Solar panels in a field

Aussies in Orange will soon have access to a greener electricity network

Homes and businesses in regional New South Wales will soon have access to more affordable greener energy, such as solar panel and battery installation, following the launch of a new renewables network.

The National Renewable Network (NRN) claims to connect everyday consumers to renewable energy without any upfront costs.

This means that eligible customers in Orange can soon sign up to the NRN and receive a solar and battery system with zero upfront fees.

They’ll also be able to join the NRN network and be upgraded to a green energy plan without any extra financing, upfront costs or the need to switch electricity providers.

The NRN claims that switching to renewable energy can help Aussies save up to 30 per cent or $520 a year on electricity bills, based on specific household usage assumptions.

The main goal of the NRN is to make the transition to renewables more affordable for consumers, National Renewable Network founder Alan Hunter explained.

“When you get an exorbitant energy bill, it’s really easy to get mad at your energy provider. But what many people don’t realise is the energy provider only accounts for 7% of their bill,” he said. “The other 93% gets paid to the infrastructure companies to source the fossil fuels, convert them to energy, and make them available to your home or business.

“The NRN roll out will remove the need for these fossil fuel infrastructure costs and provide cheaper renewable energy for all Australians. Working with key energy retailers, we’ll also cover the costs of solar and battery installation, which opens up the green market to a whole new section of Australian households and businesses.”

The NRN uses innovative decentralised infrastructure to help reduce the transportation costs involved with energy generation. It independently owns and operates this infrastructure, working with several Australian energy retailers to provide greener energy options at an affordable price.

This means consumers are guaranteed to receive a lower rate than that of their current plan when they change to a greener plan with the NRN, added Mr Hunter.

“I don’t believe Australians should be ‘upsold’ to sustainable energy. I don’t get a phone call to sell me water for my home – it’s a necessity. It’s also a necessity for all of us switch to renewable energy to help reduce the damaging impact fossil fuels have on our environment, in every country around the world,” he said.

According to the NRN, 69 per cent of Australian homes are yet to switch to solar energy due to the significant upfront costs involved.

The network is expected to expand to other areas of Australia in the future.


Can I join the National Renewable Network?

To be eligible to join the NRN, customers will need to;

  1. Have a household or business located within a NRN ‘green spot’.
  2. Submit to an evaluation of the switchboard, meter box, roof space at the property. The electricity bill attached to the premises will also need to be evaluated.

The NRN states, however, that if your property is not located within an eligible area, you can join a waitlist instead, allowing you to be one of the first to be connected once your area gets the green light. The NRN recommends pre-filling an eligibility form if you are joining a waitlist.

If you already have a solar system installed or you do not meet the minimum energy consumption requirements, you may not be able to join the network.

For full eligibility criteria, it’s best to visit the National Renewable Network website.

How does the NRN work exactly?

Essentially, with the National Renewable Network, you’ll be joining an entirely different electricity network to the one you are currently connected to. Unlike your current network which may use some renewable energy, like solar or hydro, to generate your electricity, the NRN is claimed to be entirely renewable. This means that you will have access to greener energy at all times and for a cheaper cost than that of the normal network, according to the NRN.

In order for this to work though, you’ll have to have a compatible solar and battery system and access to a green energy plan. Hence the zero upfront costs of a solar and battery system install. The NRN claims that it works with your current electricity provider to help switch you to a green energy plan too. If your current provider doesn’t offer green options, then the NRN says it will assist you in finding an alternative option.

National Renewable Network residential customer steps

Image source: National Renewable Network website.

It’s important to note that the NRN will retain ownership of your solar and battery system throughout the duration of your agreement. However, bill-payers are given the option to buy the system outright from the NRN at any given time.

Customers are welcome to leave the agreement at any time but keep in mind that this may incur exit fees.

Image credit: geniusksy/, National Renewable Network.

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