Solar PV in multi-unit dwellings and rental properties

  • Session Topic
    Low Carbon Buildings
    Onsite Renewables
    Solar PV

Solar PV in multi-unit dwellings and rental properties

3 Oct 2018, 3:30 PM - 4:50 PM

Expo Floor Theatre 2
English (Australia)

Chair: Annie Ngo, Senior Consultant, ITP Renewables


Bringing solar energy to Apartments and Shopping Centres

Alexander Marks, Business Development Lead, Allume Energy

Australia’s cities are densifying. In 1991, one in every eight dwellings was an apartment. By 2016, this was down to one in every six. The trend continues with more and more people choosing to live in apartments to be closer to the employment opportunities and lifestyle benefits of the inner city.

At the same time, the electricity sector is transitioning from centralised to distributed. Rooftop solar panels produce 3% of Australia’s electricity. According to credible forecasts, this will soar to over 40% by 2040. Integrating this distributed energy resource into the existing network will require new technologies and business models. 

There are massive opportunities, and some significant obstacles, to extending the benefits of solar and energy storage to the 2.4 million people that live in apartments. With persistently high property prices trapping younger generations in the rental market, it is crucial that any solutions are accessible to this market segment.

Allume Energy is a Melbourne-based start-up that has developed a hardware and software platform for behind-the-meter sharing of solar and energy storage in apartment buildings. This solution can be extended to any multi-tenant building, whether they be residential, retail, offices or mixed use.


Microgrids and Shared Solar - Embedded Networks and Case Study

James Pearce, Managing Director, ENM Solutions Pty Ltd

Consumers are grappling with the rising cost of electricity, the threat of reliability, and the necessity of reducing their carbon footprint. The result is a push towards electricity independence and self-sustainability. 

What if you physically can’t pursue independence and self sustainability? 

Consumers that own or rent a property within a multi-unit dwelling, such as an apartment building or shopping centre, are limited by allocated roof and basement space, if any at all - key to achieving independence and self-sustainability. Initiatives to implement such infrastructure, such as generation, therefore lies solely with the single owner or Owners Corporation/Body Corporate. 

Fortunately, many of these multi-unit dwelling, residential and commercial, have been set up with the preliminary phase of a Microgrid; a private electricity network, known as an Embedded Network, that can facilitate the integration of generation and share the benefit amongst consumers.  


A Microgrid is a contained electricity grid that does not rely entirely on the traditional electricity grid. It has the capability to operate autonomously through the generation (and storage) of electricity, reducing cost, emissions and improving reliability. 

A Microgrid incorporates the elements of an Embedded Network, that includes the regulatory requirements and consumer protections, and takes it a step further to incorporate emerging technologies, such as solar generation, battery storage and Electronic Vehicle (EV) charging. It also looks to incorporate energy efficiencies specifically for the common areas –perceived insignificant as the type of lighting installed and sensor lighting, to managing elevators, HVAC control and heat pumps.

It’s about providing cost effective electricity solutions that maximise the use of renewable energy and enable communities, to either individually or collectively, benefit from the sourcing, storage and supply of a centralised procurement source that delivers to multiple facilities.

Case Study - NSW


We’ll discuss how a Body Corporate in NSW is addressing these issues for their occupiers.


Solar's last frontier: unlocking the solar potential of Australia's rental properties

Dr Bjorn Sturmberg, Founder, SunTenants

The solar revolution has swept across more than 1.8 million Australian roofs, bringing with it cheap clean power for these property's residents. But to date, over a third of Australian roofs have been locked out of accessing solar power because they're rentals. This situation is bad for tenants, who are left paying skyrocketing retail prices; bad for owners, who are foregoing an outstanding way to capitalise on their investment; bad for the solar industry, who can't access over 3 million potential customer; and bad for the planet, as it limits our transition to a low carbon economy. As the energy system shifts to a decentralised network of distributed energy resources, with layers of value adding services built on top of solar, the socio-economic ramifications of excluding a third of Australians from this new energy world becomes ever more severe. We have therefore seen multiple state governments announce initiatives to address this challenge, however these have not created widespread uptake.

Rental properties are the last great frontier for Australia's solar industry, and a major political challenge of our times. They are also a huge opportunity.

SunTenants is a startup that's unlocking the vast solar potential of Australia's rentals by empowering their owners and tenants to derive shared benefits from the installation of solar. While installing solar always creates higher quality, higher capital value properties, SunTenants provides owners with an immediate cashflow benefit through increased rent.

In this presentation we will report on how SunTenants is collaborating with local councils in multiple states, a network company and multiple NGOs to accelerate the uptake of solar on rentals. Together we are bringing the solar revolution to all Australians!


  • Annie Ngo


    Senior Consultant

    ITP Renewables

    Annie has over 12 years of experience in the Australian energy sector in specialist advisory roles to government and industry. In these roles she has...

  • Alexander Marks


    Business Development Lead

    Allume Energy

    Alex Marks is the Business Development Lead for Allume Energy, a Melbourne-based company that believes everyone should have access to affordable...

  • James Pearce


    Managing Director

    ENM Solutions Pty Ltd

    James Pearce is the Managing Director of ENM Solutions and a keen strategist driven by empowering owners and owners corporations to make...

  • Dr Bjorn Sturmberg




    Dr Bjorn Sturmberg is passionate about renewable energy as a force for environmental and social good. He has led innovative project across academia,...

Opening Times
Wed 3 Oct Exhibition 9.00am – 5.00pm
Wed 3 Oct Networking Event 5.00pm - 6.30pm
Thur 4 Oct Exhibition 9.00am – 5.00pm

Registration opens 8.00am

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