Cairns families are being urged to take advantage of tropical North Queensland’s sunny climate by applying for an interest free loan of up to $4500 from the state government to help purchase a new solar system.

According to Energy Minister Anthony Lynham and Fire and Emergency Services Minister and Member for Barron River Craig Crawford recently did a home visit to a local resident in Redlynch, who had recently installed a solar system under the interest free loan program.

“Melissa has had a 5-kilowatt solar system installed and based on her family’s usage, she will save enough on power costs to cover her solar loan repayments and be up to $550 better off per year,” said Lynham.

“This program is specifically designed for Family Tax Benefit B families to help purchase a solar system with no out-of-pocket expenses or loan interest costs.’’

Crawford said the loans would help Cairns families who couldn’t previously afford solar to join the solar boom and benefit from future savings and cheaper power prices.

“A $4500 loan should cover the cost of a typical 3-kilowatt system, which could save an average household enough to cover their loan repayments and be better off by around $350 a year or around $2450 over the life of the loan,” Crawford said.

“In Cairns around 12,000 homes already have solar systems and are reaping the benefits of lower power bills. The Interest free loans for solar program offers the opportunity for more families to join them.

“We are doing all we can to stabilise power prices and are committed to a price cap that will see power prices not rise above inflation for the next two years.”

Lynham said to be eligible for an interest free loan Queenslanders must meet the Family Tax Benefit B criteria and have spent more than $1000 on their power bill over the past six months, or $2000 over the past 12 months.

“Approximately 10,000 families in Cairns may be eligible for this program, and I strongly encourage them to consider installing a solar system with one of our interest free loans to help reduce their power bills.”