When solar was first introduced in Australia as a viable alternative electricity option the governments were quick to offer incentives. These incentives came in the form of ‘feed-in tariffs’ and ‘rebates’ off the purchase price.
Australia has experienced some of the largest uptake in solar, but now the incentives are going to be reduced. In some instances, they will be substantially reduced.
The changes that are going to have the largest impact is the feed-in tariffs. Many homes that signed up early, received very large amount of money for the electricity they sold back to the grid. In some instances these tariffs were so high that many solar power units were making money for the homeowners!
The high feed-in tariffs are now going, which leaves many homeowners asking what they should be doing now. Not doing anything is really not an option – especially if they live in NSW. It is important that a plan is made and key steps be implemented as soon a possible.
These key steps are as follows:
Step 1 – Use the power generated by you solar power system.
Although this may seem obvious, many homeowners had solar installed but never fully utilized the free power during the day. Items such as hot water units use up to 25% of the homes power. Using a solar powered hot water system (referred to as a ‘heat pump’) can make a huge difference to efficiency of the solar power system.
Step 2 – Reduce your dependency on gas.
Any gas appliance adds cost to the power bills. Using a similar appliance that utilizes solar power instead will reduce the bills. Appliances such as gas heaters can be increase power bills considerably. Warming the home during the day with solar power if far more efficient.
Step 3 – Use a ‘smart meter’ – applicable to NSW homes
Smart meters provide far more options for monitoring your electricity supply. It is important to fully understand all the costs involved in changing to a smart meter. There are many companies offering this service and consumers are advised to read all the fine print prior to purchase.
Step 4 – Get the best electricity price
Homeowners should shop around for the best electricity deal from their grid supplier. There are many electricity companies competing for business. When shopping for the best price take into account all charges within the package. Ensure there are no hidden fees.
Step 5 – Monitor your electricity usage
Knowing exactly how the solar power system is working and what items are using the most power allows the homeowner to be fully informed. A fully informed homeowner can then make the correct decision about when and what sort of solar battery can be installed. Monitoring systems such as carbonTRACK are worthwhile investments.
Step 6 – Consider a solar power storage system.
Installing a battery allows the ability to use the solar power generated during the day at night. This system provides even greater efficiency to the solar powered home.
It is advised that a monitoring system be installed to ensure the homeowner is able to fully understand what sort of battery size is required and what is the battery’s return of investment.
If you need any further information, please call 13 76 52 and speak to one of our solar specialist that will help you.