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Advice for your home

Advice for your home

Free energy advice

The MCPH has partnered with several organisations to offer free, personal energy advice. Read on to find out how we can help, and contact us.

Free consultations with Renew and Yarra Energy Foundation

If you need trusted advice about creating an energy efficient home, decoding technical jargon or better understanding your energy use, we can arrange a free 30 minute consultation with an expert at Yarra Energy Foundation. Suitable enquiries may be referred to our friends at Renew (bookings are limited). Contact us to register your interest, and we’ll get in touch to arrange a consultation.

$250 government support for households

Am I eligible?

You can apply for the one-off $250 Power Saving Bonus if you get one of these payments

  • Centrelink Pensioner Concession
  • JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, Austudy or Abstudy
  • Department of Veterans Affairs Pensioner Concession
Call Energy Info Hub: 9607 7103

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Click here to download the flyer in English

How to choose an energy retailer and compare retail offers

There are upwards of 30 energy retailers in Victoria, each with a range of offers to choose from. While it can seem complicated, it’s easier if you break it down. There are a few things to consider when choosing your retailer:

  • How much energy do you use per day?
  • When do you use the most energy?
  • Do you want the assurance of a lock-in contract, or do you prefer the flexibility to switch retailers at any time?
  • Do you want to support renewable energy generation by purchasing GreenPower?
  • Do you want to offset the carbon emissions associated with your energy consumption?
  • Do you have solar?

Some questions will matter far more to you than others. To dive a little deeper into a retailers “green” credentials, you could also consider:

  • Does the retailer own or support the development of renewable energy generation assets?
  • Does the retailer have a history of supporting fossil fuels?
  • Does the retailer source energy from fossil fuel sources?
  • Does the retailer offer any innovative solutions to support the energy transition?
  • Does the retailer support local communities or community energy projects?
  • Does the retailer charge a premium for GreenPower?

(Thanks to The Green Electricity Guide, which informed these questions)

The answers to some of these questions will inform your choice of retailer.

The easiest way to compare almost all of the current energy retailers’ offers is by using the Victorian Government’s Energy Compare website, which allows you to choose the features most important to you and select the cheapest offer.

Victorian Energy Compare helps you to compare retail energy offers according to an estimated price you would pay over a year, based on your own actual consumption data. This gives a more accurate comparison than simply comparing the rates and fees themselves.

You can also filter by specific features such as GreenPower, read the fine print, and even begin the process of switching retailers while using the website.

Check out our guide to using the Victorian Energy Compare website.

Better understanding your retailer and your deal is an important step towards stronger energy literacy and awareness. Knowing who’s who in the energy zoo is just part of the picture. Getting to know when your energy is pricey – and why – can influence how you use it. If, as a community, we can all demonstrate this kind of energy awareness, we could see some incredible changes in our energy system!

How to choose solar

More than two million Australian homes now have solar panels on their roof. That’s people generating electricity for their needs and ours, saving lots on energy bills.  

This is how solar works when it’s on our roofs: 

  • During the day, our solar panels produce energy, and we use it to power our own building, electric car and/or solar battery. 
  • The energy that we don’t use, we automatically sell to the grid. That’s extra money in our pockets. 
  • At night, solar panels go to sleep with us. The electricity we use comes from the grid and we pay a fee for this.  
  • Meanwhile, our smart meters track everything. We can always know how much energy we’re producing and money we’re saving. 
No solar installation is the same but there are key steps everyone can take to do solar correctly.
Step 1: Choose a solar provider

It’s extremely important to choose a good solar installer to get a good service. 

If you’re starting from zero, it can feel like a complex decision. Lucky you, we’ve put together a list of solar providers that go above and beyond our comprehensive selection criteria. Contact us and we’ll send you that list. 

Remember, you should always: 

  • Make sure that the solar provider you choose is Tier 1 approved.  
  • Look at the Clean Energy Council’s approved solar retailers and installers: see accredited installer scheme and approved retailer scheme.   
  • Check that your solar installer has been in operation for at least 5 years. 
  • Check that the solar installer provides a 5-year installation warranty and servicing in Australia.  
Step 2: Determine the solar panels that are right for you

Once you’ve chosen a solar installer, it’s time to think about what solar panel setup you’ll need.  

Make sure to chat with your solar installer about whether you’ll need micro-inverters or optimisers. These maximise power generation but you might not need them if your roof is fully exposed to the sun and unshaded. 

Step 3: Double-check your quote

To make sure your solar installation goes smoothly, check that your quote: 

  • Is not too cheap compared to general market price. 
  • Is not hand-written. 
  • Names your installer. 
  • Includes the price with GST for all labour and parts.  
  • Specifies components (such as solar panels, inverter, battery) by quantity, brand and model number (otherwise they may be swapped for cheaper parts). 
  • Includes small-scale technology certificates (STCs). 
  • Lists additional costs. Retailers must make clear that additional costs which arise at or after installation will not be borne by them. These costs could include a meter exchange or the reconfiguration and upgrade of a meter box. 
  • Lists business terms including payment method, deposits and how long the quote will be valid for. 

You should also expect: 

  • An estimate of the system’s performance included with the system design. 
  • A timetable for supplying and installing the solar system. 
  • Warranties including a product warranty for the inverter and solar panels, an installation warranty, and the standard 25-year performance warranty on the solar panels. 
  • Information on post-sale servicing, maintenance schedule, and a number to call if there’s an issue. 
Step 4: Know your rebates 

Now’s the best time to install solar panels because of the rebates on offer. They include: 

  • Small-scale technology certificates (STCs), a rebate offered by the Federal Government, which should be automatically included in your quote. You get this money from energy retailers who, to meet their renewable energy obligations, buy certificates from you. This rebate should give you a couple hundred dollars every year for the next decade. 
  • For eligible households, as of July 2021, a rebate of up to $1,400 and an equivalent value no-interest loan repaid over four years, from the Victorian State Government’s Solar Homes Program. Check your eligibility for this solar rebate. 

There’s a bit of work to do to get solar power set up, but the benefits are huge. Now that you know more about solar, it’s easy to get started.