Northern Beaches Council is aiming to increase the number of homes on the peninsula with solar to 50 per cent by 2030.
Mayor Michael Regan said that currently just over 8,000 homes use the power of the sun, whereas over 60,000 are compatible.
“This equates to only 12.6 per cent of suitable homes that have solar installed on the Northern Beaches. The average for Australia is close to 23 per cent so we can clearly do better,” Mayor Regan said.
“In fact, while Council has endorsed a 50 per cent uptake by 2030 I think as a community we could smash that if we break down some of the barriers our community has identified.
“I’m excited about the next stages of this project which will really focus in on what Council can do to help get more solar on more households.
“We need to raise the profile and cost-effectiveness of solar installation and arm our community with more information so they can make informed decisions.”
Residents were surveyed in May and June to establish the barriers to solar uptake, including those who had recently attended Council solar workshops. More than 540 responses were received.
The main barriers to the installation of solar panels were found to be perceptions of cost and uncertainty of payback periods; perceptions of development controls and policies; a lack of knowledge and understanding about the different systems and technologies; and a lack of confidence in solar power suppliers/installers.
Mayor Regan said Council has looked at the data and as a result have set out a number of strategies to achieve their community target.
- Promoting the NSW State Government interest free loans when activated
- Investigate working with organisations that offer financial options
- Implementing a ‘Simple Solar’ page on Council’s website
- Developing and implementing a tailored solar education and communications plan
- Reviewing current programs to reallocate resources to accelerate solar uptake
- Reviewing the operating model of Council’s environment centres to accelerate solar uptake
- Improving existing development planning checklists and forms and provide ‘user friendly’ information on Council’s webpages
- Advocating for the Clean Energy Council to increase the number of post installation inspections to help improve confidence in the market place