Another election has come and gone and the country has chosen to keep the Coalition in the driver’s seat for the next three years. So now that it’s settled, what does that mean for solar households across the country? Let’s take a look at the Government’s energy policy.
A plan to bring down power bills
Every Australian household has been feeling the pinch of rising electricity bills in recent times, so the Coalition asked the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) to develop Default Market Offer (DMO) prices. This involves replacing the power companies’ “standing” offers with this “default” offer set by the AER.
This will essentially serve as a price cap on electricity for customers that have remained with the same power company for an extended period, ensuring they’re not moved onto expensive standing offers once the original deal they signed up to has ended.
However, critics say it could restrict competition in the market, therefore limiting the ability of smaller power companies to compete against the big ones.
What about investment in renewable energy like solar power?
While there haven’t been any explicit mentions of solar power by the Government, they have set an Emissions Reduction Target of 26-28% (Labor’s target was 45%).
They have also come out in support of two significant energy projects:
- The Adani coal mine in Queensland
- An expansion of the Snowy Hydro Plant, dubbed Snowy 2.0.
Also supported by Labor, Snowy 2.0 is essentially a huge battery. It’s a complex and expensive feat of engineering but could eventually mean cheap, renewable, reliable baseload power for the East Coast.
Will they provide a solar power or battery rebate?
The Government hasn’t announced any plans for solar panel or battery rebates. However, to assist lower income earners with their electricity bills they have proposed a one-off support payment of $75-$125 for aged pensioners, people on the Disability Support Pension, veterans, carers and single parents.
What does this all mean for me?
Nearly 90% of Australians support a greater investment in renewable energy, and the Government has limited plans to address this. So what can you do?
If you are one of the 90% of people who want to support renewable energy, and you want to bring down your electricity prices at the same time, the best way to do this immediately is to invest in solar panels.
And if you’ve got solar already, why not consider a battery? A battery can take the utilisation of your solar power from around 20% to upwards of 80%. This means you’re locking in a big chunk of your power supply for the next 10 years, and you don’t have to worry so much about price.
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