Rooftop solar and storage the true key for cheaper, cleaner energy for NSW residents: Solar Citizens - Solar Citizens

Rooftop solar and storage the true key for cheaper, cleaner energy for NSW residents: Solar Citizens

Many NSW households, especially in regional areas, face continued energy bill increases under the Australian Energy Regulator’s Default Market Offer, according to Solar Citizens.

Solar Citizens CEO Heidi Lee Douglas said, on top of a 20% energy bill increase in the past year, this new default market offer arrives as the NSW Government considers adding the cost of extending the Eraring Coal Fired Power Plant beyond its economic life to consumer energy bills.

Solar Citizens is calling on the NSW Government to use its upcoming state budget to implement bill-saving measures such as support for rooftop solar and household batteries instead of keeping the Eraring coal-fired power station open. 

“The majority of NSW households are barely coping with energy bills already at historical highs, and will now face either slight increases or marginal decreases, depending on where they live. The cost-of-living crisis is ongoing, and it’s offensive to suggest that the Default Market Offer announcement provides any meaningful relief,” Ms Douglas said.

“The NSW Government has a choice - to prop up failing coal power to the detriment of consumers' hip pockets, or to invest in rooftop solar and household batteries to the benefit of consumers.   

“Rooftop solar provides the cheapest possible electricity to customers, now we need more government support so everyone in NSW can share in the cost-saving benefits of solar, regardless of their postcode, or whether they rent or if they live in an apartment.

“Why on earth is the NSW considering pushing the cost of keeping the Eraring Power Plant open onto people’s electricity bills during a cost-of-living crisis and ignoring the evidence that any supply gap can be met with renewable energy projects backed by storage?

“Investment in a fast, mass roll-out of consumer renewable energy resources and energy efficiency would bring energy bills down and provide the required energy security for NSW. 

“NSW households save about $1,000 a year with rooftop solar and those savings last for the lifetime of the solar system which might be 20 to 25 years. These savings can be increased if rooftop solar is paired with behind-the-meter battery storage, allowing households to use their own stored cheap, clean energy at night. That’s value for money. 

Solar Citizens’ pre-NSW Budget submission calls on targeted government investment to ensure people who live in social housing can benefit in the cost-of-living benefits of solar including:

  • $130 million over four years to install solar on 30% of social housing dwellings; and 

  • $135 million over four years to install 18,000 batteries for social homes with existing rooftop solar.

“Every NSW household should have the support it needs to run on cheap, clean solar power instead of burning expensive, polluting fossil fuels.

“The State Government should not make the community pay through charges on their power bill to prop up polluting fossil fuel, instead it must invest in assisting renters, and people living in apartments and social housing to access rooftop solar and batteries,” she said.   

Default Market Offer (DMO) 2024–25 Draft Determination is available here: