Dubbo named Australia's top solar postcode11th Apr 2012
Residents of Dubbo - you've done it! You have stolen the solar power crown from Caloundra and are now officially the solar capital of Australia.
New stats from the Clean Energy Council show that 28 per cent of homes in the city have installed solar power systems, demoting Caloundra to second place in the process.
Third place goes to Victor Harbour in the Hindmarsh Valley, while Pinjarra in Ravenswood is ranked in fourth.
So what makes some places more likely to adopt solar energy than others? Clean Energy Council acting chief executive Kane Thornton believes that government incentives play an important role.
"As well as being the sunshine state, the Queensland government's solar scheme is the most generous in the country, while homeowners in South Australia rushed to install solar power systems in 2011 before the government reduced its support program," she commented.
Both Queensland and South Australia have proved to be big adopters of solar power, perhaps because of the incentives that state governments are enticing you with.
In South Australia, a solar feed-in scheme is available - this may mean you can receive payment for any electricity you export back to the grid.
You're likely to be asking yourself just how much is on offer. SA residents are entitled to 44 cents per kilowatt hour they produce for systems installed before January 29 2012, which is certainly not to be sniffed at!
If you live in Queensland, there are other solar incentives just waiting to be taken advantage of.
The Solar Bonus Scheme works in a similar way to the SA equivalent, offering 44 cents for every kWh fed back into the grid.
A meter reader will visit your home at the end of every quarter to see how much energy you've exported to the grid, before the figures are passed on to your electricity supplier to calculate the bill.
The quarterly payment is knocked off the total grid-connected electricity consumption charge that is usually slapped on your bill.
The Queensland government estimates that if you operate a 1.5kW solar system, you could lower your electricity bill by as much as $500 a year if you are signed up for the Solar Bonus Scheme.
This saving would be a combination of using less electricity from the grid and receiving payments from the scheme.
As the solar power market continues to evolve, who knows where will top next year's poll?
Posted by Bob Dawson