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Sunny Savers trial

We’ve partnered with the Queensland Government to install solar PV systems on public housing properties to help tenants save on their electricity bills.

Invitations to join the program in Cairns and Rockhampton have now closed.

Trial participants receive:

  • A solar PV system installed with no upfront cost
  • Lower electricity bills by paying just 19c per kWh for electricity used from solar PV systems
  • Online energy monitoring with HomeSmart to view savings with solar and track energy use
  • Help with budgeting with monthly bills, making them easier to manage.

This trial supports the Queensland Government’s commitment to install solar panels on one million rooftops in Queensland by 2020.

Further information

Read your Market Retail Contract Terms (PDF 57.3 kb) for Grid and Solar Supply.

Register for online energy monitoring with HomeSmart.

Check if you’re eligible for any additional rebates or concessions.

Find out how to stay safe if your solar PV system is damaged by storms, cyclones or floods.

Get help to pay your bills with our Customer Assist program.

Know how to understand your bills (PDF 213.3 kb) with solar usage charges.

Solar PV system information (PDF 42.8 kb) for non-participating tenants with a Sunny Savers solar PV system.

Frequently asked questions

About the trial

What are the conditions of the pilot (length of offer, length of pilot)?

For your solar power purchase agreement (SPPA) to remain active, the electricity account in your name needs to be active at your current address. The partnership between the Queensland Government and Ergon Energy to provide the solar PV systems for eligible properties is a long term one.

Does this change my tenancy agreement?

No. The terms of your current tenancy agreement will remain the same.

Who owns the solar PV system?

Ergon Energy owns the solar PV system.

Who’s paying for it? How much will it cost me upfront?

Ergon Energy is paying for the solar PV system and its installation. There are no upfront costs for you. You use the solar energy and pay Ergon Energy for what you use, at a lower rate than the general use tariff.

I have maintenance issues in my house, why is the government giving me solar instead of addressing those issues?

You can contact the Department of Housing and Public Works to discuss maintenance issues with your property on 1800 808 107.

What’s in it for me?

How much will I save?

You’ll save on each kilowatt hour that you use. The actual amount you save depends on your many factors including electricity usage - there is no guarantee exactly how much you will save.

Friend/family doesn’t pay anything and they have solar panels. Why am I paying anything?

We can’t comment on the arrangement that your friend/family has set up. You’re paying a lower rate for the solar energy you use, and are not paying thousands of dollars up front to have solar on the roof.

Am I guaranteed to save money? What if I don’t save?

The electricity you use during the day from the solar PV system is charged at a cheaper rate than what you currently pay. As a part of the Sunny Savers trial you’ll have access to our HomeSmart online portal that allows you to view how much you are saving with your solar panels and set and track your budget.

Your solar power purchase agreement

What happens when prices change, will the price I pay now for solar change as well? Is it likely to increase over time and by how much?

Your solar power purchase agreement (SPPA) rate will remain at 19 cents per kilowatt hour over time.

What happens if I move?

When you move, you’ll need to close your Ergon Energy Retail electricity account which will automatically close your SPPA. The solar PV system remains at the house ready for the next tenant to take up a new agreement.

Can I take the solar panels with me if I move?

No. The solar PV system is the property of Ergon Energy and remains at the house ready for the next tenant to take up a new agreement.

How long is the agreement for?

Your agreement will be in place until you stop being the electricity account holder or (if you are not the tenant) the tenant moves or withdraws their consent to the Agreement. The agreement will end on termination of the agreement between Ergon and the Queensland Government about the sale of solar energy at your address.

What happens if I change my mind after I have signed up? Who do I contact?

You have 10 business days from when you agreed to your SPPA to change your mind.  If you change your mind within this timeframe, you simply need to contact Ergon Energy Retail and advise that you no longer wish to proceed. This can be done by phone 13 10 46 or via email sunnysavers@ergon.com.au.

Electricity account changes

What will happen to my Clean Energy subscriptions?

Ergon Energy’s Clean Energy subscriptions will be charged per bill. You can change these contributions at any time by calling Ergon Energy Retail on 13 10 46.

What will happen to my Royal Flying Doctors Scheme contributions?

Ergon Energy Retail’s Royal Flying Doctors Scheme contributions will be charged per bill. You can change these contributions at any time by calling Ergon Energy Retail on 13 10 46.

How do I pay for this?

The cost of both the electricity you use from the solar PV system, and the electricity you use from the grid, will show on your electricity bill, which you’ll continue to pay in the same way as you do now.

You can choose from a range of convenient ways to pay. Visit our payment options for more information or call Ergon Energy Retail on 13 10 46.

Do I have to receive my bills electronically?

No, the choice is yours.

Will there be additional charges for paying monthly rather than quarterly? Do I have a choice?

There are no extra charges for monthly billing. You have a choice to switch to quarterly billing if it suits you better, however monthly billing means you receive smaller, more manageable bills around the same time each month. To switch, call Ergon Energy on 13 10 46.

Getting the most out of your solar

Is there anything in particular I can do to ensure that my bill decreases? Do I have to change when I use my power?

There are things you can do that may assist to decrease your bill. Remember to sign up for HomeSmart which allows you to set a monthly budget and receive notifications if it looks like you’re about to exceed it.

Now that you have solar, remember to run larger appliances like dishwashers, washers and dryers during the day when your solar is generating the most energy - normally between 10am and 3pm.

Read more tips on running appliances.

My friend has solar and they get paid a credit each quarter. Can I earn money from this?

This trial allows you to pay less for the solar energy you use, and not pay thousands of dollars up front to have solar on the roof. You will not own the solar PV system.

Faults and maintenance

What if I lose power or there's a fault with my solar PV system?

For faults or loss of supply call 13 22 96.

For life threatening emergencies only call triple zero (000) or 13 16 70.

Both services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Find out what you can do to prepare for a severe weather event.

Do I have to keep the solar panels clean or will someone need to attend regularly to clean the panels or check that it's working properly (how often)?

Ergon Energy will also be monitoring your system to ensure it is performing within standard parameters.

If you have noticed a large amount of dirt build up on the panels, do not try and clean them yourself, instead call 13 10 46 and a trained technician will come over and inspect the panels and clean if required.

If you feel your solar PV system is not performing correctly, call 13 10 46 and Ergon Energy’s trained staff will investigate.

How will I know the contractor is genuine?

Ergon Energy contractors carry identification which they will present upon request.

What happens if it rains a lot, or we have lots of cloudy days? Will I have to pay more?

In Queensland we are fortunate to have many days of sunshine, which means there should be plenty of opportunity to get the benefit out of having a solar PV system at your property by saving on your bills.

On cloudy or rainy days your solar PV system will not produce as much energy as it would on sunny days. On these days, most of the electricity you use is likely to be supplied from the grid.

What happens if my friend/family member/neighbour damages my panels?    

For faults or loss of supply call 13 22 96.

For life threatening emergencies only call triple zero (000) or 13 16 70.

Both services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you notice damage to your solar PV system or meter please report it immediately to Ergon Energy on 13 22 96 (operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). You will not have access to cheaper solar power until your solar PV system or meter is repaired.  Do not attempt repairs to your system or meter. Attempts to bypass, tamper or repair your solar PV system or meter could cause serious injury or death from electric shock.

Your obligations regarding the care of your solar system and meter are explained in your solar power purchase agreement (SPPA).

Please report any damage to the property to the Department of Housing and Public Works.

To find out more visit the Queensland Government website at qld.gov.au/solartrial or call 1800 808 107.