Crowdfunded energy retailer promises solar savings

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A new solar retailer is hoping to harness people power to potentially deliver hundreds of dollars in annual energy savings.

Households with or without solar systems already installed are being invited to invest $50 in DC Power Co, with the promise of better deals and financial bonuses.

DC Power Co wants to attract 95,000 investors who will not only become shareholders in the company but – provided they supply their energy bill – will also receive a free solar performance check, advice on how to use their solar energy more efficiently and have access to an energy plan that is claimed to “slash power bills”.

It’s thought that DC Power Co will operate across all deregulated areas, but at this stage there are no published rates or feed-in tariffs available to view.

Co-founder Nic Frances Gilley, who is said to have successfully launched several global energy projects, said the company would lead an “Australian revolution” in delivering power to solar owners “fed up with being short changed by major energy retailers”.

“Until now, solar users have had to make do with whatever their energy company has offered them, with very little transparency about how much they are saving or could be saving, because their business model relies on customers consuming more energy,” he said.

“DC Power Co is built with the people for the people. Homeowners have done the right thing and spent money installing their solar system, but aren’t being supported in getting the best out of it. We are about people making the most from their solar panels.”

There are thought to be around 1.7 million Australian households with solar systems, and DC Power Co says that customers with an average 3kW 12-panel system can expect to save up to $1,000 annually by harnessing power from the sun, while those with larger systems could save up to $2,000.

“Based on our research we believe a significant number of people, tens of thousands of households, don’t even realise that their system isn’t turned on or working, which means they could be losing out on about $1,000 every year. Their power company isn’t going to tell them because they make money by selling that customer energy they don’t necessarily need,” Mr Frances Gilley said.

“DC Power Co offers customers transparency, using new technology and our combined management expertise to unlock potential savings and demystify how solar works.”

If the company does not reach its total of 95,000 customers, those who have invested will be refunded their $50.

Are you getting a good solar deal?

A recent Canstar Blue survey of solar customers found that just over half (57%) think they are currently getting a good deal, while 53% are happy with the feed-in tariff they receive.

One in five households (21%) has switched providers in the last two years, with the majority of them (60%) reporting that it was a good financial decision. However, 18% are not convinced the move was a good one.

The survey also found that almost nine out of ten solar customers (87%) think investing in solar was a good financial move, while 61% aspire to be 100% off the grid.

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