Go solar for strata

Council is supporting apartments and townhouses (strata) to go solar.

Thank you to the residential strata committees for their interest in going solar. Round 2 entries have now closed.

Residents of the target solar properties (see map) will have received an invitation letter from Council in early September. The successful Round 2 applicants were notified in December 2021.

Next steps for solar for strata participants

For both Round 1 and 2 program participants, we have prepared a next steps FAQ page to answer the common questions covering solar approvals, technical, financial, safety and education queries.

View the Next Steps FAQ page

What's on offer?

If you are a strata resident, committee member, strata manager, building or facilities manager you could be eligible for:

  • A free solar feasibility assessment conducted by independent industry specialists
  • A detailed report which clearly illustrates the environmental and financial case for rooftop solar
  • Phone/online video conferencing support at strata meetings, if requested, to help communicate the benefits

See Terms & Conditions (PDF 121.3KB)

Why strata properties?

Strata buildings in Australia consume 7% of the national electricity grid, which equates to an equivalent spend of $1.7bn on electricity each year. In the Inner West, 44% of homes are apartments.

Traditionally apartments have had a lower uptake of solar at 0.6%, compared to 22% of residential houses. The challenge has been for Owners in strata schemes to identify the best model for solar on their building taking into account the physical characteristics of the building and the desires of Owners in the strata community.

Now, with new solar sharing gateway technology designed specifically for apartments, it’s easier to share solar. Not every lot owner needs to participate, meaning that a shared solar system can be installed just for those who are interested.  

What are the solar options for strata properties?

There are four categories of rooftop solar usage for strata properties:

  • Solar for sole use in common areas
  • Solar for sole use by individual lots ( townhouses)
  • Solar for shared use between common areas and participating apartments
  • Solar for shared use for apartments which operate as an embedded network

Please note that support for properties investigating solar for sole use by individual lots does not include the solar feasibility study of the whole property. For these townhouse properties, assistance will be to educate the property owner about the process (see Wattblock's Solar Education Kit for Individual Apartments and Townhouses (PDF 709.9KB)) and how to apply for Council’s fee free solar quote service. Property owners will need to review their strata scheme to determine what approvals may be required for installation of a solar system on their property.

What is the Go Solar for strata opportunity in the Inner West?

The good news is that preliminary investigations have revealed over 200 great apartment block and mixed use strata buildings in the Inner West across the four categories which would see a payback on a solar system within 5-7 years.

Does my strata property qualify?

There are a number of criteria that will impact the suitability and financial viability of rooftop solar for your apartment building.

  • Building age: properties under ten years of age will have modern electrical switchboards
  • Roof type and aspect: colourbond or steel roofs are ideal, terracotta or concrete tiles and concrete roofs are more complicated
  • Location: the site's orientation will determine the quality of solar access including shading from neighbouring properties or trees
  • Apartment block size: Lower rise properties of up to five stories with a larger usable roof area are ideal over tall towers
  • Building profile: the amount of electricity consumed by the common area for services including air conditioned foyers, lighting, swimming pools, lifts, carpark ventilation

Council has assessed all residential and mixed use commercial / residential strata properties according to the selection criteria.

To see if your strata property is a priority candidate for solar you can:

1. Open the large format map and zoom in to your street to see if your building is there.

Properties marked with a tick are round 1 participants of the Solar for Strata program.

2. Check on the drop down list below:

Strata solar eligibility

If your property qualifies, read more

How can I participate?

By reviewing the selection criteria above and if there is a fit,  completing the registration form below.

All apartment blocks or mixed-use commercial/residential strata schemes are invited to register their interest in getting a solar feasibility study provided by Council. As spaces in the program are limited, a selection process will occur.

What is required of the strata committee?

If selected for inclusion into the program, the strata committee will need to pass a commitment motion and have this formally minuted by the Strata Manager, Chairperson or Secretary to demonstrate that a majority of strata committee members are in favour of participating.

Will we be charged for exporting our excess solar to the grid?

Potentially. From 1 July 2025  a strata committee can choose to either opt into a free export option  (with a lower export threshold)  or choose an unlimited exports most of the time but a network levy at some times when electricity demand is low but solar output is high. .To find out more view the AEMC solar export charge implications factsheet (PDF 428.6KB) 

Resources

View the 2021 solar for strata webinar recording and resources

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Page last updated: 15 Feb 2022