Panel pain

Empower Solar Perth.- Photo: Paige Reid

Community social media pages in Canning Vale are being flooded by residents complaining they are struggling to make ends meet after receiving electricity bills as high as $800, despite having solar panels.

Complainants say they have asked Synergy why this is happening but have not been given satisfactory answers.

Comments from Canning Vale community group chat

However, a solar power technician says people may not be making the most out of the technology, or may not know the true reason their electricity bills are so high.

Empower Solar Perth’s technical energy consultant Michael Wang says there’s a lot people could learn that may help.

“Residents don’t know much about how their solar panels work or when to get the most out of them,” he says.

Mr Wang says solar panels are not being used to their full potential in winter.

As the sun rises later and sets earlier, residents are missing out on taking advantage of their solar panels, ultimately having to use the grid to power and run their houses.

Solar companies are now encouraging residents to consider installing solar batteries, which are used to store power, preventing the need to use the grid during the night.

“Synergy are now encouraging people to use batteries for people receiving $1,000 bills,” Mr Wang says.

“Whilst solar batteries are expensive Perth residents could be saving themselves as much as $500 in electricity bills”.

He says with most people using power during the night after work, solar panels are no longer being used as there is no sun, adding to electricity costs.

Canning Vale. Photo: Paige Reid.

MH Power consultant Petro Schwindt says people who can afford the costs are installing off-the-grid systems, no longer paying for Synergy and Western Power.

“You can put in a brand new off-the-grid system on your house and in 10 years time save yourself $60,000,” he says.

“Whilst an off-the-grid system is $50,000, it will save you much more money in the long run.”

He says many people in these positions have already made this decision, no longer wanting to pay the prices Synergy and Western Power are charging.

“Unless people start looking into alternate means of energy, things are only going to get worse.”

Categories: General