Do solar panels increase housing rents in Australia?
Greater uptake of solar panels on rental housing would have implications for housing affordability and would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The influence of energy investments on housing values has been widely studied, with past research often finding a positive relationship. However, there is missing knowledge for the specific relationship between solar panels and housing rents. This study finds that Australian renters with solar panels pay approximately A$19 more in weekly housing rents than non-solar renters. The results suggest that landlords have been able to benefit from investments in solar panels through higher rent, with a payback period of around 5 years. The study provides context for policymakers across the world considering subsidies for solar panels on rental housing. The findings are robust across multiple methods including entropy balancing and are based on two large Australian household surveys. Supplemental data for this article is available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/02673037.2021.2004094.
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