The amount of energy that reaches Earth from the Sun on a daily basis is enough to meet the energy needs of the planet several times over. While the startup costs are high, the technology pays dividends over the future, especially in ideal, sunny climates, like Australia.
During September of last year, South Australia endured a statewide blackout. Ever since solar has been booming in the region and throughout the country. In the following months of 2016, Australians invested US$16.9 million in rooftop units.
“South Australians are sending a clear message with their wallets,” said Dan Spencer, a campaigner at Solar Citizens, to PV Tech. ” They see clean solar power as a key part of the solution to rising energy costs and power security while tackling climate change.”
“Whether it’s in Salisbury or regional SA,” Spencer continued, “South Australians are looking to solar for their power, showing just how mainstream renewable energy has become in South Australia.”
It has become increasingly clear to Australians that so-called conventional energy will need to be phased out eventually. Transitioning to renewable energy is not a question of if, but when. Despite pushback from the current government—which seeks to tie the country closer to fossil fuel energy—both technological innovation and a surging market in the private sector are making solar energy more and more viable.
For years, solar energy was criticised as an inefficient pipedream. The technology was likely to underperform promises from the manufacturer and break easily. Due to the issue of power storage, furthermore, critics denounced the technology, saying that it would never be able to usurp conventional energy, but only supplement it.
Not only has the efficiency of solar panels greatly improved over recent years, but with Tesla’s new Powerwall unit, the energy storage issues have largely been solved by providing a battery capable of storing solar energy. The unit has been available for just over a year now, and happy customers now have 12-month results to study.
Nick Pfitzner, a programmer from Sydney, reported that his energy bill dropped by 92%. After paying $2578.26 between February 2015 to February 2016, he paid only $178.71 during the same period in the following year.
“You try and use as much direct solar energy as you can during the day,” Pfitzner told The Australian. “You might set your dishwasher to run after you leave for work, at midmorning, because you know it’s going to be sunny and it’s going to cost you nothing to run. The washing machine might be the same. It just depends on what individual needs are.”
“We’re in western Sydney, Kellyville Ridge,” Pfitzner continued. “It hit 49 degrees here one day. So you’re going to use it.”
Based on a national audit, nearly 7,000 solar batteries have been installed in Australian homes since they became available. While these units remain expensive—many costs between $8,000 and $10,000—prices have been falling. Also, based on Pfitzner’s report, this cost should pay for itself in just a few years. The second generation, the Tesla Powerwall 2 will soon be available in the country.
Investing in Australian solar right now is a downright good idea. With increased competition in the private sector, production costs have sharply fallen, and the market base is ready to buy.
The Climate Council’s State of Solar 2016 report was published last week, stating that solar is now the cheapest source of large-scale power generation. Plants are currently generating power at $110/MWh, a figure that is down from 2012 and is expected to continue to fall.
20 new solar power plants are currently planned around the country, said Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie, according to ABC Australia. “In Australia, solar is now cheaper than new fossil fuels and nuclear energy,” McKenzie said, “and that’s been a big shift in the last few years.”
“In the pipeline, we’re seeing another 3,700 megawatts of solar energy coming online in the next few years, so that’s roughly equivalent to powering 600,000 households.”
On the 13th, the largest solar investment plan of its kind was announced. Backed by the German investment group Wirsol, Edify Energy has reached a deal with the federal government and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to spend $230 million on solar farms in Queensland and Victoria.
Mark Hogan, the managing director at Wirsol Energy, reflected on the deal, saying “This transaction firmly positions Wirsol as one of Australia’s leading renewable investors. We will continue building on this success by working alongside our trusted partners to fulfill our goals of deploying at least a further 500 MW of solar in Australia by 2020.”
Despite Turnbull’s government, their hostile stance toward green energy, and South Australia’s recent announcement to make a break from the national energy plan, the subsector of solar energy is thriving. With a few years, Australians should expect both lower costs for household solar, along with more solar-generated energy in the grid.
7 Ways to Reduce Energy Costs on the Gold Coast
Don’t go into shock when the energy bill arrives due to extreme costs as you attempt to maintain comfortable temperatures in your home. Saving energy is possible when you are a smart consumer, and with such a decision, you’ll enjoy environmental benefits in addition to reduced energy costs. Whether it is summer, spring, winter, or fall, these seven tips will come in handy when you need them most.
1) Layer on the Clothing
When the winter months arrive on the Gold Coast, mild temperatures are oftentimes combated by layering your clothing. Adding a hoodie instead of turning up the heat always benefits the wallet, as will taking it off when it is hot outside versus turning on the air.
2) Call the Electrician
If you think that an electrician is unable to help reduce energy costs, think again. The truth is, KMAC Electrical, a Gold Coast electrician offers a versatile mixture of services that help keep your costs down. In addition, scheduling an appointment with one of the great electricians in Oxenford ensures that your home is safe, reducing the worry of electrical fire, a leading cause of injury and death around the Gold Coast region.
3) Use Your Ceiling Fan
If there is a ceiling fan in your home, put it to good use and benefit greatly. During the summer months, operating the ceiling fan in normal motion ensures that cool air circulates through the home. During the winter months, turning the ceiling fan counterclockwise will ensure proper flow of heat throughout the house.
4)Set your aircon temperature to 24
Rather than blast your way to a cold house by setting your aircon as low as it will go, you’ll find savings when the thermostat is properly set to a temperature 24 degrees. Each degree under 24 causes as much as a 10% increase in your cooling costs
5) Cold Water Washing
Using the cold-water cycle on your washing machine is another recommended way to save money and reduce energy consumption and costs. Many detergents are made specifically for use on the cold-water cycle, but traditional soaps work well, too. Using cold water to wash your clothes can save you more than $100 annually.
6) Insulate the Home
Insulating the home provides added warmth that you’ll appreciate, especially when the time comes to pay your energy bill. Insulation is affordable to purchase and install, with hundreds of dollars in savings possible each year.
7) Upgrade Your Appliances
Upgrading to new, energy-efficient appliances is an exceptional way to add style to your home while reducing the costs of your monthly energy consumption. You’ll love the new look as well as the tremendous savings in store.
Put the above tips to use and keep your energy costs down year-round, no matter where you reside on the Gold Coast. Be sure to compare the different electrical services available that may impact the amount of energy consumed at your home. If you can benefit from electrical services and reduce your energy costs, why not take the time to choose an electrician Gold Coast wisely and initiate the job? Finding a Gold Coast electrician isn’t difficult. Comparing both electricians Gold Coast companies and the prices offered from each is simple when you request free, no obligation estimates. KMAC Electrical is one of the top electricians Oxenford, according to many satisfied clients. Checking KMAC Electrical out for yourself may prove beneficial if you want a top-rated electrical company that works to save you money, time, headache, and hassle.
You may not be aware but as an employer or a person conducting a business in Queensland, you have duties to ensure your workplace is safe from dangers that may be caused by electrical equipment.
As part of your duties under Queensland electrical safety laws, you must ensure electrical equipment is kept in a safe condition. According to business.qld.gov.au Some of the specific duties include:
- protecting extension leads and flexible cables from damage
- using safety switches in certain situations
- inspecting, testing and tagging certain electrical equipment on a regular basis
- removing defective equipment
- ensuring safety switches are working properly
- avoiding the use of double adaptors and piggyback plugs for certain work
- ensuring extension cords are regularly tested and tagged
According to the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (QLD), as an employer, you must regularly inspect and test specified electrical equipment and safety switches. This equipment inspecting and testing can differ depending on the type of work carried out so it’s always best to check the standards yourself.
What is Testing and Tagging?
Testing and Tagging is the process of inspecting or electrically testing electrical appliances and then tagging or labeling them along the way. Performing this process helps to document all the electrical safety system present in a house or a workplace. Furthermore, Test and Tag is known as an electrical risk assessment process because it eliminates the risk of electrical shocks, unpredictable fires and the breach of electrical safety laws.
Who can perform this electrical risk assessment process?
Only a competent person who is appointed by their employer can test and tag electrical appliances. By the word competent, it is emphasized that the person must have either training, prior experiences, related qualifications or a combination of all these before performing this electrical risk assessment process.
Benefits of Test and Tag:
Aside from your mandatory workplace health and safety requirements, there are other benefits of ensuring your appliances are safe, such as:
- Eliminates the Risk of Unpredictable Fires: Performing the Test and Tag process helps to eliminate the risk of unpredictable fires because this process highlights various problems with the electrical equipment.
- Helps to Avoid Malfunctions: Because of electrical equipment wear and tear over time due to factors like moisture, dust or dirt, they become more likely to malfunction in the near future. But the Test and Tag process helps to identify these issues before an unpredictable fire occurs.
- Comply with Australian Laws and Regulations: By following the Test and Tag process, the users of electrical equipment and appliances comply with Australian Laws and Regulations.
- Eliminates the Risk of Property Damage: Since the risk of unpredictable fires is eliminated by the Test and Tag process, therefore, the risk of property damage is also eliminated.
- Safety and Security of your Employees: Testing and Tagging ensures safety and security for families at home and/or employees at the workplace.
KMAC Electrical are fully licensed and competent Electricians who can help your workplace ensure it is electrically safe at competitive rates. For a free quote please contact us.
For more information on Testing and Tagging see some links below:
Summers are tough. They make life a living hell due to the heat one has to bear and the hike in electricity bills they have to manage somehow. Price hikes are a commonplace in summers because almost everyone increases their usage of air conditioners, refrigerators, and even swimming pools, which all require electricity for their functioning and maintenance. But it isn’t difficult to get a hold on your electricity bill in summer if you follow a few tips from Gold Coast Electricians. So what tips might they be? Well, to answer this questions in this post we have compiled an interesting list of “Top Tips for Surviving Summer from a Gold Coast Electrician”.
- Have Safety Inspections: According to our Gold Coast Electrician, having safety inspections before the summer starts is necessary. It is because such general safety inspections help to prepare for the high loads that are bound to occur through the summer.
- Service of Air Conditioners: Did you know that a serviced Air Conditioner requires less amount of electricity for great cooling as compared to a non-serviced one? Well, now you do! Our Gold Coast Electrician advises getting your Air Conditioners serviced and repaired since it is going to be heavily used throughout the summer.
- Test Safety Switches: Faulty safety switches are prone to trip at anytime, be it in the middle of the night or during the day, you never know. So, another great tip from our Gold Coast Electrician is to always test your safety switches or get them tested by a qualified electrician before the summer arrives. Properly working safety switches minimize any sort of nuisance tripping and protects your family from electric shock.
- Install Appliances on Off-Peak Tariffs: A smart way to save on electricity bills is to install all your appliances, hot water systems and pools on off-peak tariffs.
- Install Peak Smart Meters on Peak Smart Air Conditioners: Why is this among a top tip? Well, this is definitely going to surprise you. Energex has started a program named as the ‘Positive Payback Program’ that gives a reward if you have installed Peak Smart Air Conditioners along with Peak Smart Meters. The reward ranges from $100 to $400 depending upon the cooling capacity that ranges from less than 4kW to 10kW or more.
- Install Ceiling Fans: If you really want to save on your electricity bills then a great alternative to using air conditioners is the installation of ceiling fans. They consume less electricity and in return circulate the air better.
- Make Your Entertainment Systems Ready: One last tip by our Gold Coast Electrician for you is to make sure that your entertainment systems are ready for this outdoor festive season. Enjoy your summer.