Solar sales double on the back of rising energy costs

Rooftop solar installer ((sunplan)
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Rising energy costs combined with public discussion about an impending recession have doubled solar panel sales in the space of two months at Australia’s only domestic solar panel manufacturer, Tindo Solar.

The increase in solar sales from September to November at the Adelaide-based manufacturer was accompanied by a doubling in battery sales over the same period.

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Tindo Solar CEO Richard Petterson said the upsurge in solar panel and battery sales was predominantly due to warnings about electricity price rises, with an underlying concern about the economy. There was also a longer-term trend of consumers recognising the importance of quality and preferencing Australia-made.

“Consumers have spent several months watching energy prices rise and being warned that there are more to come,” Petterson said.

“Along with the inflation outlook and talk of recession, we can see Australians wanting to take control of their electricity costs by using the Sun as an energy source and storing that energy in a battery.”

Petterson said Australians had moved beyond the novelty of generating power from their rooftops and increasingly wanted PV and battery systems and access to Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) which reduce power prices while giving the network operator access to Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS). The market was also becoming focused on quality issues such as performance and longevity.

“More people are seeking high-quality solutions which includes Australia-made solar modules designed for Australian conditions,” he said.

Solar advocacy group Solar Citizens said a national poll showed 78% of Australians agreed the government should subsidise household battery storage. 

The poll of more than 2,000 Australians was conducted by uComms and comes as globally high coal and gas prices are expected to drive up electricity prices by 56% over the next two years. Seventy three per cent of people polled said they were concerned about affording their next electricity bill.

“Australians are world leaders in the uptake of rooftop solar because generating your own electricity is a guaranteed way to take back control of spiralling power bills,” Solar Citizens deputy director Stephanie Gray said.

“We’re hearing from a lot of people now that they’d like to take the next step and invest in home battery storage to be more energy independent, but the upfront cost is a barrier.

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“There are simple steps the Federal Government can take to help make household storage more affordable, like introducing a rebate and providing no-interest loans for people to invest in clean technology.

“Incentivising more battery storage is a win-win that will help bring down electricity costs for all consumers by supplying cheap solar energy to the grid at night and reducing the need for expensive grid upgrades.”

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