Solar Power Update
At the stroke of midnight on 31st December this year the very generous NSW feed-in tariff will come to an abrupt halt. Created to spur the installation of solar PV systems and interest in renewable energy the scheme was very successful and it could be argued was overly generous.
Most solar participants purchased small systems ranging from 1 kW to 2 kW. Those who spotted an opportunity installed larger systems and there are many systems 10 kW or larger dotted around the shire. The key change that will happen is the shift from “gross” to “net” metering. In reality the change is basically an accounting change and does nothing to change the way energy flows within the home or business.
Key steps to take are first to make contact with your retailer and ask them what their offer is after December. Most will be installing the more expensive “smart meters” for free. For those who are curious the meter has an inbuilt GSM modem which sends packets of data for a few seconds every four hours, this data is collected by your retailer and you should have access to the data with a short delay to get some understanding of your usage.
AGL and Origin are still offering “free” meters and as far as we know there are no hidden or ongoing charges if you choose to have one of these meters installed. Be aware about 146,000 other businesses and households are in the same situation so ensure you get some clarity on when your meter can be installed. The smart meters that are being installed by some retailers are able to continue measuring your production in a gross fashion and are able to be remotely switched when the scheme ends at the end of this year.
Smaller retailers such as Enova based in Byron Bay are offering meters for a small ongoing charge so worth looking at their website or giving them a call for more information. Enova is also able to offer a “dumb” meter which will not be moving data and will need to be read by a meter reader in the way most meters are currently read. This system will be preferable to those consumers who have an issue with EMF (Electro Magnetic Field). Other small retailers such as Powershop and Mojo are also offering deals on meters so if you are shopping around for a provider it is worth looking at their offers.
In regards to electricity usage, once your new meter is installed the most important change to make is to use electricity during the day when possible. Sunny days are better than cloudy days to do this. Another change to consider is moving hot water heating time to during the day, which can be installed at reasonable cost.
Next month we will look at what to do with your existing system, options for expansion and what to think about if battery installation seems attractive for your situation.
This article was supplied to BPS by local solar installer Juno Energy. For more info please contact email@example.com