Sunny Savers was an exciting project that trialled the installation of solar panels on public housing properties through close collaboration between QCOSS, Department of Energy and Water Supply, Department of Housing and Public Works, and Ergon Energy. The project aimed to develop and implement a model that enables social housing tenants to access photovoltaic (PV) solar energy generation as a means of reducing the overall cost of their electricity bill. This trial was the first of its kind in Queensland and explored the possible ways that tenants can overcome the upfront barriers of solar installation while accessing the benefits of having a PV system on their homes.
Eligible properties were selected based on their suitability for solar panel installation and location within the network. The trial focused on regional Queensland with two sites based in Cairns and Rockhampton, with a metro trial planned for Logan in early 2018.
In these locations, QCOSS had local teams of Tenant Engagement Officers that worked to liaise, inform and empower eligible tenants. Their role was to support tenants wishing to participate with an opportunity to reduce their electricity costs and access renewable energy technology. QCOSS worked in partnership with the stakeholders to meet with tenants in their homes and at publicly-run information sessions.
These interactions provided a further opportunity to discuss electricity use, energy efficiency, eligibility for rebates and concessions, and other support avenues. The project received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the vast majority of tenants included in the trial.