More homes in WA than ever before have solar panels and many Synergy customers are enjoying the potential electricity cost savings and environmental benefits of solar power.
The benefits of solar as a renewable energy source are widely known - but the cost of investing in solar can be an obstacle for some WA households. This is one of the reasons the Future Communities Plan pilot was announced by the State Government in July 2020.
How the Future Communities Plan works
1. Eligible customers invited to sign up
Eligible tenants in selected Department of Communities (DoC) accommodation are selected to join the program based on a range of factors including the type of property they rent, the roof structure and orientation, the meter type and how they use electricity.
2. Solar system installed
Participants in the pilot have a rooftop solar system and smart meter installed at their DoC rental property, at no cost to them. The solar system is owned and operated by Synergy however the tenants receive the benefits of having rooftop solar through access to a cheaper rate.
3. Access to a cheaper rate
The Future Communities Plan offers a cheaper rate than the standard Home Plan (A1) for the electricity consumed between 9am and 3pm each day when solar generation is typically highest.
4. Ongoing support
We’re here to help pilot participants find ways they could save on their electricity costs by shifting their electricity consumption to maximise the potential benefits. By shifting the time they use electricity to between 9am and 3pm where possible, they can reduce the size of their electricity bill.
Future Communities Plan pilot FAQs
- Who can sign up for this pilot?
With the Department of Communities, we have determined eligibility for our Future Communities Plan based on property type and location, roof suitability for solar, meter type and customer usage profiles. Participant numbers are limited and only customers who are invited can apply to participate.
- How much could participants potentially save with solar?
Every customer could experience different benefits with solar power, depending on their electricity use, type of system, plan type and other factors.
- Do participants need to change the way they use electricity?
After the solar panels have been installed, participants can use their electricity as usual. To maximise the potential benefits of being in the pilot, they could look at some simple habit swaps such as charging devices or running appliances during the day between 9am and 3pm when the cheaper rate applies.