Infrastructure

More Australians look to smart energy

By John Julian
Investment Director Sydney, Australia

With rising energy prices and increased awareness around limiting carbon emissions, more Australians are looking to smart technology to secure their energy future.

With rising energy prices and increased consumer consciousness around limiting carbon emissions, Australians are looking at how their home can help play a role in securing their own energy future. 

A new national survey on energy investment attitudes and intentions of Australian Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF) trustees reveals that 80 percent* of trustees believe renewable energy, such as smart solar and battery, is important or critically important to securing Australia’s energy future and improving energy costs. 

42 percent of respondents have already made the switch to renewable energy in their homes and a further 17 percent are planning to switch with 15 percent exploring their options in the solar and renewable energy space. 

Emlyn Keane, the CEO of Evergen, a company with the backing of AMP Capital that delivers intelligent home energy systems combining solar, battery and smart technology, is a strong advocate for this changing landscape. 

“What is clear from the findings is that mature age Australians are mindful of escalating energy costs and are prepared to do something about it. They see significant value in renewables as both an economical and sustainable solution for both their own home and the country. They want to take control of their financial future and many are doing this by investing in renewables.” 

His belief is that battery storage has been a strong enabler in this shift towards renewable energy. 

We are already witnessing an increase in home batteries being installed with solar systems, but in a step to a decentralised energy market, battery storage facilities are also under rapid development. In South Australia, we have already seen the launch and continued success of Tesla batteries being used in mass capacity to help manage the energy load generated by renewables.  

In Keane’s opinion, the most optimistic predictions for the future of energy in Australia will see 45 to 50 percent of energy being generated local to the home. “It is a big transition, but with careful implementation and investment, a decentralised model would promote competition and innovation – it presents an enormous opportunity for businesses, government and households.” 

According to the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI), electricity prices increased 12.4 per cent between December 2016 to 2017 – a cost that is also the number one worry for 82 per cent of Australians and is above healthcare. 

And while renewable energy sources like solar power have historically been expensive, and with the already-rising costs of energy to consider, the cost of the technology itself is still a concern for many (51% of respondents). 

However savings of 80% and above are being seen by many customers using Evergen and a reduction in the payback period of these types of systems is now down to between five and seven years.“

With the availability of intelligent energy systems, consumers can control the grid of the future. This is an opportunity that many Australians are realising now and one that is more affordable than ever before,” he said. 

“Battery technology pricing might come down marginally, but right now, where the Small Scale Technology Certificate rebate from the government (continues to decrease every year) and with the price of solar panels holding steady, it is about the best value you are going to see in the near future. For the potential of waiting for the marginal saving, it is not worth missing out on the immediate savings you will make.” 

For more information on Evergen, go to www.evergen.com.au.

*AMP Capital Renewable Energy Survey conducted January 2018 surveyed over 400 people.

 
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Important notes

While every care has been taken in the preparation of this article, AMP Capital Investors Limited (ABN 59 001 777 591, AFSL 232497) and AMP Capital Funds Management Limited (ABN 15 159 557 721, AFSL 426455)  (AMP Capital) makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of any statement in it including, without limitation, any forecasts. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. This article has been prepared for the purpose of providing general information, without taking account of any particular investor’s objectives, financial situation or needs. An investor should, before making any investment decisions, consider the appropriateness of the information in this article, and seek professional advice, having regard to the investor’s objectives, financial situation and needs. This article is solely for the use of the party to whom it is provided and must not be provided to any other person or entity without the express written consent of AMP Capital.

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