Huge Subsidies (and waiting lists) for Solar Hot Water in QLD

The Queensland Solar Hot Water program is delivering and installing $500 systems for eligible Queenslanders and $100 for pensioners. But as you might expect, there is the mother of all waiting lists.

To date more than 850 customers have been allocated to suppliers to conduct inspections and install new systems.

By the end of this week over 110 systems will have been installed in Brisbane and a further 200 have been contacted to arrange site inspections.

More than 43,000 Queenslanders have registered their interest to participate in this program with more than 10,000 completed applications received so far.”

[Read more…]

NSW Feed In Tariff Surprise: It’s Gross (in a good way!)

Yesterday the NSW Government surprised renewable energy fans by switching the new feed in tariff from a net to a gross tariff.

This means that owners of solar systems in NSW will now get 60c per kwh for all the electricity they generate.

Previously you were only going to get paid for the power exported to the grid (i.e not the power you used in your house)

This makes a huge difference to the economics of buying a solar power system in NSW.

Plugging the numbers into my solar calculator shows that a good quality 1.5kW system will pay for itself in just over 4 years.

In fact you’ll be getting around $120 per month of income from the outset. And the benefits will only go up as electricity prices rise.

Even if you take out a $7000 loan at 7% interest the system would be cash flow positive from the outset. See for yourself here.

That’s a better return, and much lower risk than most other investments these days.

Have a play with our solar calculators to see if it makes financial sense for you. Just put ‘Feed In Tariff %’ as 100% and ‘Feed In Tariff Price’ as 60c and the calculator will work out the payback and monthly savings.

Solar Panel Scheme : terminated and to cost taxpayers $440 million

Since 2000, the the Solar Homes and Communities Plan started out as the Photovoltaic Rebate Program offering $4,000. The program was changed in 2007 and was receiving by then an average 153 applications per week.

As part of the Rudd Government’s election commitments, the program was allocated $150 million to provide increased rebates of up to $8,000 to 15,000 homes over five years.

The number of applications for the rebate grew from 420 per week in May 2008 to approximately 6,043 per week in May 2009. [Read more…]

Pollies Agree on Something Shock! Solar Credits almost ready to go…

“Solar Credits” is the name given to the Australian government’s latest solar subsidy for homeowners, businesses and community groups. It was passed into law on 20th August 2009.

Now we are just waiting for the process by which solar buyers can actually apply and receive the solar rebate to be finalised. This has been promised by the 2nd week of September. Once the process for actually applying for, and getting your rebate has been decided by the Canberra bureaucrats people will actually be able to start getting their cash back  for solar systems bought after June 10th 2009.

Solar Credits subsides the cost of installing a Solar Power System and unlike the scheme before it (which was means-tested at a household income of $100,000) this subsidy is not means tested in any way.

It is the latest in a long list of different schemes, which seem to change more often then Kevin Rudd changes his underdaks.

It is currently worth about $5000 on a 1.5kW system. Which means you can get a 1.5kW system for an out-of-pocket cost of approx $4-$7K.

Solar Credits May Become Law This Week?!?

Newsflash! The government appear to have seen some sense and have decoupled the solar rebate legislation from the monster of an ETS bill that every pollie and his dog is arguing over.

Basically this means that the Solar Credits bill may get passed by the 21 Aug 2009 which will mean the the new solar rebate described here will be up and running again in a matter of days IF and it’s a bit IF…the pollies can bring themselves to vote for it. At least now the Libs, Greens etc. can vote for it without having to agree to the Emissions Trading Scheme bondoggle as part of the package. Keep your fingers crossed!

Do you trust your electricity supplier?

Before you invest in solar power, be sure that you know exactly what your local electricity company will pay you for any exported energy.  The good utilities will pay you the Feed In Tariff rate (if your state has one) PLUS the standard rate per kwh. The meanie ones will just pay you the FIT rate.

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Solar Power Isn’t Perfect (but it’s still worth it!)

Making solar panels requires old-fashioned coal-fired power

The city of Bay City, Michigan has an interest in solar power, and in this article ( the pros and cons of using this alternative form of clean energy are dissected and stacked against one another to determine whether solar power is really the best way forward for energy production.

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New Ways To Finance Residential Solar Power Systems

How can Massachusetts residents afford solar power? The same way they get cable television. Though a long term lease on solar panels Massachusetts residents can now have solar panels atop their homes for a fraction of the cost of buying them outright.

Plus they begin to reap the savings on their electric bills immediately.
The state of Massachusetts wants to go green. Yet unlike California and Arizona the vast areas of sun drenched land is not available for giant solar parks. In an effort to convince residents to place solar panels on their rooftops Massachusetts has a state subsidy program, Commonwealth Solar.

[Read more…]

Solar Payback Calculators Launched

How long will it take a solar power system to pay for itself?

What will my next bill be with solar?

How will electricity price increases affect the payback?

What about the Feed In Tariffs?

Is it a good idea to put the cost of the solar system on my mortgage?

What about one of those “Green Loans”?

These are questions I get asked every day. To help you answer them we are proud to announce that we have just released three solar power calculators:

1) Solar Savings calculator : How many $ will you save and what’s the payback if you pay 100% upfront for your solar system? This calculator wil tell you.

2)Solar Home Loans: Will you still save money if you add the cost to your home loan? What will you pay extra (or save) per month compared to not having solar? This calculator wil tell you.

3)Paying for Solar with a Personal Loan? Is it a good option financially? This calculator wil tell you.

Massive Solar Power Plant For Australia

According to the Reuters News Service, “Australia is going to build the world’s largest solar energy plant.”The solar energy plant will cost about 1.4 billion dollars to complete and the project should be in its earliest stages by 2010.

[Read more…]