Western-Australian households are expected to see significant long-term cost savings due to a new solar power purchasing agreement (PPA) that has been developed.

Developed by Yolk Property Group and Infinite Energy, in collaboration with the Department of Communities and Ventura Home Group, the PPA will be implemented in a pilot program at The Amble Estate in Girrawheen. It will be the first time a PPA has been rolled out at a green title residential development in WA. 

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An artist's impression of what The Amble Estate might look like. Image: Supplied

The pilot program will see solar systems installed at no cost on all participating homes in the estate, with the PPA to deliver a net 40 percent saving on daytime solar electricity, offering residents a level of protection from fluctuations in power prices for the length of the 10-year PPA. It could deliver households savings of up to $600 a year, equating to a saving of $6,000 over the life of the agreement.

The PPA aims to reduce the economic burden felt by WA households which looks set to continue for some time, with the Australian Energy Market Commission’s latest Residential Electricity Price Trends Report outlining electricity prices in Western Australia are expected to continue their upward trend.

“This is not a marketing gimmick but a considered long-term solution to address rising household costs associated with the volatile power market. Australians pay the highest rates for residential electricity in the world and this aims to remedy that with a model that can be rolled out nationally,” says director of Yolk Property Group, Tao Bourton.

“The PPA allows residents to take advantage of significant savings on their solar electricity for an entire decade; after that, residents can take ownership of the solar equipment to enjoy free solar power for the life of the equipment, which is over 20 years, delivering cost savings to two generations.”

According to Bourton, there are benefits for residents and developers alike, as purchasers are not required to pay for the installation and running of the solar technology and developers can customise the PPA to create a version that does not affect profits. He says the PPA gives consumers the ability to reduce their carbon footprint without any effort and could considerably reduce carbon emissions long term. Homebuyers also have the option to integrate battery storage and an electric vehicle charger.

The PPA will involve project partner Infinite Energy taking full ownership and maintenance of the solar system on each house. Residents then purchase daytime electricity generated by the solar system at a rate equating to 40 percent less than the Synergy A1 tariff. Any extra electricity the resident uses over and above what their solar system has produced is taken from the grid.

After 10 years, residents will have the option to take ownership of the solar system and from that point on, will not pay anything for solar-generated electricity. The PPA ensures any power consumed by the household during the PPA period will always be 40 percent cheaper than traditional power supplied from the grid.