Solar and Renewable Energy
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.
What Council is doing
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(PDF, 3MB) 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.
What you can do
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, particularly 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 the Frankston City Council Saving Energy page for energy saving tips.
For advice on solar power, including a referral service to trusted and reputable suppliers, contact the Australian Energy Foundation (AEF). Council has partnered with the AEF to provide this free and independent service to local residents (see Related Information below).
The Victorian Government offers rebates for solar power installations, as well as battery storage. For more information visit Solar Victoria under Related Information.
The Clean Energy Council also has some great information and resources when it comes to solar power and renewable energy technologies across Australia.
If you are considering installing solar power, the Clean Energy Council has developed guides specifically for householders and businesses/industry to help you make a decision (available in Related Information). This website also contains a page of frequently asked questions, a map of accredited installers to help you find a solar provider and much more.
To get the best deal on your energy bills, visit the Victorian Government’s independent website Victorian Energy Compare, which also enables you to compare electricity offers for solar (see Related Information below).
On 1 July 2021, the Victorian Government announced a new minimum flat feed-in tariff for excess solar generation of 6.7 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh), lower than the previous rate for 2020-21 (10.2 c/kWh). The minimum feed-in tariff is lower than last year due to a forecast reduction in wholesale electricity prices for 2021-22.
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 tariff is the same rate during off-peak times (6.7 c/kWh), a slightly lower rate during shoulder hours (6.1 c/kWh) and a much higher rate during peak hours (10.9 c/kWh). Retailers may offer different packages and terms and conditions.
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 you can 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.
Learn more about GreenPower at their website or ask your electricity retailer.
Solar and Trees
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.