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Solar energy users 'are smarter about energy efficiency'

4th Oct 2012

"Maybe we need bumper stickers that say 'solar owners are smarter'."

It's a bold statement, but Nigel Morris of Solar Business Services is not one to mince his words when it comes to renewable energy.

And according to the expert, people who install solar energy systems in their homes and businesses tend to have a better idea of the benefits of being energy efficient.

Nigel was promoting the idea of 'one small step at a time' for sustainable upgrades, claiming this stops people from being overwhelmed.

He stated: "Solar systems have long been lauded as being great at prompting these simple, behavioural step changes.

"As a solar owner, understanding energy consumption, tariffs and conservation in general starts to become intrinsic; I've seen it time and time again."

But Morris isn't content with the status quo and is keen to see the 'one small step' motto prevailing in the commercial solar industry.

He highlighted the problems many businesses face when looking to install large-scale solar units, including prohibitive charges from network operators and unenthusiastic shareholders.

Nigel cited a case where a client of his had a 100kW system ready to go, when the network insisted on frequency control gear being fitted - for the princely sum of $78,000.

Describing it as an "utterly ridiculous" charge, Morris claimed it would have represented 25 per cent of the entire project.

However, he noted that the customer decided to take one innovative step and find out the specifications of the mechanism for himself, before getting an alternative quote at one-third of the price.

This "outside-the-box" thinking will not only benefit businesses in the long run, it may also force networks to rethink their current strategies when charging excessively, Nigel explained.

Morris was recently a guest speaker at the Getting Commercial Solar Right series of events, sponsored by SI Clean Energy, which provided help and advice for firms interested in succeeding in the industry.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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