Solar for renters: Investigating investor perspectives of barriers and policies

Mara Hammerle, Lee White, Bjorn Sturmberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems present households with a way to reduce their energy bills, while contributing to a clean energy transition. However, rental properties are considerably less likely to have solar PV. It is unclear whether current policies that focus on reducing upfront costs to installing solar PV address the barriers perceived as most important by property investors. Using a best-worst scaling survey of 931 property investors, we find that investors on average view renters being unwilling to pay higher rents for properties with solar PV equally as important as affordability concerns as barriers to investment. Owners of apartments or townhouses focus on structural barriers. Our discrete choice experiment of 147 property investors shows that policies that spread solar system payments over time and direct feed-in tariff revenue to property investors are not preferred by most owners of fully-detached rental dwellings. We conclude by stressing the importance of policies that reduce information asymmetries from the property investor perspective regarding the value that renters place on PV systems. There is also a need for policies to better address barriers faced by owners of apartments and townhouses.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnergy Policy
    Publication statusPublished - 2023


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