. Rents in Canberra a high because of the high rates and land tax which others have mentioned. This Labor government for life is the maker of this problem.

Capital Retro3:16 pm 11 Jan 22

Well, when you get headlines like the one at this link:

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6388167/act-to-phase-out-gas-under-governments-zero-emissions-plan/ what do you expect?

It really has little to do with the “free interest” loans but they are there for the taking so why not?

While the suppliers and installers may be swamped with enquiries to install these “energy efficient items”, people who are already “all-electric” and have (or don’t want) solar have other day to day issues that require electricians to attend.

It has become almost impossible to get a service response in good time to get contractors to attend failed ovens and other electrical appliances that these days, “are built to fail”. The call out costs are outrageous as well. Gas appliances were never as unreliable as electrical ones are these days are.

When idealists get their way, there are usually “unintended consequences” for the rest of us but the tram still looks new, shiny and sexy.

We have quite a large solar system (10kw in panels, 8kw inverter), totally removed gas, changed to RC AC, gas no longer connected. We wanted to get a battery at the time (18 months ago) but the economics were terrible. When the solar provider (a supposedly reputable one) was added to the rebate scheme we got another battery quote – amazingly the net price – AFTER the subsidy was pretty much the same so we didn’t bother. I do wonder if the ACT Government does a “taking the piss” audit of suppliers – as it seems to me that the publicly funded scheme is going straight to the supplier bottom line.

Capital Retro3:21 pm 11 Jan 22

How can you have a 8kw inverter? When I looked at solar a few years ago ActewAGL said 5.5kw was the maximum allowed.

Richard Lewis3:50 pm 11 Jan 22

Definitely can get more than 5.5 nowadays. I just had a 8.2kw inverter installed. It’s doing wonders for me.

Capital Retro5:18 pm 11 Jan 22

Is your export capped and what are they paying you?

All the incentives are for those who live in houses (not apartments where you can’t attach solar panels) and drive expensive cars. Then again, I suppose they’re the highest energy users who need to be convinced to reduce their impact on the environment.

My mother lived in a unit. They did a bulk deal for those interested, to add solar panels to the roof. My mother added solar panels.

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