The ACCC Wants To Lower Electricity Prices Even If It Kills You

ACCC and Australia's Solar Subsidy

Ending the “Solar Rebate” will save households $18 per year and kill people. Nice one ACCC.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, or ACCC, published a report last Wednesday titled Restoring electricity affordability and Australia’s competitive advantage.  Michael alerted people about it here and wrote more here.  The opening lines of the report don’t pull any punches and begins with: [Read more…]

Queensland’s Interest Free Solar Loan Scheme Is Kind Of Sad

qld interest free loans

The Queensland Government recently confirmed the details of their interest free loan scheme for rooftop solar.  Michael — the guy who does the real writing work on this blog instead of mostly just stringing together old jokes as I do — wrote about this and the conditions that have to be met to qualify for a loan in this article here. [Read more…]

Victoria’s New Time Varying Solar Feed-In Tariff Is Worth Getting

Victoria Time Varying Solar Feed-In Tariff

As of 1 July 2018 there is a new, optional, feed-in-tariff in Victoria that changes through the day.

A new type of solar feed-in tariff is now available in Victoria.  It’s called a time varying tariff and the amount of money it pays for solar electricity depends on the time of day it’s sent into the grid.  It is worth less during off-peak periods, more during shoulder periods, and the most during peak periods. [Read more…]

Bad News: Your Solar Panel Performance Warranty Is Probably Crap

Solar panel performance warranties are crap

I’ve actually read the solar panel warranties for most of the major solar panel brands. They are almost universally full of crap clauses. Thankfully you are protected by Australian Consumer Law no matter what the warranty says.

SALESMAN:  Hi everybody!  I’m Ronald Brakels and have I got a deal for you!  Right now, for a limited time only, I am selling Brakels LED lights.  And let me tell you, they’re the best.  We have all the best LEDs here at Brakels Incorporated.  If you install these LED lights you will cut your electricity use, protect the environment, and reduce your electricity bills.  And what’s more, we have such faith in Brakels LED lights, they come with a 25 year performance warranty.  Buy a pack of 10 today!  Don’t Delay!

LITTLE OLD LADY:  Excuse me young man, but I bought 10 of your LEDs and 2 of them have stopped working.  I’d like them replaced under their 25 year warranty.

SALESMAN:  I’d like to help you, I really would, but it’s a 25 year performance warranty and bulbs that don’t work at all have no performance and so aren’t covered. [Read more…]

DNV-GL’s 2018 Scorecard Results — Longi, REC, & Suntech Only Residential Solar Panels To Pass All Tests

DNV-GL solar panel reliability scorecard 2018

Those nice people at DNV-GL have done another year’s worth of panel torture testing. Here is a summary of the results.

Over the past 4 years the Norwegian company, DNV-GL, has performed annual tests on solar panels and released a report on their performance.  Their latest one, the 2018 PV Module Reliability Scorecard is now available.  The good news is solar panel reliability looks as though it is continuing to improve.  If you buy now you are more likely than ever to get panels that will last for decades without failing and with only minimal deterioration in output. [Read more…]

How Norwegian are REC Solar Panels? And Does It Matter?

REC solar panels

Some people are getting their knickers in a twist over whether REC solar panels are European or Asian.

I’ve had a request to clear up the question of whether REC is a European or Asian company. The confusion arises because although the company was founded in Norway and has its headquarters there, it manufactures REC solar panels in Singapore and is owned by a Chinese corporation.

I have looked into this topic exhaustively and I can state the answer to the question of whether REC is European or Asian is — Yes.

Yes — it is European or Asian. [Read more…]

Worrisome Results From Canberra’s Battery Test Centre

Lithium-ion Battery Test Centre

Canberra’s Battery Test Centre has been going a couple of years now. What do the results so far tell us about the state of the home battery market?

I am very happy.  I just found out there is a battery testing centre in Canberra.  Who would have thought there would be something useful in Canberra?  Besides, of course, for the Federal Government and the bureaucracy that’s necessary for the functioning of a modern representative democracy.1 [Read more…]

Footnotes

  1. And Reposit.

New Tesla Powerwall 2 Orders Won’t Arrive Until “Early 2019”.

Tesla Powerwall 2 delay

If you order a Tesla Powerwall 2 home battery system, according to a Tesla spokesperson, you will now have to wait until early next year to have it delivered.  This means the supply of Powerwalls for new Australian orders will be halted for at least 7 months.  If these turn out to be Tesla months then your guess as to when they will be available is as good as mine. [Read more…]

Landlord Energy — Providing Solar For Commercial Tenants

Landlord Energy - Commercial Solar

If you are a business owner there’s an excellent chance you’re not happy with cost of grid electricity and would love to lower your bills with rooftop solar.  Unfortunately, there’s also an excellent chance you rent your business premises and so don’t have much of an incentive to install solar. After all you can’t take it with you when you leave. [Read more…]

New Solar Homes Robbed Of Choice In ACT: Demand Or Time-of-Use Tariffs Only

rock or hard place? Electricity tariffs in Canberra

If you live in ACT and install solar – you are forced to choose between 2 not very great electricity tariffs.

If you are getting a new house built or having solar power installed in the ACT I have some bad news.  You will lose the ability to freely choose between electricity plans. You will no longer be able to select a standard tariff; which is usually best for solar households.  Instead you will be forced on to either a time-of-use tariff or a demand tariff. [Read more…]

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