The proportion of Australians with solar panels more than doubled in the past three years, from 7.5 per cent in March 2011 to 16 per cent – more than 3 million people – by the end of 2013.
South Australia had the highest number of homes with solar, 28 per cent, followed by 22 per cent in Queensland and 18 per cent in Western Australia. In NSW and Victoria, 11 per cent and 12 per cent respectively had solar power in their homes.
Hoppers Crossing tops the list of Melbourne’s solar suburbs, with several postcodes in the growth corridors leading the charge to get solar panels on their roofs, according to new research.
New figures from the Clean Energy Regulator show Hoppers Crossing, followed by Werribee and Cranbourne, are the top three suburbs by solar kilowatt capacity installed. The latest data debunks the widely circulating myth that solar power is a feel-good hobby for wealthy environmentalists.
And a new report by Roy Morgan Research shows that home solar is continuing to grow in popularity, despite cuts to incentives such as the feed-in tariff for selling solar-generated electricity back to the grid.
“People have twigged that electricity bills are going to keep going up for some time, and they’ve also worked out that the sun is going to come up tomorrow,” said Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber.
“They are walking into solar shops with their power bills in their hands saying ‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more’.”
The Roy Morgan report found that the main driver for people to go solar was wanting to control their household power costs, followed by wanting to do something for the environment.