Solar power beats heat by making electricity affordable during Australia’s summer heatwaves, says a leading community solar group.
According to Solar Citizens, the Federal Government should also do more to help low-income households access these benefits and slash the cost of power bills.
Having access to rooftop solar can make the difference between being able to run an air-conditioner in extreme heat and having to go without, Solar Citizens says.
The message comes as Victoria experienced the hottest night of summer so far on the weekend, with distribution failures leaving around 50,000 without electricity.
State Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio says January 28 saw the highest peak demand ever recorded in Australia on a Sunday.
Five energy distributors across Victoria experienced outages due to a huge number of air-conditioners placing stress on the grid.
Smart battery storage ensures solar power beats heat
Home battery storage is an important part of solar power generation. Battery storage means you can store excess energy and use it when the sun isn’t shining.
However, many storage batteries can leave you in the dark during blackouts. Annoyingly, this means you’re in the same boat as households sourcing power from the main grid.
The innovative sonnenProtect device solves this problem by detecting mains power outages and swiftly switching to battery storage energy for selected appliances.
This compact gadget is installed close to the battery system and offers up to 1.3 kW of power output. This can keep an air-conditioner or fridge running during outages.
Last year, German battery maker sonnen also launched its innovative energy-sharing scheme. Community sonnenFlat covers a household’s grid power costs. In exchange, the household gives sonnen access to its stored battery power, which can be drawn down and sold to the grid during peak energy demand.
Solar incentives for low-income households
According to a report from Solar Citizens, solar gives households control over their energy bills.
Blaxland East locals Peter and Karen Murphy say solar power helps them cover almost their entire electricity bill. This includes running ducted air-conditioning using solar panels. However, a tight budget prevents many families from accessing solar generation.
Solar Citizens’ Acting National Director Maria Cirillo claims sensible government initiatives can remove cost and geographic barriers to installation.
She quotes incentives like the ACT Government’s Solar for Low Income Households program and battery rebate scheme.
According to a recent Solar Savings report, the NSW wholesale electricity price would have been 33 to 50 per cent higher without solar households generating their own power.