Latest data from the Clean Energy Council indicates that residents of Queensland have spent approximately $1.45 billion on solar power systems since March 2011, which represents the equivalent of $2 million a day.

Despite the expiration of the generous 44-cent feed in tariff, high electricity prices and increasing rises has been one of the key motivations behind the switch to solar. With electricity bills set to increase up to 23% in Queensland from July 1st, and average household bills expected to hit $1437, solar has been the obvious choice for many homeowners. The rise in electricity costs have been attributed to increased network costs and the carbon tax by many commentators. However many have pointed to the freeze on electricity prices by the Newman Government which led to service charges being too low and usage charges being too high as having the greatest affect on recent increases.

There are now over 282,000 solar systems installed throughout the state, with a further 73,000 added in the past 12 months. But thousands of Queenslanders who have obtained approvals for the 44cent feed in tariff have not yet purchased systems, which is also likely to increase in the near future. The surge has also been attributed to self funded retirees on fixed incomes seeking solar to minimise their living costs.

Australia has over 1 million residential solar systems installed, providing power to around 2.5 million Australians, over 10% of the country’s population.

Clean Energy Council chief executive David Green pointed to the significant increase over the last few years:
“It is remarkable when you think that just five years ago in 2008 there were only about 20,000 systems installed across the entire country,” he said.