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Solar use climbs as concerns about usage and bills wanes

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Queenslanders’ rapid adoption of solar energy has come with a problem – a decline in the effort to reduce energy from the grid.

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A survey from Queensland Energy said that the big shift to alternative energy and smart meters may be the reason. 

About a third of people were also keen to buy an electric vehicle in the next three years, but only about 3 per cent currently have one.

The survey also showed people were less concerned with their electricity bills and that households with solar PV reported electricity bills that were on average $600 less a year than households without solar. 

The average quarterly bill for a household with solar PV was $231, whereas it was $383 for a household without solar.

“In previous years people may have taken steps to reduce electricity usage, however, now appear to be less concerned,’’ the survey said.

The survey showed 37 per cent of those polled had rooftop solar, up from 33 per cent a year earlier.

“Almost a quarter of Queenslanders intend to purchase a new solar PV system or add to their existing systems, increasing the total solar PV capacity across the state. 

“With less than one in 10 current solar owners stating they won’t replace or repair a system if it is needed, the attrition rate is unlikely to impact the overall solar footprint.

“Those who are planning to purchase solar PV also have a strong intention to go off-grid, more so than those who already have solar PV.’’

Solar Citizens said Queenslander’s demand for solar energy was showing no signs of slowing down. 

Energy strategist Stephanie Gray said last year almost 90,000 solar systems were installed or upgraded across the state.

“This survey shows that there’s a real appetite in Queensland for battery storage and cleaner electric vehicles but cost remains a barrier to accessing these technologies,” said Ms Gray.

“This is where the state and federal governments can play a constructive role. By incentivising the rollout of battery storage and electric transport they can bring down the cost of clean technology to make it easier for more Australians to save money and do their bit for the environment.

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