RUNNING HOT: Solar panel installer Darren Rosolak says the end of the generous goverment bonus scheme hasn’t killed household solar.
RUNNING HOT: Solar panel installer Darren Rosolak says the end of the generous goverment bonus scheme hasn’t killed household solar. Inga Williams

Ipswich in top 10 Australian solar panel hotspots

THE end of the generous government solar rebate has done little to switch off Ipswich people looking to harness the power of the sun.

The city was named in the top 10 Australian towns where households were using solar power systems, according to an Australian Financial Review analysis of data from the Clean Energy Regulator.

Bundaberg topped the list and Queensland as a whole leads the nation when it comes to going solar, with the sunshine state home to about a third of all the nation's 1.4 million rooftop systems.

Ipswich Solar Power installer Darren Rosolak said the expiry of the 44 cent feed-in tariff had resulted in a slowing down of business, but people were still embracing solar power.

"Business is definitely not what it was three or four years ago," Mr Rosolak said.

"I'm busy without being overly busy - people who are already on the 44 cent feed-in are now doing a lot of extensions on their existing systems to make the most of them.

"But I am still doing new installations."

The feeed-in tariff for new customers now varies from 6-10 cents, depending on the retailer, which has resulted in households opting for generally smaller solar systems.

A 3-kilowatt system will cost about $3500, which could take the average household 3-4 years to make back in savings on their power bills.

"The old days of going with as big a system as you could afford are over," Mr Rosolak said.

"Now, it is a matter of matching it with the needs of the individual."

Solar Citizens director Claire O'Rourke said Ipswich residents should be congratulated on adopting solar in such large numbers.

There are 6,232 solar installations in the 4305 postcode, and Ms O'Rourke said it was time for the Federal Government to introduce policies to further encourage people.

The Federal Government still provides a rebate for the initial purchase of a rooftop solar system.

The rebate is based on the expected output of the system over a 15-year period.

The Queensland Government is conducting a review into the price of solar energy that is sold back into the grid from households and small businesses, with a view to further encouraging people to embrace the power of the sun.

Energy Minister Mark Bailey said the Government was pushing towards one million solar rooftops by 2020.

Mr Bailey said the Queensland Productivity Commission had received the Terms of Reference to commence the public review.

"This process will run concurrently with the recent announcement of Ergon Energy's 150 megawatt large scale renewable Expression of Interest, and will help drive an unprecedented amount of renewable energy investment into the Queensland market."

SOLAR POWER TOP 10

  1. Bundaberg
  2. Mandurah WA
  3. Hervey Bay
  4. Caloundra
  5. Toowoomba
  6. Ipswich
  7. Gold Coast Hinterland
  8. Logan
  9. Mackay
  10. North Perth


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