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Tristan Edis


Tristan writes a regular column for Carbon Challenge that explores consumer options for individuals who want to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Tristan Edis


Donna Jones took part in Project Edge, a trial of two-way grid trading for solar/battery homeowners in Yackandandah, Victoria.

Pay households and they will use energy wisely

If you offer money to householders to provide power at certain times or to reduce demand, they will happily do it – provided it isn’t just a pea and thimble trick.


Endeavour Energy is among the distribution networks trialling community batteries

Why the ‘community’ battery is a Ponzi scheme

Community batteries are growing in popularity but may not be better value for households than buying their own, with subsidies for low-income households.

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Some electricity networks unnecessarily restrict exports of surplus solar power from residential rooftops to 5 kilowatts.

Here’s how household solar systems could get bigger

Electricity networks unnecessarily restrict rooftop panels’ exports to the grid because they aren’t managing voltage as well as they could be.


Fil Parisi with his rooftop solar system. The best way for the federal government to save households $275 on their electricity bills would be to help them invest in their own energy resources.

Building new transmission lines won’t cut power bills, but this might

Labor’s modelling claimed transmission funding could save households $275 a year, but only changes inside homes will really help cut costs.

Energy comparison sites and apps can help you find cheaper electricity.

This one simple step could cut your energy bill

If your energy retailer hits you with a big tariff increase, you can find a better deal using one of the government-run energy price comparison websites.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Energy and Climate Lily D’Ambrosio visit a wind turbine factory in 2021: gas industry outrage at their plan to ban gas connections to new homes was overdone and omitted key facts.

The two facts to consider before writing off Dictator Dan’s gas ban

Gas companies have two correct arguments against Victoria’s ban on gas connections in new homes, but there are two in favour they are quick to ignore.


For the cost of keeping the Eraring power station open, NSW could subsidise home batteries – like the one at Michael Chard’s home – for almost every solar system installed in the state each year.  Photo: Jamila Toderas

How to transition without transmission – or Eraring

The annual cost of keeping the Eraring coal-fired power station open could fund $5000 battery rebates for almost every NSW solar system installed each year, providing just under 500MW of battery capacity.



Why households shouldn’t wait to get off gas

Victorian households looking to end their use of gas should do it sooner rather than later, or face the risk of even higher exit fees.

Rooftop solar adoption has taken off.

How to get paid more for solar power (but there’s a catch)

Distributors have been delegated structuring power prices to make the most of solar, batteries and EVs. It’s throwing up tariffs with quirky characteristics.


The government will offer cheap loans for households wishing to install solar.

What’s required to accelerate battery uptake is a rebate, not a loan

If the Labor government really wants to help households drive down their energy bills and reduce emissions, it will need to do a lot more than offer cheap loans.


The electrification of households has sparked a wave of people rewiring their homes.

If I go all electric, do I need to upgrade my grid connection?

What if you’re not Mike Cannon-Brookes and don’t own mansions with big swimming pools, spas, data servers, and commercial kitchens?

Australian emitters are expected to turn to carbon credits to abate emissions.

Dodgy carbon offsets are better than solar

If you’d like to do your bit for the environment, you should try to track down and buy crummy carbon credits.


Australian homes and businesses have long benefitted from low-cost, reliable energy.

Why switching off gas at home could be key to keeping the lights on

Australia’s east coast faces a gas supply crisis, but converting heaters and water heaters to electricity could hold the best hope of averting shortfalls.

Tesla hasn’t been enthusiastic about offering vehicle-to-grid functionality in its cars.

Tesla comes around to my way of thinking

The electric car maker has finally started talking about the idea of vehicle batteries supporting the power grid – or at least the engineers have, if not Elon Musk.


Heat pumps are a viable alternative to gas heating.

The verdict on heat-pump water heaters is in

If they function properly, these products should be vastly more energy efficient than the dominant water heater technologies.

Can you go off the grid for less than $1000?

Can I go off-grid for less than a grand?

A summer holiday provided an opportunity to see just how cheaply I might be able to achieve my own self-sufficient electricity supply.

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December 2022

How to save $1500 from your power bill

Australians might be struggling with the high cost of power. But they can convert themselves from helpless consumers to energy producers using new technology.

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A BMW iX electric vehicle. Electric vehicles are now exempt from fringe benefits tax, putting them on an equal footing with giant utes such as Toyota’s HiLux or Ford’s Ranger when it comes to tax.

Electric vehicles are better than a ute for dodging tax

EVs can now take pride of place alongside the Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux, Isuzu D-MAX and other big utility vehicles as a favourite way for Australians to sidestep the taxman.

November 2022

Tesla is not the final word on electric vehicles.  Picture: Tesla showroom in Chatswood, NSW. Photo by Renee Nowytarger / AFR

Vehicle to grid EV batteries could put power plants out of business

Using an EV to power the home is about a fourth to a fifth the current cost of big battery electricity and may put conventional power plants out of business.

EVs could be a vital tool in safeguarding the grid.

How you and your EV could overpower state grid planning

A fully electric vehicle fleet will hold close to 24 hours’ worth of Australian electricity supply as surplus to our need for transport.