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Monday, May 10, 2021

Newcastle slow on solar uptake, report shows

Despite its seemingly endless days of sunshine, new studies show just 8% of Newcastle homes run on solar energy – compared to the national average of 29%.

For many Australian providers, these figures are alarming.

Teho co-founder David Green says the Hunter region is in danger of being left behind when it comes to taking advantage of renewable energy.

“There has been incredible growth in the solar sector in Australia, however when there is incredible growth we also see some regions get left behind,” he said.

“Often, when we see areas with a low uptake of solar it is for two key reasons: accessibility and understanding. 

“In some regional and more rural areas just getting solar can be a challenge due to the lack of choice, then when it is difficult to navigate and understand, we find a lower uptake.”

Teho founders brothers David and Jonathan Green

Mr Green says now is the time for Hunter residents to start researching solar power.

“Rooftop solar has many benefits for households and the community alike,” he said.

“Not only will households see a reduction in power bills over the short and long term, they will enjoy increased bill predictability and help future proof their homes as we shift towards more demand on electricity. Not to mention the positive environmental impact for future generations as we decrease our reliance on coal powered electricity generation.”

A 2020 report by the Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator showed Newcastle has had an 8.1% uptake of solar since 2001.

Recording small-scale installations by postcode across Australia, Mr Green says Novocastrians are missing out on great savings.

“The key benefits of solar fall into two categories,” he said.

 “Financial and environmental.”

“Solar saves you money when you self-consume the electricity generated from your system rather than buying expensive power from the grid. 

“Then, any excess electricity generated gets fed back into the grid and you get paid a feed in tariff, which is a type of credit, applied to your next bill. 

“Some systems can even be cash flow positive from day one of installation.

“The environmental benefits come as any electricity you self-consume or send into the grid is clean, green renewable energy.”

“Solar is generated purely from the sun, so instead of buying off the grid which is still predominantly powered by fossil fuel, you are consuming your own green electricity.”

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