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How Your Solar Bank Can Help Stabilise the Electricity Market

We all use electricity – whether we’re watching TV, cooking dinner, or charging our phone. 

But figuring out exactly how the electricity market works (and how it affects our electricity usage and bills) is not so simple — in fact, it's a complicated mix of people, power, and prices.

With the recent launch of our new solar and battery system, the LPE Solar Bank, we wanted to help you navigate any extra questions you might have, such as: Why does my Solar Bank need to connect to the electricity grid, and what does it do to help the electricity market?

Let's take a look at how the electricity market works, and how our LPE Solar Bank Network helps stabilise it. 

How the Electricity Market Works

In Australia, we have a mix of energy resources. These resources are split into two groups: non-renewable and renewable. In the case of non-renewables such as coal or gas, these resources are finite and can run out. They're also not so great for our environment, which is why at LPE, we are doing our best to move Queensland towards renewable energy.

Renewable energy can cover things like hydroelectricity, wind turbines, or in our case, solar electricity. These resources don't run out — living in sunny Queensland, we have almost infinite sunshine that can help generate solar electricity. 

At the moment, Queensland relies more on non-renewable electricity than renewable electricity — and unfortunately, some of those non-renewable resources can be overworked. 

You might remember when a local coal power station exploded in May of 2021, which disrupted power to nearly 500,000 customers. Other things like natural disasters or just high demand can also affect these power stations' ability to supply enough electricity. Whatever the cause, these are called electricity "events", and they put a strain on the electricity grid. 

When these events happen, there is less electricity available in the network, even though homes and businesses need the same amount of electricity they normally use. This creates more demand than supply, and so Queensland’s electricity generators increase the price they charge providers, like LPE, for the available electricity. 

This in turn creates an extremely volatile market, where the price of electricity can go up and down rapidly by thousands of dollars, every five minutes! While these price fluctuations aren’t likely to impact your electricity bills in the immediate future, we as your electricity provider have to bear these costs for you, and so the fluctuations can lead to electricity price increases over time. 

This volatility also creates uncertainty regarding whether we have enough electricity for everybody, and so more fossil fuels are burned into our air to meet demand.   

So how can we do better?

How Does My Solar Bank Help the Electricity Market?

Your Solar Bank is part of a network of other Solar Banks — and together, they help support the electricity grid during times of need.  

Because your Solar Bank generates an abundance of clean, solar electricity and stores it in your battery, LPE can draw on your system when there is a severe shortage of electricity in the grid, to help meet demand.

This contribution of clean, solar electricity from LPE’s Solar Bank Network helps stabilise the electricity market by increasing the available supply while also lowering the price that traditional electricity generators can charge.

Note: At LPE, we only manage your Solar Bank battery during significant events, when electricity usage is at its highest. There are usually only around a few dozen events per year, and they occur in peak times or in summer.

What’s in It for You?

There are several ways you benefit from being part of our Solar Bank Network.

First and foremost, to reward you for contributing to a smarter, more sustainable electricity network, you receive guaranteed monthly credits on your electricity bill, whether you've contributed any electricity, or not. It’s our way of saying thanks for helping your community and the grid when they need it most!

Secondly, by helping to stabilise the electricity market, you’re helping to keep the cost of electricity down in the long run, meaning your bills will stay lower, for longer!

And finally, you can sleep well at night knowing that you are doing your bit to help the electricity industry rely less on coal and gas, and more on distributed networks of clean and sustainable, solar electricity.

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We hope we've answered your questions about how the electricity market works, and how LPE's Solar Bank Network can help. If you have any more questions, please call us on 1800 040 168, or request a quote here