Logan City’s 64,000 solar homes and businesses are helping to keep down power prices in the Sunshine State, according to a new report by Solar Citizens and the Queensland Conservation Council.
The report found the State’s 870,000 solar homes and businesses effectively provided up to $60 million worth of free electricity to the grid in May and helped drive down inflated wholesale electricity prices by 9 per cent in the same month. On average for the last financial year, rooftop solar provided $30 million of free electricity to the grid each month.
In the Logan City Council area an impressive 49.5 per cent of dwellings have solar installed.
“Right now, we’re seeing sky-high wholesale electricity prices driven by high fossil fuel costs and relentless breakdowns at coal and gas generators,” said Maggie Mckeown, Climate Campaigner at the Queensland Conservation Council.
“Queensland now has Australia’s highest wholesale electricity prices because we rely the most on fossil fuel generators and have the lowest renewable energy uptake in Australia’s main grid.
“The only price relief we’re seeing is in the middle of the day when solar is operating.”
The Queensland Government is currently developing a 10-Year Energy Plan that will determine the future of Queensland’s electricity system and two Logan MPs are in the driver’s seat.
Queensland’s Energy Minister and Member for Springwood Mick de Brenni alongside Treasurer and Member for Woodridge Cameron Dick are key decision makers determining how much renewable energy will connect to Queensland’s grid by 2032.
“Queenslanders have turned to solar in droves to slash their electricity bills and in the process, they’re driving down the wholesale prices for everyone. Unfortunately, that community action is not enough to overcome years of government inaction to plan for the transformation of our energy system,” said Stephanie Gray, Deputy Director of Solar Citizens.
“To provide long-term power price relief, we’d like to see the Queensland Government deliver an ambitious plan to repower our energy system with cheap renewable energy, while immediately helping renters and social housing tenants access cost-cutting rooftop solar.”
The energy plan will be released later this year and will go up to 2032 when Queensland will host the world’s first climate positive Summer Olympics.
Logan Case Study
David Baggs lives in Loganholme and estimates his 5kW solar system has reduced his power bills by about 75 per cent.
“My quarterly bill is about $340 for a household with four adults where we’ve got full air conditioning, two home offices, 3 TVs, an electric clothes dryer, and an electric car. Our electricity usage is fairly heavy,” said Mr Baggs.
“Most of the time our Tesla is set up to charge during the day where it’s connected straight to our solar panels between 7.30am – 4.30pm, but I do have to charge at night sometimes.
“It would be well over $100 a tank to fill up a petrol car. So having an electric car is probably saving me $80-90 per week, some weeks, a lot more.
“With power bills set to rise I’ll probably be increasing the number of solar panels on our roof and am looking at installing a battery. At the moment, we’re only getting 7 c/kWh for the electricity we feed into the grid, and we get charged an average of 24c/kWh for any electricity we buy back.”