Power prices, a political distraction | OPINION

Our energy future debate is being deliberately complicated to make it easier to polarise public opinion – politics at its best.

Politicians (on both sides) want us to focus on power prices, not the long term impact of their climate policies. 

Of course, the longer they do this, the higher that power prices will go. And all the while, the planet gets hotter and this so-called debate gets further away from doing anything about it.

But let’s for a moment go with them and focus on higher power prices.

The reason for our world beating high electricity prices is simple – high network prices (State Govts) and lack of a consistent national energy and climate policy (Federal Govt). Maybe not quite that simple, but close enough.

In the last eight years, the cost of solar power has reduced by around 85 per cent, making it not only cost effective but within reach of many households. 

At the same time, solar has become “smart” – it can now, for example, automatically turn on pool pumps when the sun shines (and turn them off when cloudy), anticipate tomorrow’s weather, heat your hot water and help manage when you buy from the grid. Add a battery and you can reduce your bill to close to zero and even sell your excess solar power when wholesale energy prices are high.

Landlords can install solar and become an energy provider for their tenants – so tenants get cheaper electricity, landlords get a return on their solar and, that’s right, we burn less coal.

Solar power puts consumers in control, while saving families precious money.

So Canberra, let's stop political infighting and get on board the lower cost, lower emissions solar train.

Jonathan Fisk is co-founder and director of Solaray Energy, the leading solar panel and solar battery installer in NSW.

This story Power prices a distraction from long-term issues first appeared on The Courier.