About one in five Australians are thinking of installing solar panels (and many others would if they could), a recent national survey found. Soaring power prices clearly are a big motivation to join the nearly one in three households that already have a solar system.

Installation costs have plummeted and new systems now typically have generating capacities of 8-10kW. Yet, as Wasim Saman explains, even people with relatively large systems like this are often still paying stubbornly high electricity bills.

Why? Because they aren’t making the best use of all the electricity their systems produce. They export much of it to the grid for a meagre payment when solar generation is at its highest. Then they pay top dollar for the electricity they use in peak demand times in the early morning and evening when solar output is low or zero.

So, how can they reduce their bills – or even eliminate them altogether? There are three things solar system owners need to get right, and today’s article details all the steps towards achieving the elusive goal of ridding oneself of high electricity bills altogether.

John Watson

Cities Editor and Deputy Energy + Environment Editor

How to maximise savings from your home solar system and slash your power bills

Wasim Saman, University of South Australia

To achieve low or even no electricity bills, there are three areas owners of home solar systems should focus on getting right.

Bring on the Year of the Rabbit: why there’s new hope and prosperity tipped for Australia-China relations

James Laurenceson, University of Technology Sydney

Now that diplomatic relations are out of the deep freeze, business and cultural ties between China and Australia are set for a major rebound.

Reviled, reclaimed and respected: the history of the word ‘queer’

Timothy W. Jones, La Trobe University

The word ‘queer’ has a history as a widely used and respectful term in the LGBTIQA+ community, as well as being a slur.

Drip, drip, drip. Why is my leaking tap keeping me awake at night?

Leon Lack, Flinders University

Here are some tips of how to rethink the sound of your leaking tap, which should help bring you a decent night’s sleep. Or you could just fix the tap.

Health + Medicine

Environment + Energy

Arts + Culture


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