We are certainly living through some interesting times at the moment. With inflation and interest rates on the rise not to forget petrol and food, the last thing we need is high electricity rates. While the wholesale cost of electricity went up by 141% in early 2022, the government predicts an increase of another 50% next year. It has to leave you scratching your head and wondering why? Not only do we want to know why we’re being burdened with high electricity rates, but how we can reduce our bills to stay above it all?

What Has Caused The Prices to Hike So High?

There are two major factors causing this increase:

  • The war between Ukraine-Russia: Russia has stopped providing cheap gas that Europe has depended on to generate electricity, heat homes and run factories. This has caused Europe to source gas from other countries which is now putting pressure on supply and demand.
  • Another causing factor is the shutdown of major coal-fired power stations off the back of the drop in demand from covid-19. It takes time for these power stations to get back online again to meet the demands.

 

How High Have They Gone Up in Australia?

On average, we have seen a rise of 141% in wholesale rates. What has been passed onto consumers varies from state to state. Let’s break down who is being affected the most.

Queensland: Us South-East Queenslanders have endured the biggest rise at 12.6%, while the rest of the state is sitting at about a 9.1% energy increase. This sits at about $220 a year for South-East Queenslanders and $119 for the rest of the state.

NSW: this state has high electricity rates and has endured the sharpest rise country-wide. Depending on the distribution zone, they have seen increases from 9.6%, 11% all the way to 18.3%. This translates into an increase from $219 to $369 per year.

South Australia: they have seen a slower increase at 9.6% state-wide.

Tasmania: Tasmanians have been hit hard with an increase of 12%, which is about $200 per year.

Victoria: Victorians have seen a 5% rise in the costs of electricity.

Western Australia: the increase for those on the other side of the country has risen by 2.5%

ACT: has a different story from the rest of us sitting at a decline of 1.25%.

Northern Territories figures are unavailable at this time.

How Can We Protect Ourselves?

1. Consider Solar Power

As individuals, the best way to bring down the high electricity rates is by using as little energy as possible. This will bring down our bills and take some pressure off of the overloaded system. With our ideal sunny weather here in Brisbane, installing solar panel systems gets us the most bang for our buck. Research shows that solar power families save on average $1,500 per year. That is an average figure and of course, the bigger your solar system the more you save.

2. Look At Solar Hot Water

Did you know that approximately 25% of your energy bill is from heating up your water? Electric hot water systems are expensive and contribute significantly to your power bill. Installing a solar hot water system reduces the water-heating portion of your energy bill on average by 65%.

Partnering your solar hot water with solar panels provides you with some security of electricity in this volatile climate. With the uncertainty of what’s ahead with blackouts and our hot climate, having the security to turn on your air conditioning when you need to is important.

3. Keep an Eye on Your Usage

Technology has given us a leg up as we can now track through our phones how much energy we’re using and how much energy we’re generating. We can automatically shift expensive connected appliances away during expensive peak times. This system is Solaharts Home Energy Management Unit. These can be installed in any solar system.

The benefits are vast but most importantly this system provides:

  • The ability to bring all connected appliances and devices under one managed system.
  • The system identifies which connected appliances use the most amount of energy and you will also know when your solar system is generating the most amount of energy so you can tailor your usage accordingly. Now that is one smart system!
  • Lastly, this data on your solar system and usage is in real-time making it that much more convenient.

4. Invest in Your Solar Storage System

We’ve gone to great lengths to generate as much power from the sun as possible, and reduce and monitor our usage so what about storage?

We are fortunate with the abundance of sun here in Brisbane that we can generate a lot of energy from solar panels, but if we don’t use it quickly enough, it gets sent back to the grid. While the credit from the grid is always welcome, so is storing that energy and using it during expensive peak times and remaining off the grid altogether.

The tariffs for solar customers have been reducing consistently as more and more homes switch to solar power. This increases the need for energy storage as the credit to your bills is less than it has ever been before. This method of utilizing both the production and storage of our energy keeps more money in your wallet.

To maximize your ability to go off-grid, a home battery is another home run. Pair a home battery with your solar panels, solar hot water and solar management system and your energy worries are behind you. If you’re ready to start the conversation on which system is best for your home or business, give us a call.