Why You Should Go Solar Now: Energy Crisis & Rising Electricity Prices

August 11, 2022

Australia is currently in the grips of an energy crisis, seeing rising prices and multiple issues with supply. You might be wondering how you’ll be affected, and what energy source might be the most affordable option for you and your home. Read on to learn more about this delicate situation, and discover why it might just be time to go solar.

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Solar Panel On A Red Roof

What's causing the crisis?

In June 2022, Australia’s electricity market just stopped functioning. While lights have stayed on and homes have continued to receive the power they need, the country’s power market has been suspended. The reason? Not enough supply to meet demands.

Ageing coal-powered generators have become too old to maintain, and over a third of all coal plants have been offline – a disaster when you consider that energy demand is highest during the winter months.

As the world emerged from the pandemic and more people returned to work, there was an influx of demand which simply couldn’t compete with the reduced energy supply caused by COVID-19.

Additionally, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to immediate sanctions placed on their oil and gas supply. As Russia is one of the biggest energy exporters worldwide, many countries needed to find sources from other suppliers.

How will the crisis impact my bills?

You might be surprised to learn that, of your monthly bills, only a quarter of what you pay covers the cost of generating power. Your money’s also going towards the infrastructure that allows us to use our electricity, and the advertising that keeps the electricity market going.

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And these prices aren’t exclusively set by your energy providers. Larger regulatory bodies have a great impact on how much you’ll pay. In Victoria, the government sets a market price for the entire state. If you live in New South Wales, South-East Queensland, or South Australia, an energy regulator is responsible for setting your standard price. These set prices indicate what the cost should be, and are called a default market offer. Retailers will generally try to set their prices around this figure, or even slightly lower to match the competition.

In this current crisis, we can expect the default market offer to rise as much as 18% or a couple of hundred dollars extra for regular households over the next year. How is this reflected in your current prices?

  • Electricity prices soared to $15,100 per megawatt-hour before being capped at $300 per megawatt hour.
  • Gas prices have surged, and regulators in major cities on Australia’s east coast have capped costs at $40 per gigajoule ($40/gj).
  • Coal was also capped at $300 per megawatt hour, with some operators taking their supply off the grid in a struggle to compete.

How can I cope with the crisis?

It might seem like there’s not much you can do in the face of rising prices, but there are steps you can take to make sure you’re better off financially.

First, we recommend researching energy providers to find the best plan for you, making sure that the price advertised is the one you’ll actually end up paying. Your best bet is to call the company to ensure they’re not going to pull you in on a deal and then charge higher prices later on.

Second, cutting down on your use will reduce costs – but it’s not always easy. If you’ve got money saved, you could improve your window glazing and installation, or replace any gas appliances, such as cooking and heating units, with electrical ones.

If you’re renting or struggling to keep up with the cost of living, your options won’t be as many. Try and use your split-system air conditioner for heating, or set your ceiling fan to low speed to encourage rising warm air to be sent back down into your room. Using your appliances outside peak periods and implementing door stoppers and tape to prevent draughts can also help.

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What about solar power?

With these rising prices, more people are looking to cut costs with renewable energy sources, and solar power has emerged as a popular option. It’s widely attainable and flexible, there are great systems to choose from, and you’ll also be doing your bit for the environment in the meantime. Still wondering if you should make the switch? Here are solar power’s greatest selling points.

  • While solar panels are expensive to install, they can help you save as much as 40% on your annual energy bills. If you generate your electricity by combining panels and a battery, you’ll not only limit the power you’ll need from a provider but will also be able to access feed-in tariffs (FiTs) for the energy you return to the grid.
  • Solar power systems don’t produce carbon emissions, which is great considering Australian households produce at least a fifth of the national greenhouse gases every year.
  • Solar power uses advanced technology. A panel and battery combo create a usable, sustainable source of power. You can even install solar roof tiles, meaning a more streamlined option. And why not use a monitoring system to track your system’s performance and how much you’re saving?
  • Research shows that sustainable elements like solar power can increase property value by 10%. The reliability, cost-effective and sustainable characteristics of solar panels truly make them a great asset.
  • Solar panels are deceptively sturdy, and can even be more durable than traditional roofing options. They’re able to withstand harsher conditions and most systems are covered by a decent warranty. They’re also unlikely to experience interruptions in energy, and battery-powered options can even store energy to use when the weather conditions are unfavourable.
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Considering solar panels? Choose Apollo Solar Power

For quality solar energy solutions in Brisbane, Townsville, and throughout Queensland, there’s no one better than Apollo Solar Power. We offer a range of options guaranteed to meet your needs and your budget, and our technicians are on hand to ensure a reliable, effective installation. Contact us today to learn more or to begin your journey towards solar power.