Bodies Corporate and individual residents can reap the savings that comes with installing a solar system. The electricity bills are lower, while being sourced from an environmentally friendly system.
Do your By-laws allow you to install a solar system?
Before committing to a solar system, it is important that you discuss you intention to do so with your Body Corporate, so that you and they are aware if your by-laws include any limitations to you installing solar panels.
A solar system requires a passing of a special resolution as it is a change to the physical structure of the building. If your Body Corporate decide to fund your solar system with a strata loan, a motion will also need to be passed. This can be done at the annual general meeting.
How can your Body Corporate fund a solar system?
Your Body Corporate may have done their research and have decided that solar is the correct choice for your scheme. But how do you fund this? The good news is there are a few different avenues you can go down.
Strata loans are generally worthwhile from a financial perspective due to the energy savings being more than the interest rate on the Strata loan.
Not many schemes choose to pay a special levy as all owners are required to participate.
Another option is to have the energy retailer lease the roof space for a 10-year period from the Strata scheme. This option requires no upfront cost for the solar system however, after the 10-year period the solar system can be transferred to the Body Corporate/Owners Corporation by arrangement with the retailer
Energy companies can finance the solar system. This can be done via a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). This model requires no upfront capital cost. Residents pay for the solar power on a cents per kW hour basis. This is done over the lifespan of the power purchase agreement; this can be up to 10 years.
Trust or special purpose vehicle
If not all owners agree to participate in funding the solar system or receiving the benefits that come with solar, a Strata lawyer can setup a trust or special purpose vehicle to own the solar system.
Does the Government offer any incentives to Strata schemes?
The good news is there are some government incentives available, so it’s important that your Body Corporate have done all their research to ensure the scheme will maximise their benefit from a solar system.
Federal Government – Small Technology Certificates (STC’S)
The STC program is an upfront federal rebate that is available for systems up to 100kW in size. The program reduces the upfront system cost by up to 40% or $70,000 for a 1000kW.
Federal Government – Large-scale Generation Certificates (LCG’s)
Although not many Strata schemes will be able to install over 100kW of solar, the ones that can are eligible for the LCG program. This rebate is not paid upfront and therefore is not as attractive as the STC rebate, the rebate is paid out over a 10-year period.
Queensland State Government – Battery Scheme
In Queensland, the government offers a grant for the installation of batteries of up to $3,000.
If your Body Corporate are considering implementing a solar system but are unsure if it will benefit your scheme, click here to contact Silver Asset Services. We know electricity.