North Coast Community Housing tenants in Goonellabah are the first to receive free solar panels and home energy audits as part of a new solar housing project, Thomas George MP, Member for Lismore announced today

Mr George said the NSW Government has partnered with Byron Bay-based Enova Energy and North Coast Community Housing (NCHH) to make a range of energy efficiency upgrades to 28 housing properties.

“The installation of solar PV systems and associated energy saving measures are expected to cut tenant’s bills by around $420 a year,” Mr George said.

“Many of these tenants are also eligible to claim NSW Government energy rebates and sign up for our appliance replacement offer to help reduce their bills even further.

“The project’s benefits go beyond bill savings; the energy efficiency upgrades will improve household comfort and generate local business and employment opportunities,” Mr George said.

NCCH Property Manager Fiona McConnell added the project is a practical way to help tenants save.

“Our tenants have been really happy not only with the installation process and savings, but also with the conversations that have started,” Ms McConnell said.

“One of our tenants told us their children saw the panels go on and asked about solar, renewable energy and the environment - which has made them more aware of the issue and motivated to learn more,” Ms McConnell said.

Enova Community Ltd Manager Sandi Middleton added many of the tenants could not believe that solar was being installed in their homes with no upfront cost.

“We encourage other providers to get on board and assist tenants, support the environment and start to do things differently,” Ms Middleton said.

This pilot project will also make a significant contribution to the NSW Government’s Energy Efficiency Action Plan’s goal for households and businesses to save 16,000 gigawatt hours of power a year by 2020.

The NSW Government is contributing $70,000 to co-fund the $140,000 program of work and will soon roll it out to NCCH properties in Ballina, Murwillumbah, Byron Bay, Tweed Heads and Grafton.

PICTURE: Tony Pfeiffer – Enova Community, Anne-Marie Poirrier – Office of Environment and Heritage, John McKenna – North Coast Community Housing, Robyn Hordern – North Coast Community Housing, Thomas George – Member for Lismore

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.