Are AGL’s New Solar Packages a Trick or a Treat for Aussie Consumers?

mousetrap and solar panel

Are AGL offering a great deal or bait?

Just to prove that energy giants can move with the times like the rest of us, AGL Energy, who only a few months ago described solar household tariffs as a ‘scam‘, has decided roll out a couple of new solar energy products.

One is happening now — a (sort of) solar leasing offer — while the other a promise to offer battery storage by the end of the year.

Similar leasing-style models have been very successful in the USA, and AGL join a long list of companies who have recently rolled out solar finance packages such as Energy Matters, Tindo and Sungevity. The option to pay for the energy produced, rather than the initial cost of the panels removes the hurdle of finding $5-$15k upfront, but cunningly locks the solar owner into a very long term contract with AGL.  [Read more…]

3 Phase Solar Wars : The Menace of Phantom Imports.

soalr wars

May the (electromotive) force be with you!


I’m thinking of writing a screenplay. The movie’s name is “3-Phase Solar Wars : The Phantom Imports”. Here’s the opening scene:

“Quite soon in the future, in a suburb not very far away….


It is a period of civil war. Solar owners, striking from over a million rooftops, have won their first victory against the evil Electricity Empire.


During the battle, these plucky rebel homeowners managed to get their electricity bills down so low that they are on the cusp of destroying an entire electricity retail industry.


But now the Empire’s sinister agents have a plan:


[Read more…]

ARENA: the government renewable energy agency that refuses to go away

ARENA - the gift that keeps on giving.

ARENA – the gift that keeps on giving.

Remember ARENA? The plucky Australian Renewable Energy Agency that has helped many renewable energy ventures and research with seed funding and other support? The ongoing benefits of ARENA include not only financial support but also because their involvement has helped pave the way for research and development in partnership with the private sector.

Wait. Ongoing? Didn’t ARENA get axed by the feds in their anti-renewables Budget cuts zeal a while back?

Well no. At least not yet. For ARENA, to quote an oft-used phrase, is the gift that keeps on giving.

Though the agency has, as you’ve probably heard, been axed by the federal government as part of its thinly-disguised ideological campaign against renewables, it still refuses to roll over and die. [Read more…]

Danny Broad Enters the ARENA

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced that commercial manager, Danny Broad, has been appointed by the Australian government to ARENA’s Board. Broad is expected to help ARENA in its efforts using the 2.4 billion dollar mandate to improve competiveness and use of renewable energy in Australia. For more on this story, read the full article here:: Danny Broad appointed to the board of ARENA

Why Labor Need To Hold Firm On The RET

The government’s starting RET offer which reduces the legislated, previously bipartisan, and pre-election commitment of 41,000 gigawatt hours per year of renewable energy down to 27,000 has been turned down by the Labor Party. Why? Not just because of the environment, but because of economics.

By cutting the target almost in half, billions of dollars invested in the creation of solar and wind power generating devices will go to waste, and billions of dollars of investment will not happen. The 100 job losses at a wind turbine component manufacturer in Portland, Vic announced yesterday is just the beginning.  Not to mention that power prices would continue to climb due to expensive fossil fuels picking up the slack.

Abbott and his cronies are trying to destroy a policy they promised not to touch.  Then when Labor won’t co-operate they blame the opposition for the uncertainty that is destroying businesses. Read more about this story here.

Nine in ten look to solar to beat rising electricity bills: report

rising bills

Rising electricity costs are driving more people to consider solar.

An Ernst and Young utilities survey report released this week has highlighted the battle ordinary Australians are having with their rising electricity bills. The study also found over 90 percent of those surveyed would like to switch to solar power. [Read more…]

Public support for Australia as a renewable energy superpower

solar panels in front of cooling towers

Which would you prefer for Australia?

It’s been mentioned more than a few times that Australia could be the next renewable energy superpower. With our wide open spaces, almost unlimited sun and centres of research excellence we could show the world the way in solar power and other forms of renewable energy. [Read more…]

Carbon tax goes: now for the historical perspective

axe over a power station

The Tax has been Axed.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this past week, you’ll have heard that Australia has achieved the dubious distinction of being the first country in history to repeal a carbon tax. With the unholy support of so-called independents, the repeal sailed through the Senate. This to the jubilation of the polluters, energy companies and fossil fuel companies, some of whom had decked out their compliant senators in high visibility vests for the big vote.

I tell you, you couldn’t make this stuff up! [Read more…]

Australia’s future vs Abbott lies on renewable energy


Spreading blatant mistruths.

There are three schools of thought to explain the Abbott lies on renewable energy. One is that our PM is under the influence of the fossil fuel energy companies and is happy to repeat their propaganda; two is that is he has been ill-advised by dodgy minders and three (to put it politely) he may have temporarily taken leave of his senses.

How else can you explain Mr Abbott’s statement this week that the Renewable Energy Target was responsible for energy price rises? The Prime Minister said the RET was making Australia “ the unaffordable energy capital of the world” and was somehow “…very significantly driving up power prices”.

What? [Read more…]

How the IPA poisons renewable energy policy in Australia

The hardcore right-wing IPA hates renewables.

The hardcore right-wing IPA hates renewables. We love renewables (and beer).

Ever wondered why our government is so quick to destroy clean energy initiatives? Why the great work of agencies such as ARENA is ignored? How the green sector rarely gets a look in when it comes to energy policy? One clue as to the source of this ‘slash-and-burn’ mentality may lie in the influence of a powerful think tank called the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA). This week we’ll peel back the extent of that link and examine the power of the IPA in renewable energy policy. [Read more…]