SolarQuotes Vodcast Episode 11 – Sneaky Solar Battery Advertising

After a trip to Sydney last week for the Smart Energy Conference & Exhibition, the team is back in Adelaide for episode 11 of the SolarQuotes Vodcast.

0:40 – Finn and Ronald discuss a recent item on The Advertiser web site that was a little sneaky!

While it appeared to be a news item, it turned out to be an advertisement. The piece made some interesting claims about battery payback being achieved in 5 years, which is impossible. Closer examination of the item found it to be an advertisement from the South Australian Government, promoting its Home Battery Scheme.

“I don’t know how the Department of Mining and Energy can sleep at night, putting this stuff out,” said Finn.

Finn decided to complain about the advert as it was clearly misleading. When he went to complete a form to air his grievances, it stated something along the lines of there being no legal requirement for political advertising to be correct.

“The people who make the rules for advertising have exempted themselves from the truth requirement,” says Finn.

Finn says for his Tesla Powerwall 2, he sees a financial benefit of just $1 – $1.20 a day. That works out to a 20 year payback – even with the massive $6,000 SA subsidy

7:20 – Ronald and Finn discuss news the planned solar thermal plant in South Australia’s Port Augusta is dead in the water.

At the Smart Energy Conference & Exhibition in Sydney last week, a senior representative of SA’s Department of Mining and Energy said it was going ahead – less than 48 hours later the cancellation was announced.

In the last SQ vodcast, Finn bet Ronald that the project wouldn’t proceed (although Finn wanted to see it completed). Ronald lost the bet and had to hand over a wireless mouse (and inexplicably, a can of South African fruit cocktail).

Finn makes another prediction for SA during this segment – the Tesla 10,000 home battery project won’t proceed.

11:47 – This year’s April Fools day article on SQ was on BrownPower – primarily written by Ronald, but with Finn’s name as author to try and trick those accustomed to Ronald’s antics on the day.

12:53 – Ronald and Finn discuss the ACCC’s fixation on seeing Australia’s solar subsidy axed; with the Commission focusing on the (low) costs of the program rather than the many benefits that rooftop solar brings.

13:29 – Coal power pollution isn’t confined to carbon dioxide – it spews a bunch of toxic material into the atmosphere that kill. Finn and Ronald discuss analysis of an NPI report highlighting the need for a coal power pollution crackdown.

15:33 – Last week it was announced smart inverters will be mandatory under Victoria’s Solar Homes Package for solar power system installed under the program from July. Finn explains what a “smart inverter” is in this instance, what Volt-Watt and Volt-Var do and the impact of the change.


19:48 –  Ronald and Finn question a push by Dubbo Council to extract more cash from solar developers looking to establish PV projects in the Council’s region.


21:47 – Discussing the latest SQ Australian Solar Systems Interest Index report, Finn notes the increasing popularity of 6kw and larger systems and an upcoming feature for the report concerning consumption monitoring. A bet is made between the pair as to the percentage of Australians utilising our get a quote service who explicitly request solar monitoring. A now cautious Ronald proposes a wager of 20 cents.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.


  1. Not political advertising – this is govt advertising (supposed to be apolitical – LOL). I doubt that’s exempt.

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