Adelaide is encouraging the installation of solar panels and other efficiency improvements with a scheme that reduces financial barriers for all property owners and residents.

Adelaide Sustainable City Incentives Scheme (SCIS) provides reimbursements to all property owners and tenants for the installation of an extensive range of green improvements, including solar photovoltaic systems, electric vehicle charging points, solar hot water systems, energy use monitoring devices, and rainwater tanks. Additionally, the SCIS also includes Australia’s first solar energy storage incentive, which covers 50% of the installed cost of a storage system, up to $3,750, in addition to $3,750 towards the installation of solar PV. In 2015, the scheme led to the installment and commitment of more than 1 MW of solar PV and 90 kWh capacity of energy storage.

To provide greater funding certainty for property owners and tenants, the SCIS also provides a Pre-installation Commitment, which reserves funding for a period of three months for projects that either require approval by a third party, offer community demonstration potential, engage multiple households, or involve the participation of state benefit recipients, including the elderly, students, or the unemployed.

25% increase in solar PV installations in Adelaide in 2015 because of the SCIS

The challenge

Adelaide’s solar PV uptake has been estimated at 6%, which is much lower than South Australia’s uptake level, 27%. In order to boost homeowners and tenants’ investments in solar equipment, which is central to the city’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025, Adelaide now offers financial incentives to spur residents to reduce their carbon footprint.


Economic In its 2016-17 Integrated Business Plan, Adelaide’s city council committed a further $112,000 to the scheme.

Environmental Based on solar conditions in Adelaide, it is estimated that solar PV installations will generate 1,460 MWh of zero-carbon electricity, and reduce carbon emissions by 978 tons, per year.

Social In addition to the pre-installation commitment, projects involving state benefit recipients are also eligible for higher SCIS rebates.

About Adelaide

Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia, and the fifth-most populous city of Australia. In June 2016, Adelaide had an estimated resident population of 1,326,354.[1] South Australia, with a total of 1.7 million inhabitants, has the most centralised population of any state in Australia, with more than 75 percent of its people living in greater Adelaide, while the other population centres in the state are relatively small. Adelaide ranks highly in terms of liveability, being listed in the Top 10 of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s World’s Most Liveable Cities index in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015. It was also ranked the most liveable city in Australia by the Property Council of Australia in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

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