- Tags: Building A Home, Landlords, Property Investment, Property Trends, Top Read
For the first time in Australia there is a technology that opens up the benefits of solar to the tenanted market – introducing Digital Solar by Matter Technology.
WHAT IS IT?
While solar monitoring technologies are in abundance, Digital Solar is currently the only technology in the Australian market that provides Landlords with the ability to make money from solar on their investment properties, by selling solar energy to tenants. Landlords that currently have solar on their tenanted properties have no way of charging tenants for the use of solar power and are providing this energy to their tenants for free. With Digital Solar however, the Landlord can choose how much to charge for the solar energy their tenants use. Landlords benefit from additional income from their properties, tenants benefit from more Landlords installing solar technology and potentially offering discounted day-time energy – in most cases it is a win-win situation.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Digital Solar component is fairly simple in and of itself and is simply installed in the meter box and connected to the internet. The Landlord then chooses a flat rate to charge the tenant which, with greater uptake in the future, may provide a potentially new exciting competitive element to the tenanted market. The Landlord can charge any rate they wish for their solar power, as long as the price does not exceed the current grid electricity price. For example, if the current grid electricity price is 24c / kWh the Landlord can, at maximum, charge 24c / kWh. It is recommended though that Landlords provide tenants with a ‘discount’ to incentivize them to sign up to the scheme, for example, only charging 20c / kWH. Once the Digital Solar component is installed and the rate chosen, a new lease agreement is drawn up for the tenant.
The Digital Solar component remotely monitors both the electricity usage and the solar usage of the tenant, and the tenant is sent a bill from Matter Technology. Matter Technology collects the payment from the tenant, paying the utility company for the tenant’s grid electricity consumptions, and the Landlord or Property Manager for the tenant’s solar consumption.
Another great feature of the technology is that at any time the Landlord can login on their desktop or mobile device to view how much money their solar system is generating, and tenants can login to view their electricity consumption in near real-time.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
From our investigations, the current cost to the Landlord includes the initial layout for the Digital Solar component, which at the time of writing is around $1300 for a single-phase household plus labour. The only additional cost to the Landlord is a monthly fee of $9 per month. Not bad considering a typical household could net $800 or more in additional income for the Landlord per month depending on the size of the property, their tenants daytime electricity usage and the solar energy rate charged.
IS DIGITAL SOLAR RIGHT FOR ME?
That is a question for your authorized Digital Solar installer. Digital Solar is only just breaking into the Queensland market, and currently there are only a handful of authorized installers in South East Queensland.
Before you have a chat with an authorized installer, it would be handy for you to have the following information available so you can get the best possible advice about if and when you should install Digital Solar:
- The size of the solar system on your tenanted property (eg. 5kW) –if you don’t have a system, you’ll need to provide the address of the property so the installer can view your roof and determine what size system will fit
- The size of your property (1, 2, 3+ bedrooms etc.)
- Whether your property uses single phase of three-phase power
- When your current tenant’s lease is due to expire – as your tenants will need to be issued with a new lease and agree to the scheme
- The amount of discount you would consider providing to your tenants
- If possible, a copy of your tenant’s electricity bill which will determine how much day-time electricity they typically use. The higher the tenant’s daytime use, the higher the return
To find out if Digital Solar if right for you, head to http://matter.solar and click on GET STARTED.
by Nikki Tuarau Introducing Digital Solar - Solar Billing for Landlords
palmbeachfn.com.au October 2016
First National Palm Beach
15 Palm Beach Ave Palm Beach, Queensland 4221
Phone: 07 5559 9600