Renewable energy is generated from natural resources, such as sunlight, wind, geothermal and tides. The term ‘renewable’ means that is it naturally replenished on a human timescale from the Earth.
Generally speaking, renewable energy sources produce less greenhouse gas emissions when compared to conventional power supplies (e.g. energy sourced from brown coal) and can help to reduce energy bills, particularly for homeowners and businesses.
Council is committed to solar power and clean energy as part of meeting its zero net emissions target by 2025. In 2019 Council adopted its Toward Zero Emissions Plan (2019-2023) which sets out Council's future renewable energy priorities to progress toward this target.
Council has installed solar power on more than 60 of its buildings. Solar power systems on Council’s facilities range in size from 1kW (kilowatt) to 99.84kW.
At June 2021, Council had over 600kW of solar power installed on its buildings.
Installing solar power helps to:
- save money by supplying some or all of your daytime electricity use
- reduce pressure on the electricity grid, particularly in peak times such as heatwaves, reducing the risk of power outages
- reduce pollution and our reliance on coal.
With potential changes to feed in tariffs over time, installing solar isn’t always going to make you money. Installing solar power is about saving money by producing the electricity that you would use during the day.
Before installing solar, you should first reduce your energy usage to minimise the size and cost of the system that you need. Visit our Saving energy page for tips.
The Victorian Government offers rebates for solar power installations, as well as battery storage. Visit Solar Victoria for more information.
The Clean Energy Council has a wide range of resources to help you make the switch to solar including guides for households and businesses, a list of accredited installers, frequently asked questions and information on solar power and renewable energy technologies across Australia.
To get the best deal on your energy bills, compare electricity offers using the Victorian Government's Victorian Energy Compare tool.
On 1 July 2022, the Victorian Government announced a new minimum flat rate feed-in tariff for excess solar generation of 5.2 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh).
Retailers can also offer a time-varying feed-in tariff, where the price paid for surplus electricity changes through the day to reflect changes in demand. This minimum time-varying feed-in tariff ranges from 5.0 to 7.1 c/kWh.
Retailers can offer feed-in tariffs above the minimum amounts.
To find out more about recycling solar panels and inverters contact Council. We understand that the solar panel recycling industry is in its infancy and we are currently looking at ways to support our community with this.
To find a battery recycler, visit the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative website.
Not everyone has the opportunity to invest in their own solar power system or wind turbine, but by signing up to buy GreenPower through your electricity retailer, you can increase the proportion of renewable energy, purchased on your behalf, that enters the supply network.
Contact your electricity provider or visit the GreenPower website for more information.
If you have shading from trees, look at positioning your solar panels where they get the least amount of shade, and preferably no afternoon shade. Remember the saying "move the path, not the tree" - the same goes for solar panels.
Trees offer a lot of value to the landscape and community, they can help to reduce your cooling bill in summer and combat the urban heat island effect. Solar panels should be positioned so as to not require pruning of the tree.
If you have concerns with your solar power installation, contact Consumer Affairs Victoria.
If you have an issue with your energy retailer, contact the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria.