Renewables on the rise as household electricity bills rise

Environmental experts say moving away from gas is a new way to save both land and your bills. But if you don’t have solar energy, you will lose a lot of money.

With the energy crisis, rising interest rates and inflation rates, trying to navigate household energy bills can be a daunting task.

And as Australia still aims to produce half of the country’s electricity from renewable sources.environmental experts will tell you that the best step is to go gas-free.

However, the combination of pandemic chaos, international fuel disruptions such as the war in Ukraine and accelerated closure of coal-fired power plants in Australia household energy bills have skyrocketed, along with other pressures on the cost of living.

So, as the future of green living becomes ever more tangible and Australians are coping with the immediate effects of the energy crisis, Finder senior financial editor Sarah Megginson says switching to electricity is not a one-size-fits-all answer.

In fact, for many homeowners, the answer may lie in conservative budgeting practices and reevaluating your energy supplier.

Can you really save money by switching?

If you have solar panels – yes. If not, then definitely not in the short term.

But that doesn’t mean you’ll never do it.

It also depends on whether you want to upgrade your existing home or want to decide which way to go when building a new home.

Now more than ever, the drive to invest in renewable energy is strong thanks to solar panel rebates and green banking financing options that make it easier to build a green home.

But factors such as the cost of installing solar panels, upgrading electrical appliances, and even lifestyle choices such as the preference to cook with gas affect the immediate cost-effectiveness of the transition.

And while solar panels may be cheaper to install than they were when they were released 20 years ago, up to $6,000 per panel, that’s still a huge amount to shell out at one time.

However, more banks offer green banking optionsincluding discounted mortgages for those looking to install solar panels in their new home, which could help both homeowners and home builders save thousands on mortgages.

“CommBank is kind of a leader in this area, so they offer several different discount rate options,” Ms. Megginson said.

“So if you want to do something like adding solar panels, they will let you borrow the money you need to do it.”

And to really benefit from the cost savings, home builders should aim to build their homes with energy efficient electrical appliances such as stoves and space heaters.

Finder Senior Energy Reviewer Mariam Ghabaji found that the cost gas connection was more expensive than electricity connection and will cost you between $1,200 and $5,000 or more.

And according to data analyzed by Renewa detached 200-square-foot home built with solar panels, efficient appliances, and no gas connection will save $1,859.75 per year on energy bills compared to their non-solar gas-connected counterparts.

But while switching to electricity may be cheaper to install, the cost of running your home on electricity alone in New South Wales is nearly double the cost of running it on gas.

But for homeowners buying pre-existing homes, you may not always have the ability — or the budget — to add solar panels or refurbish your home to cash in on those green banking rebates.

Not all sunshine and rainbows are for homeowners

Even if you have solar panels, the time and expense of upgrading your home with electrical appliances such as stoves and space heaters is an additional expense on top of paying your mortgage.

And for those whose homes are not suitable for solar panels, the cost of running a home on electricity alone does not have the added benefit of a subsidy.

Ms. Megginson also explained that in the current inflationary climate – without solar panels – the reality is that many cannot afford to switch to electricity at the moment.

“This is a very difficult time, literally everything is growing from gasoline, energy to food … and I don’t think anyone can avoid this,” Ms Megginson said.

“Our research shows that people are spending huge amounts of money on their bills, and that energy bill stress in particular has become a really big problem for people.”

Finder latest version Consumer Sentiment Tracker found that 28 percent of Australians, equivalent to 5.4 million people, said their electricity bills were among the top three most stressful expenses.

But it’s not all bad news for homeowners looking to save on their energy bills, especially since the current price increase comes after a relatively long period of low energy costs.

“On the positive side, we had historically low electricity bills for some time, right up to the end of last year… some parts of the country were actually the cheapest in the last few years,” Ms Megginson said.

So, in terms of actually being able to save you money or keep your energy costs down, it’s important to make sure you fit within your budget.

“That means you have to budget, figure out exactly how much your life is worth and how much you’re spending, and look for ways to save.”

And threatening your current energy supplier to offer you better deals may be the best way to do it.

“Maybe the deal you’re on now might have been a good deal when you signed up two years, three years or five years ago, but now it’s no longer competitive,” she added.

“So contact your existing energy supplier to see if you can get a better deal – it sucks, but sometimes threatening to leave can really help you get a better deal.”

Australia’s energy market is changing

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has vowed to turn Australia into a “superpower” in renewable energy.

After announcing that by 2030 the country will aim to cut emissions by 43% and generate 82% of the country’s energy market from renewable sources, the question is, how will this affect your household bills?

As Australia strives to move towards a sustainable future with renewable energyinvesting either in building your home with renewable energy in mind or investing incrementally in upgrading your current home seems to be the best way to enter the renewable energy market at a lower cost.

Ms Megginson said that as the Australian government seeks to accelerate market entry of low-cost renewables and invest in compatible infrastructure, moving now means future benefits.

“In terms of renewable energy, we know that not only are they better for the environment, but they are also the most cost-effective form of energy and energy production,” she said.

“One of the reasons why switching to it was so expensive is because all the infrastructure that comes with it…as the industry (energy sector) is making huge investments now that will pay off in the future.”

“So we hope to see the impact on electricity bills for everyday households is that they start to go down because renewable energy is a cheaper source of energy to manufacture.”

According to a new report from the Australian Academy of Technology Sciences and Engineering (AATSE), renewable energy is “on track” to produce 50 percent of Australia’s energy by 2025, with that figure rising to 69 percent by 2030 and even 100 percent by 2030. year. cents in time periods by 2050.

“Australia is in the midst of an energy crisis, with electricity prices about 115% higher than the highest average wholesale prices ever recorded,” the report said.

“Meanwhile, every state is hitting record highs for renewable energy powering our electricity grid.

“It is critical to determine how these technologies will work in harmony to decarbonize energy systems, provide new economic opportunities and meet the needs of Australian industry, communities and people.”

However, the upbeat outlook is entirely dependent on immediate investment in renewable energy infrastructure, including back-up generator services such as pumped hydroelectric power plants and batteries, with gas-fired electricity as a safety net.

Originally published as Australia’s energy sector is changing, should your home change too?