A fine balance of needs and wants is starting to develop between users of electricity and energy networks/retailers. Average households, of which there are now over nine million in Australia, have had little power in the past over their electricity use. This has since changed with greater consumer education and product innovation such as LED and other energy saving devices.
Choosing energy efficient products is very important, along with adopting updated building practises such as new insulation, energy ratings and design layout. Some energy companies including QLD based Energex, are proactive in trying to manage their requirements by offering rebate programs that not only assist customers in saving, but also the peak demand on the electricity network, which Energex manages in the Brisbane region.
Whilst consumers can attempt to manage their amount of consumed electricity (kWh) they can’t control the cost per kW of energy or the service charges that continue to creep upward. Over the past two-three years we have all noticed the abundance of media headlines focused on the rising cost of electricity. Half-hearted attempts by our Federal Government in the form of a one off rebate to households to offset the carbon tax on our big polluters has long since been forgotten.
What customers need is to be able to build their own renewable energy generators that enables them to not only generate electricity from the only free source available to households, the sun, but to also determine what they wish to do with energy.
As Setec CEO, David Bayliss, points out “we are now seeing more and more individuals who wish to actively manage their generation, demand and actual usage. By understanding what their energy management system is actually capable of generating and saving, customers are now making active decisions about how they use energy.”
Customers and networks need to continue to work in unison to build and support products and concepts which both allows the customer to be in control of their household usage/electricity costs and to enable networks to provide a better service suitable for handling the peak demand of our hottest periods.
Global warming trends are certainly indicating that these extreme temperature periods are going to become more intense and more frequent. Various joint solutions such as limiting household connections and energy storage (domestic & grid) are all a great start to building generational solutions. Short term strategies and policies are unsustainable and only last an election cycle. This is not what Australia needs – it doesn’t help our country, the electricity networks or our growing population.
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