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Tenants benefit from solar initiative

Few renters would expect their landlord to install solar power for their benefit but SouthEast Housing Cooperative Ltd is doing just that.

Andrew Phillips* is the sole community housing resident in a small block of two-bedroom units in Croydon, yet his is the only home sporting solar panels.

‘My owner occupier neighbours are jealous,’ Andrew says.

Andrew’s home is one of the 162 properties managed by SouthEast that have had solar panels installed with the support of the Victorian Property Fund’s Environmentally Sustainable Housing Funding Round.

Andrew’s panels were installed in August last year and the impact was instant, despite his power company taking until February 2019 to begin crediting him with a feedback tariff for the energy his home was generating in excess of his usage.

‘But I noticed a difference in my bills immediately,’ Andrew says, with his bills dropping from an average of $5 a day to $3 a day.

Andrew says he was pleased SouthEast took advantage of the opportunity to reduce the energy consumption of their properties from an environmental, as well as financial, point of view.

‘I am really happy to be part of the bigger environment picture and I think this is something that should be rolled out to throughout the country.’

SouthEast’s CEO, Steven Morrissey, says his organisation leapt at the opportunity to apply for the VPF funding.

‘Our cooperative is all about housing and helping people on low incomes, and this is another way of making a difference.’

The initiative will reduce the cooperative’s carbon emissions by almost 1,000 tonnes a year and provide savings to the membership of between $118,000 and $202,000 per annum.

Reduce your properties water costs

Community housing organisations have been invited to apply for a retrofit program to improve water efficiency in their housing.

South East Water, City West Water and Yarra Valley Water in partnership  with the Department of Environment,  Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) are behind the Community Housing Retrofit Program (CHRP).

Click here for details on how to apply.