Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular in Australia due to more affordable solutions being developed and savings on utility bills becoming more evident. At the moment, Australian home owners with solar panels installed on their roofs can export energy back to the grid and earn solar feed in tariffs from the Government. However, recent proposals to the national electricity market may reverse this situation, and charge home owners a fee for exporting solar energy back to the grid when there is an excess of power available.
The changes were proposed due to recent “traffic jams” in the system during sunny times which have destabilised the network. “Traffic jams” are a result of huge transformations to traditional energy structures that were designed to flow power from large generators to homes, not the other way around. The proposed changes will supposedly allow for a greater number of solar homes to be connected to the grid and will make the system fairer for all.
Under the utilitarian changes, a household with one or more solar panels and a solar battery (between 4 and 6 kWs) could still save $900 per year on electricity costs, only $70 less than they are currently saving. Furthermore, the changes would reduce bills for the 80% of households without solar because they would no longer be required to pay fees associated with solar export services they are not using.
The electricity sector will become decarbonised faster and more affordably if more small solar customers are wired up to the grid. About 20% of homes have solar panels installed on their roofs, which is up 0.2% from 2007.
The move by the Australian Energy Market Commission has been opposed by some groups concerned about the necessity of paying for more solar electricity than they expected when they first installed rooftop solar equipment. Consumer groups such as Solar Citizens have said that the move by the regulatory body would make it less appealing for homes without solar to invest in the technology.
Alternatives to the Government ploy would include blocking transmission of solar energy back to the grid when the grid is overloaded. However, this would require expensive infrastructure. What would be even more expensive is installing infrastructure like poles and wires to allow greater solar traffic overall.
The body responsible for the proposed changes have proposed free export of solar energy to the grid up to a certain level, or a paid premium model that would guarantee consumers get paid for export during busy times.
If you are looking to install solar photovoltaic panels and/or solar batteries at your property, contact Essential NRG today. We supply and install solar panels all over Sydney and ensure you won’t get stung financially on our supply and installation costs. Contact us Monday to Friday, 7:00am to 4:00pm on 0409 381 978. We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have about solar feed in tariffs before proceeding to provide a quote and install your photovoltaic panels in a fast and affordable fashion.