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First solar and battery system installed in NSW Govt Empowering Homes program

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The first household in the NSW Government’s Empowering Homes Program has just connected in the Hunter region with a home solar and battery system installed by Natural Solar with more than 300,000 homes expected to follow.

Under the program, households with an annual income up to $180,000 in the Hunter region will be eligible to enter the pilot program and receive an interest-free loan of up to $14,000 for a solar and battery system.

The Wells household became the first household in the Hunter region to benefit from the program.

Customers will still be able to save up to $2000 per year on their energy bills and more than $250 a year back in their pocket after loan repayments.

“In the days since this pilot has launched, we have seen an unprecedented number of consumer enquiries for Hunter residents looking to explore the opportunity of having solar and batteries installed as part of this pilot,” says Chris Williams, CEO & Founder of Natural Solar.

“With many homes in the Hunter having an abundance of roof space, or already with solar panels installed, there is no doubt people are excited by the opportunity to adopt battery power and reap the benefits of the interest free loan, coupled with future savings.”

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation will finance the pilot program and will be administered by RateSetter.

Expected to run for up to 12 months, the pilot will be available for eligible residents in Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Mid-Coast, Muswellbrook, Port Stephen, Singleton and Upper Hunter.

Natural Solar CEO Chris Williams with a Sonnen storage battery

“Over the past four years, the results and success of solar and battery systems in Australia has become increasingly more clear,” Williams said.

We are seeing annual household savings on energy bills of up to $2,000, homes reduce their carbon emissions and a reduced reliance on the grid.

“Our vision is to make solar and battery accessible to every Australian household, and the NSW Government’s Empowering Homes Program will go a long way to achieving this goal for up to 300,000 homeowners across the state.”

Natural Solar, who installed the first Tesla Powerwall worldwide, says there has been a huge surge in enquiries for solar and battery systems since the coronavirus crisis as well as greater interest since the pilot program was announced.

Homeowners in the Hunter can check if they are eligible by checking the Energy Saver website and entering their postcode.

Customers across NSW can register their interest in the wider program which will be rolled out across the state after the pilot is completed.