Thousands of Australians with solar panels on their roof are bracing for the worst when payments for the clean energy that they feed into the grid stop at the end of the year.
For many families in NSW, the price energy companies pay for their power will drop from 60¢ cents a kilowatt hour to a meagre 5¢ or 9¢.
As calendars flick over to 2017, prices will also dramatically drop in Victoria.
Some bill shock is inevitable, but solar owners shouldn’t despair. With the right information, solar owners can take control of the situation.
For years, we’ve been in the dark about our electricity use.
Power companies have kept a tight grip on the data showing when and how we consume electricity.
This is changing, however, thanks to solar monitoring apps like the Australian-designed Solar Analytics, relaying crucial and timely information about how a solar system is performing and outlining the peaks and troughs in a household’s electricity use.
Information is power. It allows families to shop around to ensure they get the best deal for the electricity they generate.
It can help decide whether it’s better to buy or export power, or if it’s time to upgrade a system or buy a battery.
If you don’t have solar yet and think you’ve missed out, think again.
It’s actually better value to install PV panels on your roof now than it was when energy companies were paying more money for solar.
In 2008, a quality, 3kW system cost $20,000. It will cost you less than $6000 now.
There are big changes ahead for solar owners. Those who do their homework will find plenty of opportunity to stay ahead of the game.
Renate Egan is a director of Solar Analytics and the chairwoman of the Australian PV Institute.