A group of apartment owners in Downer had almost given up on the idea of installing solar panels at their complex, finding it too costly and difficult to work out a fair system. But the launch of a new government scheme came at the perfect time and now residents are hoping for a "very generous discount" on their energy bills. The ACT government has opened registrations for its $3.6 million solar for apartments scheme. Co-funded by the ACT and federal governments, the program offers owners corporations up to $100,000 in grant funds and access to a no-interest loan to install rooftop solar panels. To be eligible, the apartment complex must be a class A unit plan, be a completed development and all residents must benefit from the solar installation. The ACT government said the program could offer a 35 per cent reduction in electricity bills for people living in apartments, including renters. Isabel Mudford is one of 10 owners at the Downer apartment complex, who have already submitted an application for the scheme through their owners corporation. One of the challenges the group had faced in trying to install solar in the past was the varying financial situations the owners were in. Ms Mudford said the ability for the owners corporation to take on an interest-free loan makes it accessible for everyone "regardless of their financial position". "It just makes it so much more affordable for everybody," she said. If successful, the owners corporation will get 50 per cent of the installation covered by grant funding and the other 50 per cent funded by a zero-interest loan that they will need to pay back. Owners at the Downer complex were quoted about $10,000 per apartment to set up the solar system. Taking the grant funds into consideration, it works out to cost each owner $10 per week for 10 years, Ms Mudford said. Based on quotes the owners corporation had received, they expected "a fair whack" off their quarterly energy bill and, at times, the entire bill covered depending on usage. But it's not just a cost saving exercise for Ms Mudford. "It's a wonderful opportunity to create renewable energy," she said. "It feels like a win-win." The announcement of the scheme has also boosted businesses like Allume, which manufactures hardware that allows apartments to share in a single rooftop system. Allume CEO Cameron Knox said the ACT was leading the way with the scheme, which "reduces any barrier to entry for owners corporations". The downside was the scheme was only open to 2100 households or, depending on the size of the complexes, 100 to 200 apartment buildings, Mr Knox said. His business had already received more than 100 inquiries from Canberra apartment owners since the scheme was announced in June. "Hopefully if we can demonstrate the impact, both environmental and financial, then there will be scope to increase [the scheme] over time, but there's no guarantee of that at this stage," Mr Knox said. In announcing the opening of the program, Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury said apartment residents could look forward to "cheap, clean solar energy". "Most people living in apartments so far haven't been able to access the benefits of solar power and this program will help to change that," he said.