“We make it great in the Sunshine State!” went the old Queensland Government slogan in the 1970s and we are certainly doing a great job of using our sunshine in Mackay.
The worldwide demand for solar power has been growing exponentially in the past few years as the efficiency of panels has increased and production costs have fallen.
Here in Mackay more property owners are realising the benefits of solar power than anywhere else in Queensland.
In 2015 more rooftop solar was installed on properties in the 4740 postcode than in any other place in Australia, except Coondalup in Western Australia.
There was a decline in installations in Mackay compared with 2014 when we were by far the most solar savvy people in Australia, adding 5.9 megawatts of solar panels to our city’s roofs.
Local industry players say the market is once again increasing.
Unlike other states, most installations in Queensland are on domestic premises, we lag behind in commercial solar.
That doesn’t make sense given that most businesses use most of their electricity during daylight hours.
Large users of electricity are slugged with an extra tariff, called a demand charge, when they exceed a threshold average consumption per month.
By installing solar they can reduce average consumption and avoid the extra tariff.
Even small businesses can cut electricity bills to almost zero by installing solar.
It makes real economic sense for all businesses to consider renewable energy.
Landlords can also benefit from solar because tenants are willing to pay between $10 and $20 for a house with solar installed.
The investment will pay for itself in five or six years and most installations are guaranteed for 20 years.
There are many great environmental reasons to consider installing solar power but the economics alone should be enough to convince you.