Who Accesses Solar PV?
Energy Justice and Climate Justice in a Local Government Rooftop Solar Programme
Keywords:Energy justice; Energy poverty; Climate justice; Solar PV; Renewable energy.
Certain groups within society, such as the poor, the elderly, and those renting their homes, are at risk of bearing disproportionate costs from the transition to a low-carbon economy. These groups are particularly at risk of energy- and climate-related injustices linked to their ability to purchase sufficient energy (low-carbon or otherwise) or to adequately heat or cool their homes. The Solar Saver programme in Melbourne, Australia, was an early attempt by Darebin City Council, a local government, to address these issues. The programme enables seniors, low-income residents, and tenants in the City of Darebin to install solar PV in their homes at no upfront cost. The system costs are repaid interest-free over 10 years through residents’ council rates. This article assesses the success of the programme in reaching its target audience and achieving justice for participants in 2018 and 2019. We find that local councils are important and trusted delivery agents of household energy programmes. We also find that schemes like Solar Saver must be actively targeted to achieve energy- and climate-justice outcomes for residents who are at risk of energy poverty and disproportionate climate impacts.
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