Government rebates for solar energy systems are changing as of July 1, which means converting to sustainable energy will cost more than $4000 extra, according to the sustainable energy experts, Auzion.
Auzion managing director Mark Leckenby said currently the Federal Government offered a $8000 rebate, and a further $966 in renewable energy credits. However, from July 1, the rebate will be abolished and the renewable energy credits increased by five times to $4830 for a 1 KW system.
“This means a reduction in real terms of $4136 that the homeowner gets back,” Mr Leckenby said.
He said this meant there was a narrow window of opportunity for people wanting to covert to a sustainable energy system, which fed power back into the energy grid, to lodge an application.
“Our state-of-the-art solar photovoltaic grid connect system saves home owners on average about 20% of their energy costs, which with the current Government rebate and energy credits, makes it possible to recoup their initial out-of-pocket investment (based on a 1KW system) within five years,” Mr Leckenby said.
“Not only that, they will then continue to reap savings on the system, and know they have made a meaningful contribution in terms of environmental conservation and sustainability.”
Mr Leckenby, an electrical engineer, first launched Auzion nine months ago from the Innovation Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast, after moving with his large family to the Sunshine Coast looking for a new direction.
“I wanted to work in the area of sustainable energy and create a simple way for people in a fast-paced world to make a difference without the inconvenience that is often associated with being ‘sustainable’ or ‘green’,” he said.
“So I did some research and while I saw lots of people selling solar panels for hot water etc, I didn’t see any real innovation, which I saw as an opportunity for us.
“That was the seed of the idea to develop a cost-effective and reliable system that not only reduced a household’s reliance on the energy grid but also contributed something back.
“From there I sought the advice of Innovation Centre CEO Colin Graham and Entrepreneur-in-residence Nigel Hall and set to work on a business plan and the development of our solar photovoltaic grid connect system.”
After just three months, and within two weeks of the launch of the system, Auzion had 50 pre-paid orders. Now, just five and a half months later, they have installed more than 80 systems and have orders for a further 100.
But not content to just continue with the one product, Mark and his team have already started development of an additional energy management system that will allow householders with Auzion’s solar power systems to monitor their energy use and further increase their savings.
Mr Leckenby said while the testing phase of that project was just starting, he had installed the prototype on his house more than a month ago.
“I have four children, including three girls so I think if our family can reduce their energy consumption without inconvenience, then anyone can,’’ he said.
He said they expected that the additional unit would cost about $500, and potentially save an additional 20% of energy on top of the savings from solar power installation.
“We are now trialing this additional system on about 50 other homes and expect to take it into production later this year so watch this space!
Auzion are also working with the Research and Sustainability Centre (division of University of Sunshine Coast) through a scoping & pilot study of the project. All going to plan, through this study independent results will be published of the project outcomes.
“In the meantime, we recommend homeowners thinking about installing a solar energy system get their rebate applications in by 30 May, to allow time for the applications to be processed by the June 30 deadline.”
Mr Leckenby said Auzion was happy to assist people with information about sustainable living and could assist with the administration of rebate applications when people purchased one of their systems.
For more information about Auzion’s solar energy systems visit www.auzion.com.