Sun shines on homeowners
Solar popular with savvy residents
THE Sunshine Coast is living up to its name, with one savvy suburb fourth in the country for the number of households with rooftop solar installations.
Almost 10,000 Caloundra homes are saving a combined average of more than $500,000 on annual electricity bills, according to the Clean Energy Council.
Three other Sunshine Coast postcodes were inside the top 100, with “asset-rich, cashpoor” retirees believed to be the driving force behind the uptake.
Buderim came in 23rd with 6767 systems installed, Nambour was 38th with 5388 systems, and Warana was 79th with 4084.
Coolum clocked in at 102nd. Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said those with solar installed saved an average $540 a year on electricity bills and it had grown quickly by word of mouth as a way to cut costs.
“Retirees on the Sunshine Coast are also a big market for solar, because they are assetrich and cash-poor,” Mr Thornton said.
“Seniors find it appealing to invest in assets which reduce their outgoing expenses, and solar works perfectly for that.
“It’s all in the name – people on the Sunshine Coast intuitively understand the power of the sun, and solar power is becoming as common as a barbecue or a Hills Hoist.
“If you’re a surfer, a lifesaver or just someone who likes going to the beach, a solar power system makes perfect sense as a solution to the problem of rising power bills. And because many people are both passionate about solar power and stressed about the cost of electricity, you start hearing about it from friends and relatives.”
Mr Thornton said rooftop solar acted like a “mini power station” helping to reduce strain on the electricity grid when it was most needed, especially during hot weather when airconditioners were blasting.
The Clean Energy Regulator’s latest data reveals Queensland has the most number of solar systems – 529,425 – with 30 per cent of homes boasting solar.
‘‘ RETIREES ON THE SUNSHINE COAST ARE ALSO A BIG MARKET FOR SOLAR, BECAUSE THEY ARE ASSET-RICH AND CASH-POOR.