Hervey Bay third-biggest adopter of solar power in nation

HERVEY Bay is the third-biggest adopter of solar power in Australia, a solar power advocacy group says - and it's not for the environment that we're doing it.

Easing the pressure on our wallets is the main motivator for the 6641 households that have installed solar panels in Hervey Bay according to the national Solar Citizens group.

Solar Citizens compiled data from rebates claimed to the Federal Government to show which cities are taking up renewable energy.
Only Bundaberg and Mandura have higher rates of homes with solar power than Hervey Bay.

With 2917 households who have installed solar power, Maryborough is number 31 in Queensland, however ranks lower when compared nationally.

Solar Citizens national director Lindsay Soutar said areas with low and middle income earners were the most enthusiastic for solar power.

She said the changing power prices had a far bigger effect on the budgets, leading to the attempt to take control over power bills.

Electricity prices in regional Queensland are set every financial year by the Queensland Competition Authority.

The QCA has yet to publicly release its final price determination for 2014-15, however its draft recommendation was a typical increase of 13.6% for the general household tariff.

In 2013-14, prices rose by about 22% for household users.

The popularity of solar power is helping to drive up those prices.

The QCA's draft determination showed Queensland's Solar Bonus Scheme accounts for about 30% of the draft price increase.

Infrastructure costs, such as power poles, accounts for a further 26%.

The final price rise will be announced by the QCA by the end of next month.


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