For most of us, for most of our lives, electricity bills and our consumption have both been something of a black box. We know that we get a bill every 1-3 months and get charged for the electricity that we use, but we don’t generally have access to data that would provide us with the insights we need to take meaningful action in between bills.

This article takes a look at the ‘energy awareness factor’ in energy bill savings. The working hypothesis here is that if households know what they’re using on a daily or moment-by-moment basis then they’re more likely to take action to correct their behaviour than if they had no such insights. This is especially true for homes with solar & batteries. Read the full article →

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Warnings of energy storage market chaos, as industry unites against home battery ban

August 16, 2017
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A home battery storage installation guideline proposed by Standards Australia has again been slammed by the industry as fundamentally flawed and – if passed – likely to throw the energy storage market into chaos, both in Australia and overseas. Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin Tweet about it Print for later Tell a friend

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I’m (finally) going to live in a solar-powered home

August 15, 2017
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After nearly a decade working in Australia’s solar industry, I’m finally getting in on the action on a personal level. From next week I’m moving to Newcastle and will be living in a home with solar panels on the roof. Moving into a house that’s already got solar is something that must happen a lot. […]

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In Australian first, SA to build 150MW concentrating ‘solar tower’ plant

August 14, 2017
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US company SolarReserve has been tapped by the South Australia government to deliver all its power needs via a 150MW solar tower and molten salt storage facility to be built in the former coal town of Port Augusta. The announcement will see the first major deployment in Australia of a technology that combines both solar […]

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Solar Choice brokers 100kW solar car park for Sunny Queen Farms in Queensland

August 14, 2017
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Solar Choice Commercial has brokered a 100kW solar car park for Sunny Queen Farm’s facilities in Carole Park, QLD. Sunny Queen is one of Australia’s leading producers of eggs, supplying their products to some of the country’s leading retail grocers. The construction of the solar car park is the culmination of a 9-month journey with […]

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Tesla slams South Australia’s proposed security target

August 11, 2017

South Australia’s proposed energy security target has been slammed by Tesla as a “relic” that incentivises old energy technology over new, including the kind of grid-scale lithium-ion battery system that the US giant is building in the state. The proposed EST, designed by Danny Price from Frontier Economics, has attracted broad criticism for a design that […]

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Queensland opens registrations for 100MW energy storage installations

August 9, 2017
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Queensland has called for early registration of companies wishing to tender for the installation of up to 100MW of energy storage before 2020, as part of the Palaszczuk government’s reverse auction for 400MW of new renewable energy capacity. Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin Tweet about it Print for later Tell a friend

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What are the best cities for home solar battery storage? (August 2017 update)

August 7, 2017
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Having just published an article on the state of Australia’s battery storage market at the beginning of 2017 (recently updated), we decided we would endeavour to shed a bit more light on payback period differences between each capital city. Which cities have the best conditions for home solar battery storage? We’ve ranked them below (with an […]

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Is home solar battery storage worth it in 2017? (August update)

August 7, 2017
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Since 2015 Australians have been talking about home battery storage being on the cusp of financial viability. Are home batteries worth the investment in 2017? We’ve crunched the number for all of Australia’s capital cities to find out. This article was originally published in February 2017. It was last updated on 7 August 2017 to […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – August 2017

August 3, 2017
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Average residential solar system prices have risen slightly following two consecutive months at their lowest levels since Solar Choice began keeping track in August 2012. This month’s higher average price – $1.55 per watt, as opposed to $1.45/W last month- is undoubtedly due at least in part to the recent drop in STC values and […]

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Battery safety standards decision looms large over industry

August 2, 2017
Tesla Powerwall 2

Standards Australia will soon decide whether to allow home lithium battery banks to be installed in a garage or external wall – or whether they’ll be required to live in ‘battery bunker’ in your back yard, accessible only to ‘authorised persons’. The consultation period for input on the proposed changes closes on 14 August, with […]

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Australia headed for 12 gigawatts of solar by 2020: APVI

August 2, 2017
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Australia’s installed solar PV capacity is on track to double, jumping from its current total of 6GW to 12GW in 2020, 2.3GW of which is expected to come from large-scale solar projects, according to a new report. The report – the Australian PV Institute (APVI) latest annual update for the International Energy Agency – says […]

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Graph of the Day: Tesla battery popular on both sides of politics

August 1, 2017
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While support for Australia’s shift to renewable energy can sometimes be split down party lines, new data has shown that support for one of the key enabling technologies, battery storage, enjoys strong bi-partisan support among the Australian public. In particular, support is strong for the recently announced “world’s biggest lithium-ion battery” project that the South […]

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Energy Unlimited: A roadmap towards 100% renewables for government, business & community organisations (Book review)

July 31, 2017
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Under the current government, it’s unlikely that we’re going to see a 100% renewable energy target for Australia as a nation, but accomplishing this goal on a smaller scale is certainly possible. For example, if you could run your  business on 100% renewable energy – and save money in the process – would you? Likewise, […]

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Interested in batteries? NSW Government’s Home Solar Battery Guide is a must-read – no matter which state you live in

July 27, 2017
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Earlier this year the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment commissioned Total Environment Centre, Alternative Technology Association and Zumio to produce a guidebook for state residents interested in battery storage for their home. The end product – the NSW Home Solar Battery Guide – was released earlier this month and is an essential […]

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How home heating affects your solar PV setup

July 26, 2017
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The relationship between home heating and solar PV is significantly different to that between home cooling and solar PV. There are two key differences: Time of day: we need heating the most when the sun goes down. This is the opposite to cooling, which we need most when the sun is out. Time of year: […]

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Emissions-free mowing & garden maintenance service hits Sydney

July 25, 2017
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When it comes to emissions from internal combustion engines, cars and trucks are not the only offenders. Consider this department of environment statistic: “A two-stroke leaf blower used for one hour can produce as much hydrocarbons as 150 cars over the same time.” Like cars in Australia, the vast majority of power tools in the […]

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Report describes Australian electricity utopia – that doesn’t seem to exist

July 24, 2017
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A new report from Australia’s principal electricity market rule-maker has sought to portray a utopian image where consumers believe they are getting value for money and face only one blight on the horizon – the Renewable Energy Target. The Australian Energy Market Commission’s Retail Energy Competition Review, issued on Tuesday, puts the level of customer satisfaction as gauged by […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for July 2017

July 24, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices remain mostly unchanged at about $1.19 per watt ($1.19/W) between June and July 2017. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives available through the federal Renewable Energy Target as well as GST, but do not incorporate meter installation fees or additional costs, such as ground-mounting, […]

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Aussie businesses failing to reap benefits of cheap renewables: Report

July 21, 2017
Renewables used by businesses

A new report from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has found that less that half of Australian businesses actually source any renewable energy at all, and if they do, it supplies less than 10 per cent of the user. According to the same ARENA report, the top reason cited by Australian business for using more renewables […]

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STC prices are falling: What you need to know

July 20, 2017
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‘The federal solar rebate is falling!’ is a cry that Solar Choice has been hearing pretty loudly from our customers, website visitors and installers in and outside our network for the past few days. From a customer’s perspective, what do you need to know about what’s happening with this government solar incentive? Understanding the federal STC […]

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Solar system prices could rise up to 10% as STC prices drop

July 20, 2017
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(Please see Solar Choice’s in-depth coverage of the STC price drop in this article.) The cost of installing rooftop solar looks set to rise by as much as 10 per cent for households and small business this week, after a sudden drop in the price of small scale renewable energy certificates caught much of the […]

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Australia’s 5B launches ground-breaking ‘solar farm in a box’

July 20, 2017
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Sydney-based 5B has launched a pre-fabricated, easily deployed solution for solar farm construction that looks set to revolutionise medium to large-scale solar in Australia (and possibly the world). The company’s rather bold tagline for the MaverickⒸ units is ‘solar re-invented’. On Wednesday 19 July, 5B held a demonstration of the MaverickⒸ’s easy deployment outside Customs […]

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Introducing our new Home Solar & Battery Storage Systems Guide

July 19, 2017
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Over the years Solar Choice has published thousands of articles on the topic of solar power and (more recently) battery storage. Much of this knowledge is spread across various parts of our website (mainly our blog), so we’re recently taken some time to consolidate all the most relevant materials in one place. The result is […]

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Big improvements to our Solar & Battery Sizing & Payback Estimator tool

July 13, 2017
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It’s been well over a year since we first released our Solar & Battery Sizing & Payback Estimator tool in February 2016. Through its life so far, this handy tool has been visited by over 50,000 people trying to determine whether solar battery storage is worth the the money. As a first effort, this tool was […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – July 2017

July 12, 2017
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Average residential solar system prices for July remain mostly unchanged since June’s big shakeup, hovering at $1.34/W. 5kW solar systems continue to offer the best value for money, and Perth is still the city with the lowest average prices. Average solar PV system prices for July 2017 Prices in the table below include both the up-front […]

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Newly formed battery giant Fluence aims to take on Tesla

July 11, 2017
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Energy giants AES and Siemens have combined their energy storage divisions to take on upstarts like Tesla and other industry rivals, in an effort to dominate the soaring global battery storage market. The jointly owned entity, Fluence, will focus exclusively on grid-level storage, rather than in the household market, with a minimum size of 100kW. […]

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A guide to community microgrids

July 11, 2017
Sharing tomatoes

carbonTRACK Community microgrids are a way for neighbourhoods, villages, towns and cities to meet their energy needs locally. Increasingly, community microgrids are being eyed as an option even in areas where a larger grid already exists, mainly as a way to increase local energy independence and resilience. This article covers community microgrid basics, from the reasons […]

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Walnut Energy: Battery solutions for commercial, industrial & grid-scale applications

July 11, 2017
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Walnut Energy is an Australian developer of containerised battery storage solutions for medium to large-scale commercial and industrial premises – not to mention power plants and microgrids. Their battery storage products can be deployed in on-grid, edge-of-grid and off-grid applications to deliver a range of capabilities which include storing energy, providing black out protection, voltage […]

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Ampetus Super Lithium: Modular, cost-competitive battery bank for homes

July 10, 2017
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Ampetus Energy is an Australian battery storage system developer offering one of the most cost-effective battery products currently available: the Ampetus Super Lithium battery. The battery comes with a 10 year warranty that is extendable to 15 years, and can be installed ‘loose’ or as part of a fully-integrated cabinet package. The company aims for […]

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sonnenFlat: sonnen’s ‘free’ / flat-rate electricity plan looks great. Is it worth it?

July 6, 2017
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German battery system maker sonnen has launched its ground-breaking sonnenFlat package – a retail electricity offer available to anyone with at least a 5kW solar system and a sonnen battery system with a minimum of 8kWh of capacity. sonnenFlat customers pay only a single monthly fee (starting at $30) to sonnen instead of having a conventional […]

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