Making the switch: Consumers moving to solar and battery in search of lower bills

Desire among Australian consumers to cut their energy bills and reduce their reliance on the traditional energy market are the major factors behind an upsurge in demand for household solar and battery technology, new research has revealed.

The study of 2,451 households by Energy Consumers Australia found that the primary motivation for installing solar systems was to reduce energy bills (92%), while concerns for the environment ranked a surprising fifth (72%).

“There’s a lot of assumptions made about what motivates this group, but when we ask consumers directly, we find they’re a pretty mainstream bunch,” said Rosemary Sinclair, CEO of Energy Consumers Australia. 

“They’re looking for a way to cut their energy bills like everyone else and they’ve lost faith in the traditional market’s capacity to deliver value for money, and are taking matters into their own hands.”

The study also revealed the second largest motivational factor for households implementing solar systems was to limit their dependence on ‘the grid’ and traditional energy retailers, with 82% of respondents wanting to reduce their reliance.

Consumer sentiment was revealed to be similar among households that had installed battery technology, with adopters of the technology doing so predominately to reduce their dependence on traditional providers (76%) and lower the cost of their energy bills (73%).

With the solar and battery market both expected to continue to soar, Sinclair warned policymakers to be ready to mitigate any issues that could arise from the increased demand for the technologies.

“If we don’t listen to what consumers are telling us and monitor consumers’ experiences in this changing market, we’ll end up like other industries such as music and taxis where consumers and technology change shifts the ground under everyone’s feet and policy makers struggle to keep up with the transition,” she said.

“Energy businesses also need to deliver value for money and align their products and services with consumer attitudes and preferences, or they risk missing the train.”

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