Solar PV and energy poverty in Australia’s low-income and low-wealth households

Crawford School of Public Policy

Event details

PhD Seminar (Econ)

Date & time

Friday 19 February 2021




Mara Hammerle


Ryan Edwards

Recent years have seen increasing policy and research focus placed on the benefits of solar PV for vulnerable households. However, little is known about the quantitative impacts of solar PV for these households, including on their energy expenditures and likelihood of experiencing energy poverty. This paper uses survey data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to conduct a retrospective analysis of solar PV in vulnerable Australian households. The study finds that having solar PV facilitates a reduction in energy expenditures, resulting in lower likelihood of their experiencing energy poverty based on objective indicators that compare household incomes and energy bills. However, solar PV does not have a statistically significant impact on a household’s self-reported difficulty to heat their home or pay their bills on time due to financial constraints. The research provides insights that could inform future policies for solar PV through an improved understanding of their likely impacts.

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