THURSDAY 09 SEPTEMBER, 2010 |
Some Solar Power Bonuses Unethical Says Australian Provider
It's still the dawn of the solar power revolution in Australia, but the
competition between providers is certainly building - and with it, some
questionable marketing strategies says Energy Matters co-founder Max
"Competition is good - it keeps us all on our toes," says Mr.
Sylvester. "But something that is causing us concern and should be causing
consumers and the government concern too is the inclusion of inefficient, energy
sucking appliances as bonuses to entice people to buy a solar power
Mr. Sylvester cites the example of large plasma screens being used as
"A 42 inch plasma television will likely use between 280 and 300 watts.
That means upwards of 20 percent of an average 1.5kW home solar power system will be
used just to provide power to this appliance while it is on and bear in mind that a solar power
system doesn't work 24 hours a day."
"Plasma televisions are sometimes referred to as space heaters due to
their inefficiency. Additionally, the power consumption of these appliances
means the bonus can be a liability over the long term through increased electricity
Mr. Sylvester feels the government needs to clamp down on these sorts of
"It's my opinion these energy sucking appliances are being funded in part by
the wider community. Government
schemes that provide rebates for solar power are in place as a strategy to
reduce carbon emissions. If a household takes up one of these offers and the
bonus TV chews more electricity than their current set; that can translate to a
substantial carbon emission reduction loss."
"Government should be stepping in to ensure they get the most for their,
and our, dollar under rebate and incentives schemes. When we are talking to people about
selecting a solar power system, we emphasise energy efficiency as a way for them
to make the most from their system and feed in tariff programs - and that should
be a standard practice throughout the Australian solar energy industry."
Energy Matters offers a consumer guide to solar power
from their web site at www.energymatters.com.au
to help raise awareness of some of the tricks and traps to avoid when buying a
solar power system.
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