There’s a controversial (read: batshit crazy) proposal in the energy market right now that would see the millions of Australians who invested in solar to reduce energy costs, be hit with a charge to provide power to the grid.
Thanks to a post by the Victorian Minister for Energy, Enviro & Climate Change, & Solar Homes, Lily D’Ambrosio MP, we now know Victorians will not be subject to this madness.
The AEMC referred to is the Australian Energy Markey Commission, which are a statutory body that make the rules for the National Electricity Market. That market is where your energy provider buys and sells power and that includes your solar power, via the Solar Feed-in-tarrifs we have today.
In a recent determination, the AEMC moves to remove a long-standing regulation that preventing energy retailers from charging customers to accept energy from their solar production.
While parts of the grid (i.e. transformers) have needed to be upgraded to support bi-directional power supply, ultimately this distributed growth in generation via household solar, has reduced the capital investment required by wholesaler energy providers.
A new cost to provide power to the grid, would serve as a massive disincentive for new potential solar customers to add solar panels to their roof.
For the half a million home owners that have already added solar, it extends their payback period for the investment.
Another option for solar homes is to add battery storage and save excess energy locally, then use it overnight, or during cloudy times. While home battery storage continues to grow, they do remain expensive, with Tesla’s Powerwall 2, still priced at $12,750 before installation.
Solar Homes Victoria offer rebates of up to $4,174 (920 remaining), for those who haven’t already accessed the Solar Homes program. This rebate would lower the cost to $8,576, while still expensive, it’s much more approachable. If you’ve had you’re solar system for a few years and paid that off, you may now be in a position to look at batteries, so a reduction in prices combined with Government rebates should help battery storage grow in Australia.
With the right mix of battery storage and solar collection, there’s a chance you could reduce your energy cost to $0, but would still need to pay the daily supply charge.