New research released by Solar Citizens shows solar PV uptake is more common in middle-lower socio-economic households than higher socio-economic households.
The study also found with the excess energy generated by solar households, they were effectively subsidising the energy bills of those without solar.
Solar Citizens national director Joseph Scales said while it sounded counter-intuitive that people in lower socio-economic groups would be investing the most in solar PV, it made sense given rising bills over the past decade.
“People are reaching for ways to get control over their energy costs and for millions of low and middle income households, solar is the best way to do that,” Mr Scales said.
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“In fact, this research found that PV uptake was lowest among the highest socio-economic group and highest among the lowest socio economic group.”
“We also cross referenced this ABS data with Domain data on the value of individual’s actual homes and found people with lower average property values were much more likely to have solar (30 per cent) than those with the highest property values (13 per cent).”
The research also found that people in lower socio-economic groups who are investing more in solar are helping to bring down electricity prices for everyone.
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“By exporting excess electricity back into the grid, people from lower socio-economic groups are providing a low-cost source of power for everyone else.
“The two million solar houses across Australia act like one huge power station generating around 8900GWh of electricity in the past year alone – more than any coal fired power station and at a much lower cost.”
The research was done by the Victoria Energy Policy Centre, using a sample of more than 10,000 household bills including more than 2000 bills from those with solar panels; with data pulled from CHOICE, the ABS and Domain.