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Victoria has opened up an existing rebate for energy-efficient heating and cooling units to give landlords of residential properties access.
The scheme was first introduced earlier in the year for community housing organisations and expanded to owner-occupiers in August. Now, rental providers have access to $1,000 rebates from Solar Victoria to install energy-efficient reverse-cycle air conditioners in their investment properties.
The move comes after occupiers and owners alike asked that the scheme be expanded to the rental market.
“We’ve heard the message from renters and rental providers loud and clear – that’s why we have expanded access to these rebates,” said Minister for Solar Homes Lily D’Ambrosio.
To be eligible, a landlord must own a rental property that is either earning $500 or less in weekly rent, occupied by renters holding a valid concession card or with a combined household income below $90,000. If the rental property is vacant, the potential rent must be $500 per week or less.
An additional $200 rebate is available to cap old gas heaters, along with $500 to upgrade an electrical switchboard if the property requires it.
New regulations that came into effect for new or renewed rental agreements in March of this year set standards for energy-efficient heating. The government expects the rebate to be widely taken up, with landlords doing their part to meet the new requirements.
The program, which has already reached 3,300 Victorian homes, is estimated to reduce the average person’s power bill by $300 annually.
Ms D’Ambrosio said that the ultimate aim was to provide comfortable homes where residents could keep warm in winter or cool in summer without worrying about exorbitant costs.
“This program will not only help those who would otherwise struggle to afford a new heating and cooling system, it will also help Victoria reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and make our homes more resilient to climate change.”