Don’t be the last house in the street to get solar? In fact so many houses and businesses are starting to get rejected by Australia’s major electricity utilities that customers and solar installers around the country are now asking serious questions. “Australia’s major electricity utilities are acting to brake or even halt the rapid uptake of solar PV – pushing for higher network charges, refusing connections and downsizing rooftop proposals.” (Renew Economy 2013)
Australia’s largest retailers have concerns for their future share prices as solar is taking serious market share throughout the country. Furthermore, retailers are being forced to raise prices rapidly to counter this while trying to make the same profits with fewer customers and less demand for grid power. What email did to Australia Post with stamps and letters, solar is doing to energy retailers. This is why the removal of the carbon tax will not make a difference to the price of electricity.
In North Queensland new solar customers are finding it extremely frustrating, as solar power is the only other choice for an electricity provider outside Ergon. “Only this week we had 5 customers have their solar application size reduced or knocked back completely.” (John Horan, November 2013) The questions being asked by customers is “what other choice do we have”? The monopoly of an electricity provider is leaving North Queensland residents and business owners at an extreme disadvantage.
It is becoming obvious that consumers are finding it cheaper to supply their own energy than to rely on the grid. In the United States the increase in solar installations has been unprecedented over the last two years. For example companies such as Walmart and Ikea are covering every square inch of their buildings with solar panels. Now residential homes are following the same trend.
The companies moving to solar energy is “like a ‘Who’s Who’ of the most successful corporations in America,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “These iconic brands are leading the way.” (Greentech solar 2013) By installing solar to cut their own operating expenses, Resch added, companies benefit both their customers and their shareholders. At the same time, they reduce U.S. dependence on foreign energy sources, help create American jobs, boost the U.S. economy and preserve the environment, he said.
Australia is rapidly following the lead of the United States, where the new wave of no money down and solar leasing is just starting to arrive and will change the face of electricity as we know it today as this will enable everybody to afford solar. This combined with solar and energy storage will be the new norm for all Australians over the next few years. Landlords are also set for disappointment as tenants will be moving out of houses without solar all over the world.
But for now don’t wait until you are the last person on the street to get solar, because you will more than likely get rejected. Put your application in for a solar system as soon as you can to avoid the disappointment.
Founder & Manager of Horan & Bird Energy. Director of Master Electricians Australia. John has played a key entrepreneurial role in the transformation of the Energy Landscape in Queensland having founded Horan & Bird in 2004 and building it to a $35 Million Business. The business was then sold, repurchased and merged with Juice Capital in 2020. Juice Capital own one of the largest renewable energy funds in Australia and allow customers to go solar and batteries for no up front capital through Power Purchase Agreements.