In South Australia, rooftop solar power isn’t a rich person’s toy – “mortgage belt” suburbs and towns are leading the uptake in the face of rapidly increasing electricity costs and in order to take advantage of government rebates and incentives before they evaporate.
According to an article on AdelaideNow, of the 76,000 solar households in South Australia, few are in the inner suburbs of Adelaide. Morphett Vale, a southern suburb, leads the pack with 573 installations, followed by Mt. Barker – a town in the Adelaide hills – with 419; and the coastal town of Victor Harbour close behind with 407.
None of what are considered the wealthiest inner suburbs in Adelaide have reached the 100 installation mark.
South Australia is experiencing a rush on solar panels at the moment due to the State’s solar feed in tariff program being slashed from October onwards. Currently, solar households signing up for the program will receive 44c per kilowatt hour for surplus electricity generated and exported to the mains grid. After September, new connections under the scheme will only receive 22c per kilowatt hour – a drop of 50%.
The South Australia experience isn’t unique – home solar power being the realm of rich city dwellers is a myth that has been well and truly busted previously.
Figures released by the Clean Energy Council in May showed Australia’s top 20 postcodes with the highest saturation of home solar power. In that report, Australia’s coastal and rural communities featured heavily, clearing showing Australia’s switch to renewable energy is even more popular in regional Australia than it is in the city.
Increasingly, average households are realising that electricity prices are only going to go one way for the foreseeable future – up – and rooftop solar panels are a way to not only join the battle against skyrocketing greenhouse gas emissions, but buffer against this rapidly increasing household expense.