18 Feb Self Sufficient Homes and Apartments
Taking the politics out of any conversation involving energy and the environment in the context of Australia is always a difficult task. We are blessed with some of the most important and widest ranging endowments of natural resources in the world, from possessing 31% (1st) of the worlds uranium and tallying 32% (1st) of world coal exports, to enjoying the potential to not only supply our entire nation, but also most of Asia with energy from our renewable sources.
We aren’t labelled the sun kissed country for any old reason. One thing however that is becoming increasingly more about economics than ideology is the sheer technological progress and increase in affordability that sustainable energy solutions are becoming, especially in the home.
With the rise of electricity prices being felt across the country, and the falling cost of solar panel technology, Aussies are flocking to solar out of pure economic rationale. 1.8 million homes have rooftop solar, and that number is showing no signs of slowing down across our seaboard.
Up until now renters have always faced the short end of the stick, with what is known as the ‘split incentive’ leading to a lack of investment by landlords. The split incentive is the phenomenon of tenants realising all the gains of an investment in solar panels, while the landlord is stuck with the bill, affecting dramatically the investment decisions by landlords in these forms of technology. Research has shown in recent years that this is a formidable largely untapped market and with the right policy levers and innovative solutions, could unlock opportunities for investors, renters and the environment, a win-win for all.
Options emerging include, peer-to-peer purchasing, solar gardens, split incentives, interest free loans, and council incentives. The current speed of technology and ideas is being felt, especially in the construction and development industry – with those not paying attention about to feel a kick up the backside from these forces of change. At AdeptCo we have begun offering all our purchasers battery packs, unique thermal window options, and hydronic floor heating choices.
However, we are rarely seeing consumers tick all these boxes, purely out of cost considerations. This will change, as it is only a matter of time with the rapidly decreasing price of such technologies along with the changing desires of consumers. A survey in Domain and conducted by Origin Energy found that a majority of tenants in Australia are willing to pay a premium for rental properties with solar energy to reduce bills, 55% even willing to pay $10 a week more in rent for this opportunity.
Such behaviour traits and changes are evidence of the trajectory the industry is heading in. Failure to grasp this and take full advantage of the opportunities presented by it will mean future pain. We are still waiting for that ‘singularity’ point in the development industry though, where these options reach a price point that developers automatically include them in their projects and are competing at all price points competitively and without limitation against those without such items. The moment this change occurs, AdeptCo will be there with the industry leaders, setting the pace and leading by example.