Solar panels 'cut household electricity consumption'20th Jun 2012
Australians who have installed solar panels will have done so for a number of reasons, but the chances are that guarding against rising electricity prices is pretty high up on the list.
A new report suggests that the switch to solar power systems is having a positive effect on the rising cost of energy, as they will help lessen the pace of increases over the coming years.
The study, unveiled by the Renewable Energy Certificate Agents Association, showed that over the three years to 2011, electricity consumption has fallen by 3.2 per cent.
More than half of this reduction is due to solar panels, with energy saving initiatives also lending a hand.
However, solar energy cannot take all the credit for the change - milder weather over the past couple of years and personal energy savings are both believed to have played a role.
Australia is not the only place to have shifted to solar over recent years, as the United Nations Environment Programme recently revealed that investment in the renewable energy source has overtaken wind power.
Solar energy investment increased 52 per cent to reach $147 billion last year and with the potential for more savings on electricity bills, this figure has the opportunity to rise even further.
Consumers and businesses alike are usually keen to do all they can to protect themselves against escalating costs and with electricity often a significant expense, it's not hard to see why solar is so appealing.
Australia is, however, still lagging behind other parts of the world in many respects - perhaps unsurprisingly, the US is considered a leader in renewable energy generation and there's some way to go before it will be dethroned.
With the prospect of more Aussie dollars in our pockets, there's still a chance solar could come to the fore on these shores!
Posted by Mike Peacock