SA community housing tenants to access cheapest electricity rates through Tesla partnership

Nearly 2000 SA community housing tenants can now tap into the lowest electricity prices through a Tesla-linked virtual power plant, promising significant savings and eco-friendly energy solutions.

In a groundbreaking move, 1750 community housing tenants across Adelaide are about to enjoy the cheapest electricity rates in South Australia. This exciting development comes thanks to a pioneering virtual power plant project spearheaded by Unity Housing and Tesla.

The project represents an expansion of the South Australia Virtual Power Plant (SAVPP), initially launched by Tesla in 2017 for public housing residents. Now, this innovative scheme is being extended to the community housing sector, marking an Australian-first initiative.

Matthew Woodward, the CEO of Unity Housing, hails the project as a game-changer. He explains that eligible tenants will receive free installations of batteries and/or solar panels, empowering them to generate and store their own renewable energy. Any surplus energy will be fed back into the grid, benefiting the wider community.

“This initiative goes beyond mere cost savings,” Woodward emphasises. “It’s about equipping our tenants with the tools they need to live more comfortably, alleviate financial pressures, and enjoy healthier homes, all while contributing to a greener future.”

Nick Champion, the Minister for Housing and Urban Development, has also voiced his enthusiasm for the project, particularly in light of the rising cost of living. “This is a tangible demonstration of our commitment to finding practical solutions that enhance the affordability and quality of life for South Australians facing financial challenges,” he states.

The SAVPP, operated in partnership with Energy Locals, ensures that tenants receive the most competitive energy prices available. Unity Housing tenants are projected to save up to $562 annually, a significant 25% reduction compared to the standard market offer in South Australia. The initiative has already garnered substantial interest, with over 250 tenants, primarily residing in Adelaide’s western suburbs, signing up. More than 150 of these tenants are already reaping the rewards of lower electricity bills thanks to the installation of their new systems.

The positive impact of the SAVPP project extends beyond individual households. Upon completion of installations across all 7,000 sites by the end of 2024, the project is estimated to achieve a combined reduction in CO2-e emissions of approximately 20,825 tonnes per year.

Unity Housing, a leading provider of safe, stable, and sustainable housing, primarily caters to individuals and families who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness, living with disabilities, or facing financial barriers to accessing housing through traditional means.

This strategic partnership between Unity Housing and Tesla marks a significant stride in making renewable energy more accessible to a wider range of South Australians, particularly those within the community housing sector who may be grappling with economic challenges.

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