The controversial proposal to tax excess solar power has certainly made some waves in recent weeks, however, a new trial program launched by Endeavour Energy this week means the solar tax could be dead in the water.
New South Wales electricity distribution company Endeavour Energy has launched a program called Off Peak Plus Benefits that essentially directs excess solar power into homes that have an ‘off-peak’ or ‘controlled load’ phase in their meter board using the advanced smart meter technology from Intellihub.
The trial is designed to better manage the booming number of residential rooftop solar systems across the Western Sydney and Illawarra regions without taxing solar households for exporting excess solar power to the grid.
The program, launched on Monday by NSW energy minister Matt Kean, is initially being rolled out across 2,500 homes in partnership with 10 local retailers.
The program will offer a range of benefits to households, mainly the ability for households to share excess solar power with each other using the ‘off peak’ phase in the home, which is currently used for the most part to heat hot water tanks at night time when there is an excess supply of electricity.
In the future, this functionality could be extended to charge electric cars, and household batteries such as the Tesla Powerwall, something that many of our customers already do thanks to the benefits of VPPs and Intelligent Control from Evergen – a service that is included with all our Tesla Powerwall installations.
“Australians are installing solar panels faster than anywhere else in the world in our franchise area,” said Scott Ryan, Endeavour Energy’s chief assets and operating officer.
“We have 200,000 customers that have solar panels on their roofs, we expect that to double in four years, triple, by 2030, and if we don’t do something about it now, we’re going to face network issues into the future – so Off Peak Plus is great in that regard.”
“We’re very excited about the … program because this is just the start,” he added. “We’re going to roll this out across Western Sydney and down the south coast in the months ahead.”