Renewable energy and your home: 5 benefits explained

Renewable energy in Australia is growing rapidly. The uptake from both individuals and business, big and small is immense. There are currently over 2.5 million rooftop solar installations in Australia and growing every day.

In 2019, 24% of Australia’s energy was from renewable sources. On average per square meter, Australias has the highest solar radiation in the world. With all of these natural, renewable resources at our front door making the switch to renewable energy makes a lot of sense at a macro level.

However, how can it positively impact individuals?

Solar and renewable storage benefits:

These are 5 of the top benefits you get from installing solar and renewable storage at your home:

1. Reduce your bills

Reduce your bills

Who likes to pay electricity bills? No one. That is the reason why people love solar when they get their electricity bill. One of the greatest benefits of installing solar are the savings you get on your energy bills.

There are two ways you save with solar. Consuming the power you create and exporting any unused power to the grid.

Australia has some of the highest electricity prices in the world. Our massive country with a relatively small population means the generation and maintenance of the huge grid comes at a cost and that cost is worn by consumers.

When you generate your own electricity with solar, you are saving on every single kWh (kilowatt hour) rather than buying it from the grid. The average costs of a kWh of electricity is around 30c and the average home uses around 20kWh’s per day. So when you crunch the numbers, it all starts to ad up.

generate your own electricity

You can’t control when the sun is shining. When your system is generating and you aren’t running any or enough appliances to use it, the best part is that power will get exported to the grid and you will get a credit on your bill.

These are known as a feed in tariff. For every single kWh you send to the grid you can get paid a credit on your bill. Some consumers are even capable of reducing their bills to $0 and even getting a pure credit!

Every single electricity retailer has a different value for their feed in tariffs so it is important to check what yours is if you have solar and make sure you get the best deal you can. It can heavily impact your savings.

2. Rebates and incentives

Rebates and incentives

Rebates and incentives are always hot topics. In Australia, we are lucky enough to have access to both Federal and State based rebates and incentives that help pay for people to install renewable energy in their homes.

The first and most common are STC’s or small scale technology certificates. This is a program run by the Federal government to help offset the costs of renewable energy in smaller scale settings.

Anyone can access the program and there are very few restrictions.

To put the scheme into context, for a standard 6.6kW home solar system you will receive around $3,500.00 in incentives. This is often referred to as the ‘Solar Rebate’. While it isn’t technically a rebate, it may as well be. It is a fairly linear scale so the bigger the system, the more money you will get back.

Traditionally, the STC’s will be signed over to the solar retailer and the amount will be taken off the total purchase price to the customer.

Next, there are some state based incentives and rebates. For example, NSW is running a program to help people access renewable energy storage. The Empowering Homes Program provides an interest free loan for people to install a battery to an existing home with solar (up to $9,000.00) or install a complete solar and battery system (up to $14,000.00). The best part is, you can still access STC’s.

Another example is the Victorian Solar Rebate. It provides Victorians with an additional $1,850.00 rebate for new solar installations and access to an $1,850.00 interest free loan.

3. Improve the value of your home

Improve the value of your home

Everyone wants to find ways to improve the value of their home. If you are looking to sell or just to look after your #1 asset, there is always something you can do.

Renewable energy and sustainability is becoming a more important issue for Australians every single day. Everyone is becoming more and more aware of the impact they have on the environment and making active efforts to do the right thing.

If you are looking to invest in your home or sell your home, the first thing you ask is, what can I do, to get the best return?

Solar and Solar Batteries should be very close to the top of the list.

Not only will you reduce your own ongoing energy bills, you will reduce your incoming potential buyers. Then when you factor in the good emotional connection as more and more people make conscious efforts to go green and the Government assistance you can get to buy renewable energy for your home, it’s hard to find a better return on investment for your home.

On top of all of this it is also one of the least capital intensive. When compared to a kitchen (average of $15,000.00 – $43,000.00) or a bathroom (around $20,000.00) renovation, an average solar installation after government incentives is only around $6,000.00. This means less upfront risk for consumers and home owners.

4. Reduce your dependence from the grid

Renewable energy and your home

You don’t realise how reliant you are on power and your access to the grid until there’s a black out. Your wifi goes down, your fridge slowly starts to warm up and the lights don’t work. Renewable energy can solve this problem.

While solar won’t supply your home with power on it’s on, solar with a battery can do the trick! Solar can not keep working without a battery because it is connected to the grid. So if the grid goes down so does your solar. However, if you get a battery with black out protection, your problems are solved.

Not only can you use any power that is generated during the day from the solar, you can use any power in the battery to continue running your home. Plus, any additional power generated by the solar will charge the battery for you to use at night.

5. Reduce your carbon footprint

Reduce your carbon footprint

Right now, in Australia most of the power we use is generated from fossil fuel power plants. While we are making the switch to renewable energy, there is a long way to go.

More and more Australians are becoming aware of their carbon footprint and the impact that has on the environment. While Governments and Businesses around the world are implementing their own strategies to reduce the impact we are having there are ways for individuals to have a meaningful impact.

Every single person has the ability to reduce their own footprint by installing solar. Once you have installed solar, it will have generated enough electricity to cover the carbon footprint created by its manufacturing and installing in just 1 year. Most solar panels have a 25 year warranty and inverters, 10. So after year 1, you are generating clean, green energy ready for your home and family to enjoy knowing you have at least 10 – 25 years to go!

Samantha Rigby
Samantha Rigby
Samantha is the head of content, lifestyle and entrepreneurial columnist for Best in Australia. She is also a contributor to Forbes and SH. Prior to joining the Best in Au, she was a reporter and business journalist for local newspapers.
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