John Brown | Why going solar is so important

The Greens will look to break new ground at the upcoming council elections in September and get two representatives elected to council. They announced this week that their platform will revolve heavily around solar energy support and investment in the area. Here John Brown tells us why it’s so important.

The revolution has started, and there’s no stopping it.

It’s a peaceful revolution and involves people taking matters into their own hands.

It’s called the Going Solar Revolution and involves thousands of Australian households installing solar panels on their rooftops.

Whether the reasons are ethical (helping to fight climate change) or practical (reducing those ever increasing electricity bills) doesn’t matter as statistics show that sales of solar panels continue to be one of the fastest growing businesses in Australia.

A recent Roy Morgan survey showed that nearly one-quarter of all Australian households have invested in “Home Solar Electric Panels” as at March 2017.

This is because of falling technology costs (ie panels are getting cheaper), and volatile electricity prices.

The strongest uptake is in South Australia with 32.8 per cent. Queensland is next at 30.2 per cent while NSW is lagging at 17.7 per cent.

Householders are not the only ones benefiting from solar panels as plenty of businesses look to reduce their overhead costs.

At a local level, it is time for our council to take up the challenge of going solar.

Solar panels could be installed on council buildings to save electricity costs and a rooftop of solar panels could be installed on all of council’s car parks, giving vehicles protection from the weather, soaking up the sun for more power and possibly even offering power for electric cars.

These initiatives are not new.

Both Newcastle and Lake Macquarie councils have been involved in solar panel installations for years.

It just appears – rightly or wrongly – that Maitland is slow to react to a city’s needs for the future.

Here’s a suggestion for our council: Become a broker on solar panels, gather residents names and find the cheapest deal possible deal for installation.

As climate change worsens and the summer weather gets hotter it’s time to put Mother Nature to work.

For all of us.