The energy revolution is here

Take a look at this article on the move to more innovative supplies of electricity.

With the record increase in rooftop solar in 2016 and again in the first 4 months of this year, consumers are now moving to integrate battery systems within their households. This gives them the opportunity to significantly reduce their power bills (and electricity provider profits) as well as the ability to supply “peaking” power to the grid and shield homes from brownouts/blackouts when the grid does fail.

However, as Sophie Vorrath points out in her articlethe Australian Energy Regulator warned energy providers years ago that they need to adapt to the new revolution, or it would have negative effects on consumers – and as a result, consumers would walk away from the conventional grid.  This can now be seen happening with solar and storage uptake at the household level.

And why have the energy providers not adapted?

Dominic Adams – the head of regulatory strategy at upstart retailer Mojo Power – seems to believe he knows the answer.

“Has anyone heard of an entrenched regulated monopoly business or sector that got together, wandered off down to their regulating body to ask for fundamental changes in the way that the whole system works so that customers would be able to access a wider range of competing services and new technologies from innovative competitors?”

Unfortunately, another reason the “big players” don’t adapt seems to be our own fault, according to Adrian Merrick – a power retail veteran who left his job at Energy Australia to start up the new social enterprise, Energy Locals. He feels customer apathy is a big issue:

“You’ve got 36 per cent of people (in Victoria) who haven’t got off their arse (to cut their bills by changing retailers).”

So even if you cannot get solar and storage, there are still options. As the report points out:

“Comparing the prices of two incumbents and a ‘seemingly progressive and transparent’ retailer, Adrian Merrick says he found a 64 per cent price range between the offers being put out there. And even in the case of the ‘seemingly progressive’ retailer alone, he found a 34 per cent spread what was being offered.”

To put that into perspective, using average figures provided in the article and the national average wage, you could potentially save more on your yearly power bill than the Medicare level increase in the 2017 budget.