Residents of a new development in Salisbury, South Australia, will be the first Special Disability Accomodation (SDA) tenants to benefit from a renewable energy scheme.
The scheme, which will help ease power bills for eligible NDIS participants, will be provided by solar and battery installer Natural Solar in partnership with social landlord inhousing.
There is also potential for a wider roll-out in other SDA developments across the country, which would significantly reduce electricity and household costs for residents living with a disability.
Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher said moving to solar makes sense and those living with a disability should also be able to benefit from the lower prices offered by the technology – which will only improve in time.
“With the strong and rising household penetration of solar panels – and with the take up of batteries expected to increase as prices drop – it is clear that household solar systems have an increasing role in helping Australian households to manage energy,” he said.
“Australians with disability should have access to the same energy choices in their homes – and that is why I am pleased to see this example of a Specialist Disability Accommodation development using the latest home solar technology. I have no doubt we will see more of this in the future.”
The solar panels will produce power while the battery will store the excess power produced, giving tenants a choice in how or when they use their stored power.
Chris Williams, CEO and founder of Natural Solar, said the move to battery storage is about helping “those who truly need the support”.
Currently the national annual average cost of power is $2,000 per year. Under the new development, residents will no longer have to pay for power and will instead pay a monthly flat administration fee of $40, saving them up to $1,520 per year, Mr Williams explained.
Power will be guaranteed thanks to each battery retaining a minimum charge of 20 per cent at all times. In the event of a blackout or power outage, backup power will be activated to avoid any possible disruption to residents.
In the initial development, each two bedroom, one bathroom single-storey accessible home will be fitted with a 10kWh Sonnen Battery Eco, including backup power, and a 5.2 kWp solar system with Q-Cell panels.