A $3,500 cash rebate paid directly into Suncorp Bank customer’s accounts is part of a move to breathe new life into the use of renewable energy in Brisbane’s suburbs.
The rebate ties in to a project being conducted by the University of Queensland (UQ) for Springfield in Brisbane’s west.
Springfield City Group executive GM Dr Richard Eden said the Suncorp rebate and UQ research was part of the work under way to make Greater Springfield Australia’s first zero net energy city by 2038.
“In the short term it makes Greater Springfield a benchmark for clean, green and smart city-building and in the long term it means residents and businesses will be part of a self-sufficient power ecosystem that is exporting energy to our neighbours,” Mr Eden said.
Suncorp executive general manager for lending Glenn Haslam said Queensland was leading the country when it cames to rooftop solar installations.
“Our research told us that the initial investment for solar installation can deter some customers,” he said.
“By helping customers fund the installation of solar panels, we are hoping to alleviate some of the financial strain and fast-track the time it takes to recoup the initial funds outlaid.”
Suncorp Bank customer Tom Styles is among the homeowners who have had a welcome influx of funds for adding solar panels to his roof to offset energy use.
Mr Styles, who built a four-bedroom house in Springfield, said his family opted for a more premium solar system with the rebate factored in. “The rebate was an added bonus because we can reduce our energy bills and our carbon footprint at the same time,” he said.
They went all out on a $70,000 system, with a 25 year warranty on the solar panels, and a 10 year warranty on the inverter.
“We were able to afford a better system,” he said. “During the day solar powers the whole house. I have a pool pump that’s using the power at the moment, as well as the fridge, TV, and so on.”
He said the family saved “$700 to $800 a quarter” on their household energy bills.
“Last quarter we received a $240 cheque from our energy provider for the solar energy we produced. This means we should have our system paid off faster and can start profiting from it or putting that money back into the loan to pay it off quicker.”
Professor Neil Horrocks of the UQ Centre for Energy Data Innovation said the university’s detailed research would identify the benefits to new homeowners of emerging renewable energy technology.
“Energy costs weigh heavily on household budgets particularly for new homeowners struggling to establish themselves. UQ is excited to join with Suncorp and Springfield to identify the wider benefits that this initiative can deliver new households,”
Suncorp’s Greater Springfield solar rebate offer is available immediately until June 30.