Tarneit residents are proving to be leaders when it comes to installing solar panels.

Almost 7000 Victorian households, including 212 Tarneit homes, have installed solar panels since the state government launched its Solar Homes program in August last year.

Growth suburbs across Melbourne accounted for a big number of solar panel installations, including Clyde North with 161 installations, Craigieburn with 131, Truganina with 123 and Cranbourne East with 98. The Solar Homes program has led to more than $3.4 million in rebates being paid to residents who install solar panels.

Minister for Solar Homes Lily D’Ambrosio the Solar Homes program had proven to be tremendously popular and was helping Victorians to save hundreds of dollars a year on their energy bills.

She said the program provided a rebate of up to $2225 to support households that installed solar panels.

From July 1 this year, Victorians will be able to install a solar panel system for half price and pay the rest of the cost back over a four year period.

Those who purchase solar panels prior to July will be eligible to apply for a rebate.

“We’re also expanding the Solar Homes to include rental properties, hot water systems and battery installations – giving Victorians a fair go and helping the environment,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

She said the government would invest $82 million across 10 years to provide an additional 50,000 rebates for solar panels installed on rental homes.

To be eligible for the rebate and interest-free loans, landlords will need to strike an agreement with their tenants to share installation

Renters will be required to make a 25 per cent contribution toward the cost of installation through a levy on their rent, spread over four years.

Details: solar.vic.gov.au