It’s Time to Look to Your Neighbor for Cheaper Electricity

Not everyone has the money or place to install solar panels. Some might be renting the place they are currently living in, while others might be living in block apartments. Then there’s those who can’t afford the solar panels or are living in a heavily shaded area.

However, there just might be a solution coming their way. A new project by Nexergy hopes to provide people with an opportunity to buy electricity, at a cheaper price from their neighbors. Nexergy believes that they can offer people electricity that will be cheaper than what is offered by electricity companies.

Currently, residents are paying extremely high prices to buy electricity that is generated by renewable sources such as wind farms. Even those people, who have solar panels installed, get six to eight cents/KWh when they sell their electricity to the grid.

Grant Young, Nexergy’s co-founder said that he wanted residents to buy electricity at a cheaper price from their neighbors. According to Young, currently residents pay 25c/kWh to buy green power from electricity companies. This is much more than the six to eight c/kWh, which residents get from selling solar electricity back to the grid.

Mr. Young proposes a situation where both, the resident with the solar panels and his neighbors can benefit. Instead of selling their solar electricity to the grid, residents can sell it to their neighbors with a small profit, with 16c/kWh. This would give the resident better rates for their electricity and the neighbors can buy green power at a cheaper price. The electricity would still be transported through the grid, which would allow the companies to collect their network charges.

The sharing of electricity would not just provide cheaper electricity but would protect the local communities from blackouts. By adopting this system, they could become “mini grids or isolable micro” that would have personal power supplies even if the grid went out.

Talking about the recent outage in South Australia, Mr. Young explained how this system would offer areas an independent way to support themselves, in case the main transmission lines get damaged.

Nexergy has developed an app that will run this system. The app was showcased on 11th March, Thursday in Sydney at NewCo Entrepreneurial Festival. The trials are expected to start this year.

The app will allow businesses and homes to install batteries without solar panels. Though the batteries’ cost is still a big hurdle but Mr. Young believes that with time, the price would fall down eventually. Two other barriers include buying smart digital meters, so that electricity usage can be measured constantly and network charges regulation that will allow people to pay for their network only.

Mr. Young said, “It encourages the sharing of energy so rather than just the household getting the benefit for the energy (from the solar panels), the community benefits”.

Reposit also has a similar power plant in trial but Mr. Young believes they can better control the production of the electricity. Other models give residents the option when they can draw their electricity, which means they have no control on the production. However, Nexergy customers will have the benefit of choosing when they want to produce electricity.