Media - Solar Citizens

Media Releases

Townsville locals step up to champion solar and renewables

A committed group of community members from Townsville and surrounds will gather tomorrow to discuss how the renewable energy transition can benefit communities in North Queensland, and how they can be a local voice for solar and renewables.

This workshop will be held on July 13 at James Cook University Bebegu Yumba campus and is hosted by North Queensland Conservation Council, Solar Citizens, Friends of the Earth Melbourne, and The Climate Reality Project Australia and Pacific.

Big decisions are being made about the future of renewables and energy in Townsville and Queensland, making now a critical time for political leaders to hear and act on the views of people and communities.

Solar Citizens calls for NSW Govt to accelerate electric vehicle charging-ready buildings

Solar Citizens is calling on the NSW Government to commit at least $10 million per year over the next three years towards electric vehicle charging for apartment buildings across the state.

While year-on-year electric vehicle (EV) purchases have grown, people living in apartments need access to the convenience and lower cost of electric vehicle charging in their buildings.

A former $10 million program from the NSW Government towards the assessment and installation of EV infrastructure upgrades for apartment buildings received a positive community reception and applications closed in less than five months of the program going live.

Solar Citizens welcomes Miles Govt announcement of $40 million investment in rooftop solar and batteries in Townsville

Solar Citizens has welcomed the announcement today of the Miles Government’s $40 million investment in rooftop solar and batteries in Townsville and access to the benefits of cheaper, cleaner energy for local residents currently locked out of solar.

The announcement today is part of a pilot project of Local Renewable Energy Zones (LREZ) which will harness solar energy generated by the community to share across residential and commercial sites,  and the wider network.

According to Energex, the LREZ project will deploy up to 8.4MW/18.8MWh of battery storage and support up to an additional 2.8MW of solar PV, and 0.9MW of demand management across nearly 550 residential and commercial customer sites, starting from January 2025.

Rooftop solar with household batteries the immediate solution for Australia's energy needs, not risky, expensive nuclear or fossil fuels:

Solar Citizens condemns the Federal Coalition’s nuclear policy announced today and calls on all sides of politics to instead support rooftop solar, including extending the rebate to home solar to household batteries, to put cheap clean power in the hands of the Australian people day and night. 

CEO Heidi Lee Douglas called on Opposition Leader Peter Dutton to stop his dangerous nuclear push, and instead roll up his sleeves and support the investment Australians have already made into home solar, by enabling rooftop solar to be tied with home storage. This would provide households with energy bill relief, help bring down the cost of living and provide benefits for the wider grid.

“Australians want to bask in the glow of the energy bill relief and independence of generating their own clean, cheap power from the sun and using it at night, not be tied to expensive coal-fired power,” she said.

“The CSIRO has made it clear that even if nuclear power could be built in Australia, it would be more expensive than energy produced by renewables. We need cheaper energy bills, not more expensive ones, and bill-busting home solar and batteries can be rolled out right now if we had a federal rebate on batteries.

First phase of household solar and electrification loans a good start, now must go faster and further

Solar Citizens has welcomed the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) announcement of more than $60 million in green loans being available under the $1 billion Household Energy Upgrades Fund (HEUF), starting 5 June.

The loan program will allow community members to access cheaper home energy solutions and affordable finance, including rooftop solar, home batteries, and energy efficiency.

Solar Citizens CEO Heidi Lee Douglas said, “Today’s announcement of green loans provides a welcome Federal Government investment on the long-term cost of living savings from household solar systems and electrification.

NSW Govt extends coal-fired power one day, backs household batteries for solar the next

Solar Citizens welcomes the announcement today of a new incentive to help make NSW household batteries more affordable with between $1600 and $2400 available off the up-front installation cost of household batteries for homes and businesses with existing solar.

A further $250 to $400 incentive will be available for connecting a battery to a Virtual Power Plant, claimable for a second time after three years, and there is up to $2400 in support for new solar plus battery installations.

The NSW Government announcement follows hundreds of Solar Citizens supporters emailing the Environment Minister and Treasurer this week asking them to help support the purchase of household batteries.

NSW Government ignores need for more clean, cheap renewables, solar and locks in years of polluting coal-fired power

Solar Citizens has condemned the NSW Government for undermining the urgent transition to cheaper, cleaner renewables, including solar, by extending the production of dirty coal-fired power at Eraring until August 2027.

Solar Citizens CEO Heidi Lee Douglas said, “It’s deeply disappointing that in 2024 the NSW Government is backing yesterday’s outdated, polluting technology and passing the cost of keeping coal-fired power open to NSW’s energy users.

Electrify Wolli Creek: Wolli Creek Community Renewable Energy Workshop

Wolli Creek Community Renewable Energy Workshop
12pm-2pm, Wednesday 22 May
St Magdalene’s Chapel, Wolli Creek, Sydney

Residents in Wolli Creek have recently launched ‘Electrify Wolli Creek’ to help the Discovery Point high rise community electrify their homes and find renewable energy and clean transport solutions.

About 98% of the population of Wolli Creek live in apartments and lack ample roof space for occupants to enjoy the benefits of rooftop solar.  

On 22 May, Electrify Wolli Creek is holding a workshop to help community members better understand their current energy bills and provide information on renewable energy solutions, affordable electric vehicle options, and the benefits of getting off gas.

Solar Citizens welcome New Vehicle Efficiency Standard delivering cleaner, cheaper vehicles for Australians 

Solar Citizens welcomes the passing of the New Vehicle Efficiency Standard legislation today with more affordable electric vehicles, and more efficient fuel vehicles, set to enter the Australian market.

Solar Citizens CEO Heidi Lee Douglas said, “The passing of the New Vehicle Efficiency Standard today is a significant acceleration towards cheaper, cleaner vehicles and getting Australians behind the wheel of cars that run on sunshine.

“The new efficiency standard is a testament to the hard work of Solar Citizens, civil society groups, and organisations and community members who love electric vehicles and want climate action.

Two-way tariff for households with rooftop solar

Solar Citizens does not support two-way tariffs on households who generate their own cheap, clean energy from rooftop solar. 

Households with existing rooftop solar are doing the energy grid a favour by exporting cheap, clean solar that their neighbours can use. We should be removing barriers for more households to go solar, not introducing penalties."

If these tariffs are designed to encourage battery uptake, then this is a blunt, heavy-handed approach. Instead of penalties, the Federal Government must incentivise batteries through providing rebates, like they have for rooftop solar.