Renewable energy

climateWith electricity price increases as well as environmental concerns more households and businesses are choosing to use electricity from renewable sources like the wind and sun.

 

Solar Power vs. Solar Hot Water

Solar power (photovoltaic) systems use light from the sun to create electricity that is then used to power the lights and appliances in your home or may be fed as excess electricity back into the grid. Solar hot water systems do not generate electricity, but use heat from the sun to heat water. With a solar hot water system, you could get between 50 and 90 per cent of your hot water for free.

You can choose to have either or both solar power and solar hot water systems on your property.

Solar power

Join the 1 million households across Australia which have solar power systems installed.

Solar power is getting cheaper with the cost of technology dropping sharply in recent years. Systems now cost around one-third to one-half of what they did a few years ago, and industry predicts prices may still drop further. A 1.5kW may set you back around $1500 nowadays, and pay itself back in as little as 5 years with long-term savings on energy bills.

Rooftop solar power systems have more than tripled in our Waverley community over the last 2 years. Council currently has various solar power systems on its major sites.

Looking into solar? Check out this consumer guide for installing solar. If you don't have the cash upfront to buy solar, there are companies that offer solar leasing plans or loans. This means you can reap the benefits of solar power for a monthly pay-as-you-go charge. Talk to a solar provider about your options.

Solar hot water

Solar hot water systems generally use two-thirds the amount of electricity to heat water for your home or business than electric hot water units.

There's a national phase-out of old electric hot water systems, so it’s a great time to consider a solar hot water system when building a new property or replacing an old or broken water heater if your roof is not suitable for solar hot water.

Contact a Licensed plumber who specialises in solar hot water systems.

Financial incentives for solar

Households across Australia that install a small scale renewable energy system or eligible hot water system may be able to receive certificates under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) to help with the purchase cost.

The number of certificates received will depend on the size of the system to be installed. When you buy a system, you can receive a discount off the system in exchange for these certificates. Your installer will be able to provide you with more information specifically for your installation.

Do I need Council approval to install a solar power or solar hot water system?

Most solar systems do not require Council approval.

Find out more by speaking with our Duty Planner in person at the Customer Service Centre, 55 Spring St, Bondi Junction, between 8:30am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday, or by phoning 8305 8484.

Alternatively, you may call 9369 8000 for free heritage-related advice.

Buy GreenPower

If you are a renter, or your home or business rooftop is unsuitable for a solar power system, you can still choose renewable energy by buying GreenPower through your current electricity retailer or another.

GreenPower is a government accreditation program that enables your energy provider to purchase renewable energy on your behalf.

When you choose to buy a GreenPower product, the few cents extra you pay in addition to your electricity account each day is invested in renewable energy, such as solar, wind and bioenergy. So you’re helping to invest in a more sustainable future instead of continuing to rely on electricity being sourced from the burning of finite fuels such as coal.

You can also buy GreenPower for events such as corporate functions, parties or weddings.

Contact your electricity retailer to find out what GreenPower Products they offer.

Community-Owned Solar

What about those of us living in apartments or renting? How can we access the benefits of solar? Community-owned solar projects are starting to fill this gap.

There are many different models for community solar projects. The underlying principle is that a collective of individuals and businesses build and own a solar generation facility, and they eventually receive their money back via shares or reduced energy bills.

To see examples of community-owned solar in action, check out Pingala or the Sydney Renewable Power Company.

Waverley Council is already collaborating with locals to build community solar projects in our area . If you know of a good roof-space for a community-owned solar project in Waverley, we’d love to hear from you. Simply email environment@waverley.nsw.gov.au.

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