AER Ruling: Victorian DNSPs Must Offer Flat Tariff To All. Except EV Owners.

AER's final decision on flat rate electricity tariffs

Finally, it’s official – DNSPs must offer a standard tariff to Victorian solar owners.

I have just read the Australian Energy Regulator’s FINAL DECISION Statement on Victorian Energy Distribution for 2021-2026.  According to the document, Victorian electricity distributors will be required to: [Read more…]

Victoria’s Electric Car Tax Robs Peter To Pay Peter

Victoria's electric vehicle tax and EV rebate

An EV tax that pays for an EV rebate? You couldn’t make this shit up.

Victoria is set to become the only place in the world to de-incentivize the purchase of electric vehicles with an electric car tax for every kilometre driven. 

Victoria will also introduce a $3,000 incentive to encourage buying electric cars.

After coming up with this brilliant move, I don’t see why the Victorian Government should stop there. [Read more…]

Inflexible Fossil Fuels: Why Starting And Stopping Coal & Gas Power Costs Big Bucks

Starting and stopping coal or gas power stations

A power station control room. Starting up one of these things is not trivial or cheap.

Coal power is gradually being driven out of business by renewables.  It simply can’t compete on price.  Most people know coal and gas power stations have to pay for fuel while sunshine and wind are free, but not many know how much it costs to start and stop fossil fuel generators. [Read more…]

Solar Export Limiting: Just How Much Energy Will You Lose?

What are the losses from solar export limiting? — You’ll lose less energy generation than you think.

Export limited solar systems are becoming increasingly common. 

Some new solar power system buyers are being told they can only proceed with an installation if the installer ‘export limits’ their system.

Export limiting is a polite way of saying ‘hobbled’.  An export limited solar system will occasionally send less electricity into the grid than its inverter can supply.  That can cause clean solar energy to go to waste. 

That sounds awful, but the good news is: the amount lost is far less than most people expect.

[Read more…]

Tesla Finally Launch Solar Tiles In Australia With Insane Bonus For Early Adopters

Tesla Solar Roof tiles

Tesla’s solar tiles are finally coming to Australia. You won’t believe what Elon Musk has promised the first thousand buyers… Note: There are no Tesla Tile installs in Australia at the moment, and this picture is of Tractile Solar Tiles in Marino, SA.

Note: This post was published on April the first 2021

When Elon Musk launched Tesla Solar Roof Tiles four and a half years ago, there was only one question his Australian fans were desperate to know: [Read more…]

SA Labor’s Hydrogen Hype: A Second Rate Plan For The First Element

SA Labor Hydrogen Plan

South Australian Labor clearly hope their new Hydrogen Plan can help them win back power in the March 2022 state election.

Will their huffing of hydrogen hype lift them higher than a zeppelin, or will it bomb? [Read more…]

Snowy Hydro 2.0: More Expensive Than Battery Storage

Snowy 2 vs. solar and batteries

Batteries beat Snowy Hydro 2.0 on cost – Sound crazy? Read on…

In the Snowy Mountains, a monumental machine has begun to carve its way into the earth creating a giant tunnel for what will be one of the world’s largest pumped hydro energy storage systems.  The Snowy Hydro 2.0 scheme is so ambitious politicians may be legally required to wear two hard hats when posing for photo ops. [Read more…]

Don’t Let Retailers Force You On To Time-Of-Use Tariffs When You Go Solar

Are time of use tariffs compulsory when installing solar panels?

There are 16 different electricity distribution networks in Australia. Don’t let them (or retailers) try and force you on a time-of-use tariff when you go solar.

When you get solar panels installed, your old electricity meter is replaced with a smart meter.  Unless you already have one.    

This isn’t a bad thing in itself, as smart meters provide some advantages.  But there is a problem if installing a smart meter is used as an excuse to foist a time-of-use (TOU) tariff on people who would rather not have one. [Read more…]

Solar Power In Tasmania: How To Triumph Despite Higher Prices & Lower Output

Solar panels - Tasmania

A solar power system in Tasmania. Pic: Scott Logie

If you are lucky enough to live in Tasmania, I have some bad news:

Using solar panels to get low bills is more challenging than on the mainland. 

But I also bring good news: [Read more…]

How Much Solar Can You Install In The Endeavour Energy Network Area?

Installing solar panels in NSW's Endeavour Energy Network Area

If you want to find out how much solar power capacity Endeavour Energy will let you install, don’t go to their website. It’s hopeless. Their phone support, however, is excellent.

A few days ago I received an email from a reader saying it appeared NSW’s Endeavour Energy had altered the amount of solar they allow to be connected to the grid.  Because this was relevant to my interests, I immediately went to the Endeavour Energy site to see what size solar systems could be installed.  Unfortunately, I immediately became confused. [Read more…]