A report on the results from a survey of focus groups to assess Australian householders’ interest in the solar distributed energy market.
With the sharp rise in energy prices and motivations to transition to a low carbon energy supply, many Australians are making efforts to improve energy efficiency measures in their homes. A number of Australian householders have purchased various configurations of solar photovoltaic cells. These have mostly been incentivised through government rebates and feed-in tariff programs that have been offered over the past few years at the local, state and national levels. As such, there has been an unprecedented reduction in householders’ demand for energy. Since July 1, 2012 however, a number of the major existing incentives for solar PV have now ceased. This has left many householders dubious about whether they should be considering alternative business models for distributed energy or if they should simply wait until a new form of incentive is offered.
With this in mind, the Australian Solar Institute (ASI) through the Australian Photovoltaic Association (APVA) sponsored this research to investigate the range of stakeholder opinions and likely preferences in relation to opportunities for participating in distributed energy and demand side response activities. This report presents the findings of six focus groups that were conducted with members of the Australian public in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney in October, 2012. An expert from the APVA was enlisted to present peer reviewed business models to the participants in the focus groups.The analysis of these focus groups will be used to inform a national survey which will be delivered across Australia in February, 2013.