How you could save with solar – even without solar panels
Australia is known as the great sunburnt country, so all Australians should be able to benefit from our biggest renewable energy source.
We have the highest average solar radiation per square metre of any continent in the world. And not only is solar power a renewable source of energy, but it’s also a way to help control your energy bills.
More than two million households already enjoy the benefits of rooftop solar, and an average of six panels are installed every minute across the country.
Barriers to solar power use
But while the take up of solar panels is strong, there are some barriers preventing more people from getting involved.
Solar panels need a certain style of roof to house them. If you’re living in an apartment, or a home with roof space smaller than 15 square metres, you probably won’t be able to install rooftop panels.
Roofs that aren’t north facing, or are heavily shaded by nearby buildings for most of the day, might not be the best fit for panels either. Plus if you rent your home, it’s unlikely you’ll want to make such a big investment in someone else’s property.
AGL Offsite Solar
To help more Aussies enjoy savings from the sun even if they can’t install solar panels, AGL has launched a new initiative.
AGL Offsite Solar gives customers access to solar generation credits, which appear on their electricity bill to help offset the total amount they pay for energy consumed from the grid. But if they’re not generating solar energy on their roof, where do the credits come from?
Answer: Wagga Wagga! AGL owns and manages a commercial-scale solar system in the regional city, chosen for its high solar irradiation levels which are perfect for solar energy production. The credits received by Offsite Solar participants reflect the amount of energy produced by the equivalent of a 250-watt solar panel at the Wagga Wagga site.
Because they’re based on how much energy the physical solar system produces, the credits naturally fluctuate with weather and seasonality, with more generation credits being earned on days when UV levels are high for example. Just like a rooftop solar system, but without the cost and hassle of installation and maintenance – plus you can take your AGL Offsite Solar subscription with you when you move house!
While customers don’t actually use the solar energy produced by the offsite system, they can get access to some of the financial benefits of solar, even if they can’t install their own panels.
How does Offsite Solar work?
Customers who sign up to AGL Offsite Solar will pay $1 a day for the first year only but continue to receive solar generation bill credits (estimated to be around $50 each year) for up to seven years – plus earn $33 per year in loyalty bonuses for up to six years, starting from year two. AGL estimates that customers will break even on their subscription in around four and a half years, which may be a faster payback period than traditional rooftop solar.
Places in the program are limited and currently available to customers with an AGL residential electricity plan in VIC, NSW, QLD and SA.
Australia is known as the great sunburnt country, and we should all be able to benefit from our biggest renewable energy source. AGL Offsite Solar aims to put the benefits of solar into more Aussies’ hands.