AAP FactCheck

Restoring confidence in public statements by independently testing and verifying the facts

Does every second person have a solar panel on their roof?

By Louise Evans

The Statement

“Every second person has solar panels on their roof.”

National Party deputy leader Senator Bridget McKenzie. May 5, 2019.

The Analysis

Victorian senator Bridget McKenzie said ALP leader Bill Shorten should be taken to task for not releasing costings for Labor’s climate change policy. The minister claimed Australians had taken to renewables “with open arms” and her government should be congratulated for its costed climate change policy. [1]

AAP FactCheck examined Senator McKenzie’s claim that every second person has solar panels on their roof.

AAP FactCheck concludes the claim is false.

According to analysis from the government’s Clean Energy Regulator, an independent statutory authority which operates under the environment portfolio, 20 per cent of Australian households had installed rooftop solar as of December 2018. [2]

A December 2018 report from the Clean Energy Council (CEC), the peak clean energy industry body which represents 600 leading renewable energy businesses, stated 20.3 per cent of Australian households had solar panels. [3]

Twenty per cent is one in five households, not “every second person” as the minister stated.

The CEC report said South Australia and Queensland were the two leading states for the highest number with rooftop solar in Australia with around a one in three take-up. South Australia boasted 31 per cent of households while Queensland had 30 per cent. They were followed by Western Australia with 26 per cent, Victoria and NSW on 15 per cent, Tasmania with 14 per cent and the Northern Territory last on 13 per cent. [3] [4]

The top five solar postcodes in Australia are Bundaberg in central Queensland followed by Mandurah in Western Australia, plus three more Queensland towns of Hervey Bay, Caloundra and Toowoomba. [3]

The Verdict

  • False - The checkable claim is false.

The References

1. ‘Chris Kenny on Sunday’, Sky News TV. May 5, 2019: https://twitter.com/SkyNewsAust/status/1124977542912299008

2. ‘Australians install two million solar PV systems’. Clean Energy Regulator. Australian Government. December 7, 2018: http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/RET/Pages/News%20and%20updates/NewsItem.aspx?ListId=19b4efbb-6f5d-4637-94c4-121c1f96fcfe&ItemId=589

3. ‘Number of Australian homes with rooftop solar tops 2 million … and counting’. Clean Energy Council. December 3, 2018: https://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/news/number-of-australian-homes-with-rooftop-solar-tops-2-million-and-counting

4. ‘Six panels a minute: Two million Australian homes now have solar’, by Peter Hannam. Sydney Morning Herald. December 3, 2018: https://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/six-panels-a-minute-two-million-australian-homes-now-have-solar-20181203-p50jtn.html

  • First published May 6, 2019 14:30 AEST