Solar parity to keep electricity prices down

The Sustainable Energy Association of Australia (SEA -, with the support of SEA members, has commenced a six week campaign to bring good news to those looking to install solar, and that is: there has never been a better time to put solar on your roof than now.

The campaign will place a series of full page advertisements in The West Australian newspaper. As a part of the campaign, SEA has established a new website - – to offer independent advice to consumers to with breakdowns of costs, details of rebates and how solar can save you money now and into the future.

You will also be able to access a list of suppliers so when it comes time to make that important investment, you will be dealing with reputable businesses.

As a business chamber, SEA sees that the past year’s growth in the sustainable energy market is now resulting in competition between businesses that is good news for customers.

‘With recent changes in the market place, suppliers in Australia currently have a surplus of inventory, coinciding with a drop in the cost of solar panels enhanced by the continuing strength of the Australian dollar,’ says Professor Ray Wills, SEA Chief Executive.

‘From a customer perspective this is a great time to buy because all solar retailers will be even more competitive in their pricing to move inventory.’

With the price of electricity for both domestic and business customers increasing, solar panels deliver electricity that, combined with existing Federal Government rebates, can potentially pay the investment in panels back within 4-7 years, with the effect that electricity sourced from those panels after that point will be at no cost.

Rising prices

Rising electricity prices are a result of a number of factors, especially a lack of investment in electricity infrastructure in past decades, and rising fossil fuel prices. A third factor has been that governments all around Australia including the Western Australian Government have sensibly been eliminating subsidies that have hidden the true cost of generating electricity including subsidies for fossil fuels. Delivering ‘cost reflective pricing’ is an essential market reform required to allow new forms of electricity generation to come to market and be competitive. All reputable industry bodies support this action by government for cost reflective pricing of electricity in the same way that in the last decade the whole community accepted that paying the true price for water was also necessary.

If a home owner uses all of the energy they generate from solar panels in their home, that electricity is worth in the Perth market a minimum of 21.7 c kWh. For enterprises on a business tariff, this may be worth even more. And of course it is an investment that only grows stronger as every future price in electricity increases is avoided in the electricity generated on the roof.

In addition, recent studies reveal other benefit to installing solar – data from case studies show that home owners that have installed solar are becoming more energy wise, managing their electricity use and reducing electricity usage by on average 20% compared with home owners that don’t have solar installed.

A further benefit is for builders working toward 6-Star housing building standards and courting home buyers who want the best energy outcome in their home - an additional selling point that homes with solar fetch a higher price at market.

Finally, installing solar continues to make a difference - installation of renewable energy on homes is displacing the need for new fossil fuel based generation.

‘But purchase wisely – an important piece of advice if you are looking to install a solar panel: choose a reputable supplier. One way to be more certain of this is to look for an installer that belongs to the Sustainable Energy Association or a similar reputable industry body’, says Prof Wills.

‘Also, as with any significant investment, get a second quote – but ensure the quotes are delivering comparable systems so that you can truly find the best value for your investment,’ says Prof Wills.

Any reputable business looking to add their support to the campaign can contact SEA. Expansion of the campaign for a longer period and to other parts of Australia will be reliant on additional industry support.

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