The NSW Government has launched the Empowering Homes program, where homeowners in the Hunter region will be able to access interest-free solar battery loans as part of the program’s pilot. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation will provide finance for the pilot which will be administered by delivery partner Plenti.
The program will run as a pilot for up to 12 months and will then be rolled out statewide to provide the solar battery loan offer to up to 300,000 NSW homeowners. The program provides interest-free loans of:
- up to $14,000 for a solar battery system; or
- up to $9,000 for the addition of a battery to an existing solar system.
The offer is available to owner-occupiers with an annual household income of up to $180,000 and who live in eligible postcodes in the areas of Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Mid-Coast, Muswellbrook, Port Stephens, Singleton and Upper Hunter.
As the delivery partner for the pilot, Plenti will facilitate the interest-free loans to program participants, collecting scheduled monthly payments from borrowers and engaging with homeowners on the details of their eligibility and involvement in the scheme. The Government estimates that households using more than 6,000kWh* of electricity a year could save over $250 each year while the loan is repaid.
Plenti CEO Daniel Foggo said, “We are delighted to deliver this important NSW Government program to the Hunter region. Through our partnership with the South Australian Government as the sole administrator SA home battery scheme, we have administered over 4,000 solar battery subsidies. We’re bringing that expertise to the delivery of this outstanding program in NSW.”
“Since the outset of our renewable energy lending business, we have observed increased consumer demand for solar power. However, consumers often balk at the upfront costs. This program goes a long way to remove financial barriers associated with renewable energy and to empower homeowners to save more on their electricity bills. The Empowering Homes program is foundational to the state’s clean energy future. We are proud to get behind the program and do all we can at this critical pilot stage,” Mr Foggo said.
NSW Minister for Energy Matthew Kean said the pilot will reduce energy bills and deliver energy independence for eligible customers. “Eligible Hunter residents will have an early opportunity to unlock the saving and sustainability benefits offered by solar battery systems by taking out a loan to purchase them interest-free.”
“The Empowering Homes program will help create jobs, reduce emissions, increase system security and reliability, and place downward pressure on energy costs for everyone,” Mr Kean said.
Plenti is on track to become Australia’s leading provider of renewable energy finance. Through its renewable energy lending markets, Plenti provides affordable finance options to Australian homeowners and businesses for the purchase of batteries and solar storage systems. Plenti has financed over 6,900 renewable energy loans, and nearly $65 million worth of loans originated.
*Average annual household energy consumption in a household with four occupants in Cessnock is equal to 6,632 kWh, according to the Australian Energy Regulator.
^Plenti was known as RateSetter prior to August 2020.