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Aussies switch to solar as energy bills skyrocket

installing solar panels Australian house. Australian money.
Millions of Aussies are considering switching to solar to combat rising energy bills, new research has found. (Source: Reuters/Getty)

Millions of Aussies are considering switching to solar, new research has found, as energy bills soar.

About 15 per cent of Aussies are contemplating installing solar panels to reduce their energy bills, according to a national Finder survey of 1,010 people.

A further 28 per cent already had solar panels in their house or apartment, while 6 per cent were considering solar before energy prices began increasing.

The upfront cost of solar panels was a barrier for some, with one in 10 Aussies (11 per cent) saying it was too expensive.

According to Solar Choice, the average cost of solar panels is between $4,300 and $9,750, depending on the size of your solar panel system and where you live.

Finder energy expert Mariam Gabaji said it was worth checking whether you were eligible for any government schemes.

“There are government schemes that can help with the cost, including subsidies and interest-free loans, depending on where you live,” Gabaji said.

“In Victoria, you can receive a rebate of up to $1,400 for installing a solar system.”

If you’re not eligible, Gabaji said some companies offered repayment plans so you could stagger the cost of your installation.

In the long term, Finder estimated households could save an average of $732 per year by installing solar panels.

Solar power for renters

Almost a third of Aussies (31 per cent) said they couldn’t install solar panels because they didn’t own their home. But changes could soon be coming for renters.

This year’s Federal Budget included a $102.2 million commitment over four years to fund a community solar banks program for Aussies living in apartments, rentals and low-income households.

Solar banks allow households to buy a share of a solar project, according to the Community Power Agency. The electricity that is generated is then credited back to the household’s electricity bills. This allows Aussies to get cheaper electricity without actually installing solar panels in their home.

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