As reported today in:
People Power: Solar Votes have the Power
to Decide the Next Federal Election
For the first time Australia has a solar electorate map which shows where householders are investing in solar panels and hot water systems to cut their power bills.
The new map will help federal MPs see just how many solar voters there are in their local area and demonstrate how important the Renewable Energy Target is for their electorate.
The data produced by respected solar consulting firm Sunwiz and released by the Australian Solar Council, 100% Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association, shows particularly high solar take-up in the mortgage belts of our big cities and in rural areas, particularly in Liberal and National Party electorates. Many of these are marginal seats.
The Prime Minister's electorate of Lalor, in Melbourne, has the second highest uptake of solar panels and hot water systems. The leading electorate is Wright in south-east Queensland, held by the LNP's Scott Buchholz.
If people vote on the basis of which party has helped them install solar and manage their power bills, or will help them best in the future to meet the upfront cost of solar, a small number of solar voters will be able to change the outcome in a number of key marginal seats.
"Political parties' ongoing support for the Renewable Energy Target (RET) will be watched closely by voters" said John Grimes, Chief Executive of the Australian Solar Council.
"Four million Australians now have solar on their roofs, thanks to the Renewable Energy Target, and we know many more Australians want to go solar to cut their power bills", said Mr Grimes. "This is true peoples' power."
A recent draft report by the Climate Change Authority has flagged substantial changes to the Renewable Energy Target, which have the potential to significantly reduce support for Australian families to help them install solar.
"Support for solar will be a hot issue in the 2013 election" said Lindsay Soutar, 100% Renewables National Campaign Co-ordinator.
"Solar offers householders the ultimate financial control over their power bills so voters will be looking to see which party will help them manage their energy bills now and in the future."
"An additional 1.5 million Australians are likely to put solar on their roofs over the next two years if cuts aren't made to the Renewable Energy Target."
"Householders want a fair deal for solar. They are fed up with bearing the cost of an inefficient and out-dated electricity network. They want to be part of the solution for a sustainable future by installing solar" says Brian England,
National Chairman of the Solar Energy Industries Association. "Politicians in all electorates are on notice."
Important findings are:
Note - a small number of houses have both solar panels and solar hot water systems.
The full data is available here http://sunwiz.com.au/index.php/resources/useful-info/239-solar-electorates.html
Additional sample data for the States includes:
- Qld: In the marginal QLD seat of Longman over 17,000 houses have solar systems, representing at least 34,000 voters. Only 1500 voters would need to change their vote for the seat to change hands.
- Vic: The Prime Minister's outer metropolitan seat of Lalor has more than 25,000 homes with solar PV or hot water systems, coming in at #2 nation wide on the list of combined PV and solar installations
- NSW: The northern NSW rural seat of Richmond, held by Justine Elliot, has more than 24,000 installations.
- SA: Andrew Southcott's electorate of Boothby, held by just 0.3%, has a PV penetration level of 16%, one of the highest in the country.
- WA: The seat of Pearce, held by the retiring Member Judi Moylan, has more than 25,000 solar installations.
Australian Solar Council www.solar.org.au
100% Renewables www.100percent.org.au
Solar Energy Industries Association www.seia.org.au
Australian Solar Council