We get many inquiries for solar from families or businesses who are in Strata’s. Here is our guide:
We see 3 options for getting solar if you are in a strata:
- Get solar for yourself.
- Help all tenants/owners get their own solar together
- Get a shared solar system
Option 1 – Get Solar for yourself
This is the quickest and “easiest” way. To do this you need to get approval from your strata to install solar on common property. You will also need a design and quote from a solar company to show how much space you need. To do that, click on this link to our Bulk Buy page and register via the Registration Tab: http://sunnyshire.org.au/bulk-buy-3-prices-and-faq/
To get approval from strata, you need a bi-law at your next strata meeting. Luckily I asked my strata manager a few years ago and they had done it before, and send me a bi-law! It is at the bottom of this post.
Option 2 – Get solar together
You could ask the other tenants and owners if they would like to do this together. It sounds like it would save time in getting quotes and doing it in one installation, but in reality it can become like herding cats.
You would need a design and quote from a local solar company (click above link and register). You may decide that you each get equal access to roof space and equal sizes, or that may depend on your budgets. Then each solar system module has its own inverter, and that is wired down to each of your switch boards separately. I don’t know of an example of this in the real world but does not seem impossible.
Option 3 – Shared Solar
Now for some world leading innovation. A challenge with solar is you don’t always use power when the solar system is generating during the daytime, so excess goes to the grid. Solar is so cheap and Feed-in-Tariffs are good, so this is still OK for solar families. Many Sunny Shire families get paid each quarter by their electricity customers as their export credits far exceed their usage costs! But still, there are benefits to using solar directly rather than feeding into the grid.
So, imagine you could have a shared solar on the roof, and it would direct the power to whoever in your building is using the power first, to reduce the cost of usage of 30 c/kWh rather than get feed in tariffs of 10 c/kWh? And you all benefited from this?
Well, a Melbourne Start Up, Allume Energy has created a system that does exactly this. And our trusted local solar companies are familiar with it and can quote it for your strata. If you are interested to hear more, register via our Bulk Buy link above.
But beware, this will take some education and time to get all your strata members interested and up to speed.
Strata Bi Law
Special By-Law No.X – Solar Power System (Lot x)
1. In this by-law: “owner” means the owner for the time being of lot x, and “solar power system” means a photovoltaic array mounted on the roof, its batteries, inverter and all cables forming part of the system.
2. Special Privileges
The owner shall have special privileges in respect of the common property to be occupied by the solar power system for the purpose of installing and keeping it on that common property upon and subject to the conditions set out below.
3. The Conditions Installation of the solar power system
(a) The solar power system must be installed in a proper and workmanlike manner utilising only first quality materials which are good and suitable for the purpose for which they are used.
(b) The solar power system must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
(c) Any holes created or penetrations made in the common property during the installation of the solar power system must be adequately sealed and waterproofed.
(d) The owner must ensure that the solar power system is installed with due diligence and within a reasonable time from the date of commencement.
Noise and Disturbance
(e) The owner must ensure that minimum disturbance is caused to the common property and the owners and occupiers of the strata scheme during the installation and operation of the solar power system.
(f) The solar power system must not have an appearance, when viewed from ground level immediately outside the building and within the boundaries of the strata scheme, that detracts from the appearance of the building.
Costs of the solar power system
(g) The owner must pay all costs associated with the installation of the solar power system.
Compliance with all Laws
(h) The owner must comply with all statutes, by-laws, regulations, rules and other laws for the time being in force and which are applicable to the solar power system and, if required, must obtain the consent of Council to the solar power system.
Maintenance of the solar power system
(i) After completion the owner must, at the owner’s expense, properly maintain and keep in a state of good and serviceable repair the solar power system and any part of the common property occupied by the solar power system and, when necessary, renew or replace any fixtures or fittings comprised in the solar power system or that common property.
(j) Immediately upon completion of the installation of the solar power system the owner must restore all other parts of the common property affected by the installation of the solar power system as nearly as possible to the state which they were in immediately prior to the installation of the solar power system.
Repair of Damage
(k) The owner must, at the owner’s expense, make good any damage to the common property caused as a result of the solar power system no matter when such damage may become evident.
(l) The owners corporation must permit the owner reasonable access through the common property of the strata scheme for herself and her contractors and all their reasonable tools and machinery for the purpose of installing the solar power system and meeting any requirement imposed on the owner by this by-law.
(m) The owner will indemnify and keep indemnified the owners corporation against all actions, proceedings, claims, demands, costs, damages and expenses which may be incurred by or brought or made against the owners corporation arising out of the solar power system or the altered state or use of the common property arising therefrom.
Costs of this By-Law
(n) The owner must pay all of the costs of the owners corporation incurred in connection with the preparation, passing and registration of this by-law and the owners corporation may refuse to execute any document relating to the registration of this by-law until such time as those costs are paid by the owner.
Connection of Utilities
(o) In the event that electrical power, water or any other service is connected to the solar power system and the existing service is separately metered and charged to the account of the owner then the new service shall be installed so as to also be separately metered and charged to the account of the owner.
Breach of this By-Law
(p) If the owner is in breach of any condition of this by-law and fails to rectify that breach within thirty (30) days of service of a written notice from the owners corporation requiring rectification of that breach, then the owners corporation may rectify any such breach and may recover as a debt due from the owner the costs of the rectification together with the expenses of the owners corporation incurred in recovering those costs.