Cost brings solar boom
A GARBUTT solar energy business’s workload has surged over the past three months as more households look to the Sun to burn a hole in their soaring electricity costs.
Solahart Townsville has been inundated with calls from householders looking to install both solar hot water and power systems after a recent surge in quarterly electricity bills.
Solahart Townsville manager Emma Walden said her business was doing at least one household installation a day, with Annandale, Kelso, Cranbrook and Kirwan proving to be some of the suburb hotspots.
She said while many of the systems were first- time installations, there had also been a spike in people with older systems looking to upgrade due to advancements in technology.
“We have been getting swamped with calls lately and in the last three months we have been getting absolutely smashed,” she said. “People are moving towards wanting to install solar because people are starting to understand a lot more about the technology just as the price of electricity is going up.”
Idalia parents Paula and Daniel Halliday this week had a Solahart system worth more than $ 10,000 installed after their last quarterly bill peaked at $ 900.
“Our power bills weren’t really that bad, about $ 400-$ 500, but a hike seemed to hit a few months ago and basically we went from summer bill to a winter bill that was even higher and it just didn’t make sense,” she said.
“We thought if this is going to be the trend, it was going to be more viable paying a solar system off with the money we would’ve had to start putting away for the higher bills.”
Townsville MP Scott Stewart said the State Government was still adamant it would not support a new coal- fired base load power station in the North as a means of driving down power costs. Instead, he said, he was supportive of residents and the Government continuing to transition toward renewables.
“Solar panels across Queensland have become our biggest energy producer, exceeding even power stations,” he said.
“We won’t go down the road of old technology and are looking the future and the future is renewables.”
TOO DEAR: Paula Halliday, with son Bailey, 1, had a solar system installed after their electricity bill peaked at $ 900.