With home energy bills continuing to rise every month it can certainly feel like energy bill shock is the new normal in Australia.
The average Australian household is burning energy as the heater warms every room. Unfortunately, our warmer seasons aren’t giving us much reprieve either, with extreme temperatures persisting in eastern Australia.
An ABS update of the consumer price index indicates that over the past 12 months electricity usage has exploded by 17%. Electricity now constitutes 2.5% of household spending, the highest proportion ever recorded.
To put this further into context, as recently as 2005 it accounted for just 1.6% of household expenditure.
These sharp increases are arriving at a time when many energy watchdogs are noting the difficulty Australian families are facing paying their bills and keeping their households connected to the grid.
Unsurprisingly as these bills continue to inflate we are seeing an unprecedented number of solar energy installations. Consumers are taking a more active role in their energy consumption and the result is that solar energy installations have tripled in capacity in 2018, according to data collected by Green Energy Trading.
The nation added just over 3,775 megawatts of PV capacity last year, up to 1,270MW from the year prior.
It is promising to see clean energy emerging as the solution to our exorbitant bills. And some clever consumers have not only made the switch but taken it a step further, installing batteries alongside solar that allows them to cut their power bill to $0.*
This is exactly what Michael Roberts did.
Michael is retired and resides in sunny Maleny, Queensland with his wife. Michael was already an avid supporter of solar energy having installed panels in his previous home.
He spent roughly $450 a quarter on bills for the Sunshine Coast property and knew something needed to be done. Taking his personal interest in technology and natural energy, Michael began looking for the appropriate alternative.
After a recommendation from a friend, Michael had the Redback Smart Hybrid System installed. He had a 3.2kw solar system installed on the roof and batteries connected to store any excess solar captured throughout the day.
By using batteries, any energy Michael doesn’t use during the day can be stored for use later in the day. This is critical as he can lean on this stored energy during peak times in the morning and evening when purchasing electricity from the grid is at its highest.
Because the system also functions as an energy grid, when Michael isn’t using energy in his home, and the battery is full, it sells power back to the energy distributor. In fact, Michael’s first bill since he transitioned to using solar and storage showed he had accumulated a credit of $24.63.
As energy prices show no pace of slowing down, Australian’s should start to play an active role in their own long-term energy usage and switch to solar and storage because the results can be impressive.