How To Cut Your Electricity Bills By 90 Percent Or More With New Solar And Battery Technology

Posted by
Alex
Apr 18, 2017

Feeling trapped by fast-rising electricity rates, but unsure how to escape? More and more Australians are saving heaps with solar and battery systems, but it’s not always easy to separate the truth from the hype. This article looks at exactly how the big energy companies are running up your bills and then runs the numbers on how you can take control of your electricity future.

You wake up, grab brekkie, and walk over to your desk where you see a stack of bills waiting to be paid. You slice open the envelope containing your electricity bill… and you're stunned.

You used to pay $450 per quarter. Now, with the July 1st price rise, your bill is closing in on $600.

You can barely afford to pay this bill - what will happen if your costs go even higher?

How do you feel?

What you don't know is that, two doors down, your neighbour wakes up and goes through the same routine - but with one major difference.

While you're thinking about cutting the air con in the height of summer to keep your bills down, he's sending off his monthly payment for his solar panels.

He pays the same affordable rate every month, and he never wonders whether running the A/C or putting in a second fridge will leave him scrambling to pay his bill.

Sounds great, right?

Imagine being able to enjoy modern technology without worrying about the strain the resulting energy bill could put on your family. Imagine knowing, without fail, what you'll owe every month - no more pulling funds from your grocery budget or your kids' activity fees just to cover your costs.

Even better, imagine watching as the grid hikes rates yet again and knowing that their changes won't touch you. You're self-sufficient, and you're no longer at the whims of the big businesses and government agencies that rig the system against the little guys.

Not only is this possible, it's actually pretty easy - thanks to advances in new solar and battery technology. Don't believe it? Stick with us.

By the end of this article, you'll understand:

How affordable solar energy can be,

How switching to solar can cut you free from the electric company's never-ending rate hikes,

And how you can take advantage of these benefits - and more - yourself.

No End to Rising Electric Rates

But, before we jump into the "how" of solar energy, take a look at the graph below. It shows how much the price of electricity has gone up in the last 25 years.  The pattern looks familiar, right? If you've had a peek at your latest energy bill, this trend shouldn't come as a surprise.

For a long time, Australians enjoyed some of the lowest electricity prices in the world. And today, we've become a world leader in solar and battery power, boasting the highest penetration of solar rooftops in the world - yet our energy bills are higher than ever.

What happened?

It's the same story you hear again and again - when big business and government are left to their own devices, the little guy gets left out.

Only now, that little guy is you.

Back in 2008, the energy networks started making a fuss about future demand for electricity, arguing that, unless they got to upgrade their poles and wires, their systems wouldn't be able to cope with our hunger for new air cons, appliances and other modern technologies.

The networks told the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) that they needed an unprecedented $45 billion spend - on top of another 10 per cent "regulated rate of return" - guaranteed to cover their costs of making those upgrades. All of that - the initial cost to consumers and the high interest rates the networks negotiated - would be charged back to consumers' electricity bills over the next 40 years, with guaranteed profits paid for by everyday Aussies.

Now, here's where things take a turn. In 2010, Australian energy demand actually went down - and it's been going down ever since. Despite this, the networks have continued to invest in a system that we no longer want or need (a process known as "gold-plating," unnecessary upgrades made to increase profits).

And you know who gets to pay for that gold-plating? We do.

Energy rates skyrocketed from 2009-2015 thanks to these grid updates.  And thanks to another round of gold-plating that was approved for 2015-2019, it's just going to happen again.

But wait - didn't the new government promise to bring down energy bills by removing carbon credits? They did, and bills went down temporarily. But then they bounced right back up, thanks to that second round of $50 billion in approved grid spending.

It turns out, carbon tax costs only ever accounted for about 9 per cent of your total bill. Cutting them pales in comparison to the costs associated with the grid gold-plating you're required to pay for.

Now, we aren't here to attack the networks or the government agencies. What's done is done, and we can't go back and un-invest in unnecessary expenditures.

Instead, our goal is to educate. You have the right to know why your energy costs are going up, even though the grid seems as unstable as ever (we're looking at you, South Australia blackouts). You have the right to know that your government is milking even more out of the arrangement by selling their grids to private investors - guaranteed profits and approved spends included.

And, you have the right to know that there is a way for you to opt-out of being trapped by big business and choose stable, affordable electricity for your home, thanks to solar energy.

All of us at ShineHub are here to help you power your life with sunshine and become a solar superhero. If you're sick of feeling trapped by the electric companies, let's talk about how you can use your powers to change things...
 

How Solar Reduces Energy Costs

Later, we'll talk about how you can opt-out of continuing electricity rate hikes with new solar and battery technology, but before we can do that, we need to take a closer look at how your bill works today.

When your utility company sends you a bill, you're getting dinged for two different types of expenses:

Electricity charges, based on how much power you use (measured in $ per kilowatt-hour of electricity)

Service charges, set as a flat fee per day simply for being tied into the electric grid

If you ask us, that's a pretty bum deal. Not only are you being double-billed - once to get into the system, and another time to use it - you're basically at the whims of your electricity company. If they increase their prices year after year - and it seems pretty clear that they will - your only choice is to cut back on the things you enjoy just to keep your power bills under control.

You're basically being trapped by the networks. And let's face it, you shouldn't have to suffer through another 40.6C Christmas in Adelaide at your nan's house without the aircon on, just because she won't be able to afford the charges!

We aren't going to bore you here with all the tech-y details of how solar works, but we do want to make one thing clear: solar can help you escape the energy companies' rules and design your own (much more affordable) power solution.


Three Types of Solar Solutions

"Going solar" can be confusing. If you're sitting here reading this, struggling to figure out what products to get or what installer you can trust, don't worry. We're here to help you understand your options.

At a basic level, solar and battery systems involve capturing the energy generated by the sun using a combination of panels and batteries. This energy can be stored for daily use, enabling homes to only draw off the power grid as a last resort.

When ShineHub works on solar projects, we work with three different kinds of battery systems:

1. Solar panels only

2. Solar panels + battery

3. Off-grid solar system

With a solar panels only, you only use solar power during the day, which can reduce your electricity bills by 40-50% by cutting down on your daytime electricity charges. You're still tied into the electric company's grid, but you're only drawing part of your power from them - mostly at night. Most of your daytime power is free from your panels, courtesy of the sun.

A solar panel + battery system takes things up a notch. While you're still technically on the grid, you're trimming your current bills by 70% - 90% by covering your day and night energy needs with solar power. Even if a blackout occurs, you'll be able to keep your food fresh and your lights on by powering your home with your battery.

For 100% solar self-sufficiency, an off-grid solar system - which combines panels, batteries and a small generator - you eliminate not just your company's electricity charges, but their service charges as well.

Leaving the clutches of the energy companies might seem extreme, but this option isn't just for survivalist preppers. It's for anybody who wants to be able to enjoy modern conveniences without having to play the silly electrical game (or for anyone who wants to flip their utility providers the bird). And if an off-the-grid lifestyle might be right for you down the road, you can look into hybrid solar + battery systems that can convert to fully off-grid capabilities down the track.


Why Go Solar?

We've hinted at some of these reasons throughout this article, but let's get crystal clear here: Yes, you can save money with solar technology. And we know that's important to you - but this is about so much more than money.

Have you ever thought about adding an extra fridge to your garage or putting a pool out back - only to skipper the idea because of how much it'd add to your electric bill? Maybe you've yelled at the kids for wanting to crank up the aircon on a hot day (even when you desperately wanted to do so yourself)?

Switching to solar takes the cost issue out of the equation, but it also means being able to enjoy the lifestyle boost you've been denying yourself by cutting back due to crazy electricity bills.

Solar owners also enjoy a level of control and predictability those using only mains electricity can't imagine. When you use standard electricity, you're at the mercy of the energy companies. There's nothing you can do to avoid rate increases or to know, with certainty, what your future bills will look like.

That is, except for switching to solar energy. With solar energy, you get controlled costs, more capacity and greater energy independence. It's better power, your way.

Solar energy can pay off in other ways too. Research from Origin Energy found that "85% of Australians identify solar rooftop panels as something which adds to a property's value."

On top of that, consider this: "An average electricity bill of $500 a quarter running at 7 per cent energy inflation, over the time of a solar panels warranty of 25 years will cost you $135,353."

Really puts things into perspective, doesn't it?


How to Get Started with Solar

If you're thinking that all sounds great, you're not alone. A recent Choice survey found that 45% of homeowners are interested in adding batteries to their home, yet only 2% of families have purchased them.

That makes sense. It can be tough to understand how solar works - especially when so many blogs and websites cover different parts of the story, and leave it up to you to put everything together - and figure out how to pay for it.

At ShineHub, we help families find effective, affordable solar solutions that meet their needs, whether that means investing upfront or spreading the payment over time with a "pay as you go" approach. This is our "Switch and Save" programme, and it means we'll work with you to create a payment scheme that gives you immediate savings from day one.

You'll get all the cost-saving advantages of solar, along with the consistency of a payment programme that lets you anticipate and plan for your regular monthly costs.

Either way, solar isn't just as a cost-saving opportunity. It's a smart move for your financial future. Imagine - instead of paying $50 to $70 per week to your favourite electricity company, you can put $35/week towards your solar home improvement. You're saving more than you're spending.  And you're locking in low, predictable rates for the future, while having power during grid blackouts.

The bottom line? With solar, you'll be able to reduce your bill, reduce your dependence on mains electricity and improve the value of your home - all while saving money straight away.

Electric rates aren't going to drop suddenly. Electric companies aren't going to realise - out of the blue - that their practices are often unfair and that they hold consumers back from fully enjoying a modern lifestyle.

Solar - whether you install a whole system at once or switch and save - means taking matters into your own hands.


How We Can Help

Think of ShineHub as the Alfred Pennyworth to your Bruce Wayne. You're taking back your energy autonomy from the electric companies that are holding you back - and we're the ones standing behind you, giving you all the information you need to make a good decision.

We're a "solar marketplace for customers looking for solar panels and battery solutions." First, we get to know you and what your needs are. Then, we don't just recommend the best products and installers - we also hold local community events so you can choose the plan that's right for you, all as part of our low-pressure buying experience.

Building a Better Future for Australia

Together, we’re going to flip the script in Australia – from the world’s highest power prices to a people-powered solar revolution that saves money, creates local jobs, and protects the future of the planet.

To deliver these exclusive deals, we’re using our “Solar 2.0” platform, endorsed by the Australian Solar Council, which means:

●       Top solar and battery brands
●       No-nonsense advice from unbiased experts
●       Trustworthy, vetted local solar companies
●       Independent quality assurance and expanded warranty

Register for your local community event at https://www.shinehub.com.au/community-solar-programs or call 1800 898 381 today!

We can't wait to help you reduce or even eliminate your electricity bills with new solar and battery technology.

About the Author

Alex 1 followers

Alex is a home energy expert with experience across virtually every area of the industry, ranging from energy efficiency and smart home gear to the latest solar and battery technologies. As co-founder of ShineHub, he is responsible for delivering the best digital experience in the industry for customers as well as managing customer-facing communications.

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