Forty per cent of solar installs are in rural and regional communities.

29 April 2014 — Low-income families and those in regional areas are more likely to have solar panels, according to a new report from the REC Agents Association.

The findings go against claims that solar is the domain of the rich, and that renewable schemes such as the Renewable Energy Target subsidise the rich to the detriment of the poor.

“Five million Australians have embraced solar because it protects their families from soaring power bills,” said RAA president Ric Brazzale.

“Families living in lower income suburbs are much more likely to install solar than families living in wealthier suburbs. The further you live away from the CBD of a major city, the more likely you are to install solar.”

RAA vice-president Fional O’Hehir said the findings reinforced the importance of the Renewable Energy Target to low-income and rural families.

“Without the RET, lower income households would not be able to reduce their power bills,” Ms O’Hehir said. “The RET helps families with the upfront cost of installing solar.”

Forty per cent of solar installs were in rural and regional communities, despite these communities making up only 32 per cent of Australia’s housing stock.

The five suburbs in Australia (all below State average income) with the largest number of solar systems were:

  • Bundaberg area, Queensland
  • Mandurah area, Western Australia
  • Hervey Bay area, Queensland
  • Werribee area, Victoria
  • Hoppers Crossing area, Victoria

Read the full report.

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