June 25, 2012
The Clean Energy Council has reminded consumers to take care when purchasing a solar power system, following a recent spike in interest driven by a reduction in Federal Government support from 1 July.
Clean Energy Council acting Chief Executive Kane Thornton said solar power systems were a great way to reduce household power bills, but urged consumers to do their homework.
“The Clean Energy Council has developed a comprehensive guide for people who are interested in going solar, to make sure they ask the right questions and buy a system that is right for them. It’s free and you can download it from www.solaraccreditation.com.au,” Mr Thornton said.
“Solar companies will be advertising ahead of the drop in the Solar Credits scheme from July, and it’s important that people go into any major purchase with their eyes open. Support under the Solar Credits scheme will be reduced by a third as of 1 July this year.”
The Clean Energy Council recommends that consumers follow these top 10 tips when buying a solar power system:
1. Be an informed consumer.
Research your options, be clear on your needs and compare quotes.
2. Know your daily electricity consumption.
By understanding what you use, you can assess how much you would like your solar system to generate, depending on your budget.
3. Get an estimate of how much energy your system will generate.
Your contract should include an estimate of the average daily output of your system in kilowatt-hours (based on where you live and the size and position of your system).
4. Check with your electricity retailer.
Never purchase a solar system without knowing what rate you will be paid for the electricity you generate and whether this will affect any hourly rates in your electricity bill.
5. Always use a Clean Energy Council Accredited Installer.
You can check your installer is accredited at www.solaraccreditation.com.au
6. Avoid signing up on the spot.
You should not feel pressured to sign a contract on the spot. Take the time to understand up-front costs, warranties and pay back of your solar PV system.
7. Use products that meet Australian standards.
Your installer must provide proof the panels and inverters meet the standards. You can also check the product list at www.solaraccreditation.com.au
8. Check the conditions of product warranties and work guarantees.
Know who is providing the warranty (manufacturer or importer) and how long it lasts.
9. Keep the documentation.
A copy of your contract is necessary to resolve any disputes down the track.
10. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Visit www.solaraccreditation.com.au/consumers/consumerguide.html for a copy of the Clean Energy Council’s Consumer Guide to Buying Household Solar Panels.
The Clean Energy Council has also addressed some myths about solar energy through its new Solar Myths and Facts info sheet – click here.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981.
June 22, 2012
The Australian solar industry has welcomed the Energy Minister Martin Ferguson’s recognition that solar has delivered a cost and demand benefit for all electricity users.
AuSES again calls on State Governments and power companies to explain why householders were being hit with electricity price hikes when the cost of wholesale electricity is down by 50% and demand down by 5%.
The Australian Solar Energy Society’s Chief Executive John Grimes said householders have a right to know why their bills are going up when the price of electricity is going down.
“We are hearing a lot about the need to spend $100 billion on the grid, but not much detail on what we are getting for this money.”
“The current plans are to rebuild and extend what we have now, a horse and buggy era grid, when we should be creating a new smart grid that will better accommodate clean energy sources and take us into the next 100 years”, said Grimes.
“Householders have a right to know that their money is building a grid that will bring down the price of electricity, not keep throwing money at a grid that rewards waste, does not encourage energy efficiency and where the power companies boost their profits by building gold plated infrastructure. The incentives are all wrong, and there has been no debate.”
In a speech to the CEDA State of the Nation Conference in Canberra yesterday, Energy Minister Martin Ferguson said forecasts of electricity demand had been revised down 5 per cent across the National Energy Market and growth in demand was not expected to resume in the years ahead.
Minister Ferguson said: “The lower electricity demand was being driven by a number of factors including the uptake of rooftop solar power reducing the network load.”
“This trend is suppressing wholesale electricity prices which, roughly speaking, are around half of what they were five years ago,” Mr Ferguson said.
“It is time to get the incentives right, and celebrate this success. We should have abundant clean electrons, at the lowest price, at the centre of our planning process” Mr Grimes said.
October 18, 2011
Even with significant over-estimation of the cost of renewable energy, a new report by the Energy Users Association of Australia (EUAA) still shows the cost has been modest, according to the Clean Energy Council. Read more
May 17, 2011
Rally tomorrow in Bellingen at 12 midday in front of Bellingen Council Chambers – bring banners.
Act Now against changes to Solar Bonus Scheme - Stand up for this or fall for anything! - Read more >>
Please do what you can to help spark the outcry by emailing politicians (sample text below), and get active on facebook and twitter.
Join Facebook Pages: like: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rally-for-Solar/211096198921304
Vote for each of these: (these links are inactive now)
Getup Campaign to stop the NSW Liberal Government from retrospectively changing Green/Solar based legislation
GetUp Campaign – oppose the NSW Government slashing the solar energy tariff
Sign this online petition: http://www.feedintariff.com.au/results.php
Email and call your political representatives, especially those who hold balance of power:
the NSW Nationals, Fishers & Shooters Party, and Christian Democratic Party – contact details below
Andrew Stoner (Deputy Premier) firstname.lastname@example.org
Shooters and Fishers Party
Robert Borsak (S&FP) email@example.com
Robert Brown (S&FP) firstname.lastname@example.org
Christian Democratic Party
Fred Nile (CDP) F.Nile@parliament.nsw.gov.au;
Paul Green (CDP) email@example.com
Here is some sample text prepared by AuSES
I am deeply concerned about the NSW decision to tear up the feed in contract the NSW Government has with the people of NSW.
I made an investment decision based on the rules laid out by the government. Now I am going to be punished for following the rules.
I am not alone. Over 120,000 households and businesses have invested large sums ($3,500 to $75,000) based on this legally binding promise, including a substantial amount in regional NSW.
Changing the rules retrospectively like this goes against the rule of law and fatally undermines public trust in government.
You need to act to restore fairness in NSW and protect the reputation of the state as a safe, stable place to invest and do business.
Do not allow this change to be made.
Vote no to retrospective cuts to solar, and yes to an immediate a 1:1 feed in tariff in NSW.
May 5, 2011
The Federal Government announced today that the Solar Credits Scheme multiplier will be reduced from 5 credits to 3 as of the 1st of July 2011. At the STC clearing house rate of $40, this will reduce the rebate on 1.5kW system by $2480! Read more
April 29, 2011
The NSW government has suspended the state’s Solar Bonus Scheme describing it as a “black hole” in need of a plug. The coalition government has put a two-month hold on the scheme that has been plagued by rolling cost blowouts, resulting in higher electricity prices and soaring budget deficits. Read more