Solar energy system opportunity for leased Council buildings

In partnership with Australian Energy Foundation (AEF) we have been operating an innovative mechanism which provides tenants of Council owned buildings with the opportunity to benefit from cost savings through the installation of solar panels.

We have run the program for five years and were awarded the UNAA World Environment Day Clean Energy award for the program in 2017.

To date over 800 panels have been installed on 15 participating community buildings providing tenants net savings of over $800 on average each year.

Together with AEF, we are excited to continue the program beyond 2020 and invite community groups to register their interest.

How does it work?

We will pay the upfront cost to install a solar energy system and tenants will repay this over an agreed period (usually 7-10 years) using only the savings from the electricity bills.

The repayment charge is structured to be less than the electricity savings, which means as a tenant you will have overall reduced energy costs immediately with no upfront costs.

After the agreed period the charge would cease and tenants would receive 100% of the savings from the solar. We will then continue to operate and maintain the solar energy system with no further obligation to the tenant.

How will the tenant benefit?

  • We arrange site visits and solar quotes for participating community groups.
  • AEF creates an agreement for the group and provides support throughout the process and at meetings as required.
  • Immediate reduction in electricity bills – save hundreds of dollars per year.
  • No need to bear the upfront cost of solar panels, we provide funds at zero interest. Tenants are cash flow positive from day one.
  • Tenants retain the feed-in-tariff (the amount you are paid for selling energy to the grid).
  • Once the solar panels have been paid off, tenants will reap the full savings benefits of having the solar installed – analysis from our test case indicates potential savings of 30% on energy bills.
  • Maintenance of the solar panels is our responsibility for the full lifetime of the system.
  • Reduced environmental impact, contribute to Moreland community’s zero carbon transition

How much is the tenant likely to save?

Savings will vary according to daily consumption and size of the system installed. AEF will undertake financial modelling utilising energy consumption data, potential system size and quotes from suppliers and the environmental charge would be calculated to ensure that the charge is always less than the savings.

Prior to installation, AEF will present the tenant with an agreement to review and sign, which will set out the anticipated savings and repayment schedule. If anticipated savings are not achieved tenants can request a longer repayment period from Council.

Brunswick Bowls Solar

Who chooses the solar suppliers?

Suppliers will be chosen through Council’s procurement process. This will ensure good quality panels are selected from reputable retailers and installers meeting Councils minimum standards. This also saves tenants the headache of chasing quotes and the confusion of different products and offers.

Who owns the solar – and who will maintain it?

We will always own and maintain the solar system removing operational risk from the tenant.

What happens if the tenancy ends before the environmental charge is repaid?

If either the tenant or Council choose not to renew the lease the solar panels will remain on the building and the exiting tenant will not be liable for any future repayments. The environmental charge would be transferred to the new tenant.

Participating community groups

Solar kW

West Coburg Bowls Club


Fawkner Bowls Club


Lake Park Kindergarten


Dawson Street Child Care Cooperative


Denzil Don Kindergarten


North West Brunswick Kindergarten


Barry Beckett Children’s Centre


Shirly Robertson Childcare


Brunswick Bowls Club


Reynard Street Neighbourhood House


Anne Sgro Children's Centre


Coburg Table Tennis Club


Glenroy Bowls Club


Glenroy Neighbourhood Learning Centre


Dunstan Reserve Child Care Centre



For all enquires please contact

Daniel Beaton (he/him/his)
Project Coordinator – Zero Carbon Services
T (03) 9385 8513
M 0468 612 672