Lighting the way: Mandurah leads WA in solar panel uptake

Mandurah homeowners are shining a light on the importance of renewable energy, with the Peel suburb topping WA in solar panel installations.

Only Bundaberg in Queensland has a higher percentage of uptake Australia-wide, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Mandurah topped the WA list with just under 12,000 homes using solar energy, which amounts to 34 per cent of the total dwellings. 

The second postcode with the most solar encompassed Wanneroo and surrounding suburbs, but had nearly 3000 less installations and 26 per cent of homes using solar energy. 

Curtin University Sustainable Policy Institute doctoral researcher James Eggleston said Mandurah’s solar energy use was well above the national average.

“Across Australia, one in four houses have solar but in Mandurah, more than one third have solar,” he said. 

“In WA, not only does Mandurah have the most number of solar panels, but it also has the highest amount of installed capacity.”

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Mr Eggleston said this represented the amount of electricity each panel could generate.

“If you bought a solar panel four years ago, it’s not that strong,” he said. 

“When a solar panel is put in today, it is much stronger than in the past so sometimes the amount of installed capacity is the best measure.”

We believe that green DNA flows strongly through the veins of the Mandurah community.

Mandurah City chief executive officer Mark Newman

Mr Eggleston said the high number of installations was due to the new residential precincts and did not reflect the region’s political views. 

“A lot of Mandurah is new,” he said. 

“The electorate votes very conservatively. This is not a bone through the nose greenie suburb.

“It’s down to the new builds and people adding $3000 to $5000 to the house loan, and putting solar on top.”

Mandurah City chief executive officer Mark Newman said the city was a “leader” in the adoption of solar. 

“We believe that green DNA flows strongly through the veins of the Mandurah community,” he said. 

“Our research shows that Mandurah people strongly value our environment.

"As a city, we are committed to a sustainable future.

“In 1999 the council joined the Cities for Climate Protection Program, and in 2011 adopted the Corporate Emissions Reduction Strategy.”​