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From prepaid electricity to solar credits: How one First Nations household is changing the story

Norman Frank Jupurrurla from Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory got rooftop solar on his home, but it wasn't easy.

Because Norman's living in public/social housing which means he doesn't own his home, and because he's on 'prepaid' electricity which can cost up to $40 per day, there were lots of regulatory barriers.

It took Norman and a whole lot of people working with him one year to finally get rooftop solar installed on his home.

With temperatures over 40 degrees celsius every day during summer, Norman and his family can now keep their food and medicines refrigerated and the air-conditioning on so that kids can do their homework, at an affordable price.

And because excess solar from his home is fed into the grid, Norman also earns solar credits.

While nearly 1 in 3 Australian households have rooftop solar, Norman is the first public housing resident in the Northern Territory to have solar panels on his roof.

Norman says, "You don't have to be digging in your pocket, paying for power every day. It's a big difference for me. A new future now."

But, despite Norman getting solar, there are still barriers for other social housing residents living in 'low energy rated' housing wanting to access cheaper more reliable energy.

Thanks to The Project TV for doing this story, and to Norman and his family, Original Power, researchers Thomas Longden and Dr Simon Quilty and others, for showing that rooftop solar benefits First Nations people, just like everyone else.

The regulatory barriers must be removed. Rooftop solar must be rolled out for all social housing residents across Australia, not just made available to homeowners.