ACT Electricity Prices To Soar – But So Will Solar Uptake

Residents of Canberra may enjoy some of the lowest power prices in Australia, but they too could soon receive a nasty electric (bill) shock; perhaps motivating more households to go solar.

In its draft review of costs to take effect from July 1 for the 2012-2013 financial year, the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) earlier this month gave the nod to an electricity price increase of more than 17 per cent – representing an additional $244 to annual power bills on average.

The price rise may push the ACT down in electricity affordability rankings. The Territory was recently ranked the cheapest of all jurisdictions in Australia and 21st out of 91 countries, states and provinces in a recent study.

As is the case with recent proposed power price increase in New South Wales, most of the proposed increase is due to the introduction of the carbon tax, network charges and delivery costs.

ACT households tiring of the hikes may choose to buffer against the continual increases by installing solar power systems. The looming  Solar Credits rebate cut and June 30 installation deadline may be the final motivation needed to make the switch to solar panels – and soon, to avoid the rush that already shows signs of starting.

According to solar provider Energy Matters, a 2kW solar panel system installed in Canberra can shave over $620 off a household’s annual electricity bill.

Home solar energy systems aside, the future of solar in the ACT continues to look bright. The ACT Government’s large scale solar plan has received 49 separate pre-qualification proposals according to announcement today from the Territory’s Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell.

“This level of interest from the renewable energy industry is clear evidence that the ACT Labor Government’s plan to make Canberra Australia’s solar capital is working, and is absolutely achievable,” Mr Corbell said.