$407 Million Darlington Point Solar Farm Approved

MICHAEL BLOCH | December 13, 2018

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The NSW Department of Planning and Environment announced yesterday it had approved a 275-megawatt solar power project to be situated approximately 10km south of Darlington Point, near Griffith. Darlington Point is a small town (population a whisker over 1,000) located on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River in western New South Wales’ Riverina district.

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Sustainability Options is an ‘altruistic business’ established with a core purpose: to work for the benefit of others with compassion and generosity. Community, Social and Environmental concerns are our key priorities. 85% of our profits will be directed to charity, to community, to our vision of doing good, to our staff, and back to our customers.

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Outdated perceptions: how energy attitudes are damaging customer wallets

Article | March 22, 2021

Despite rising energy costs and dwindling customer ratings of the ‘Big Six’, over 37% of Brits still believe they are getting a good deal when it comes to gas and electricity. Here, Keith Bastian, CEO of rising independent Outfox the Market, challenges those age-old perceptions that are damaging consumer bank balances… I have never quite understood the notion of pay more for the same service. Except that last part, is really where the difference lies. As I have made my way through the energy market, it seems clear to me that we are facing a common notion. Age-old dinosaurs, that have relied on name status and brand power to retain customer loyalty, despite not providing anything different or any value-added service, give the impression that customers are somehow safer with them. That is the biggest misconception. We at Outfox the Market would like to challenge that. Of course, when I speak in such a way, I am referring to the ‘Big Six’, those long-established brands whose share in the energy market whilst substantial, is increasingly coming at the cost to its customers. For example, in the latest independent customer rankings from Which, it was determined that the traditional big energy companies had some of the lowest scores for customer service and value for money, yet some customers still feel secure with them. On the contrary, rising independents, such as ourselves, were scoring highly in these areas and this is where I feel the difference lies. Regardless of your opinion on fossil fuels and/or renewables, it is more the value of looking after your customers, understanding their concerns and dealing with them efficiently that has become somewhat lost for the ‘Big Six’. It is true that they have a larger proportion of customers to serve with a larger workforce, but that should not be to the detriment to the service they provide. What were are seeing now, as evidenced by the recent Ofgem price hikes, is the ‘Big Six’ once again failing consumers in these areas, with most of the top names putting costs up by £96 a year on average as of April. I am not one to not acknowledge that energy firms are tongue-tied in some respects in passing regulated costs on; there are times when we must. However, customers could also benefit from a little research. Even with growing numbers of consumers switching, nearly 60% of all households in the UK are still on standard variable rate tariffs, those that are subject to the incoming Ofgem hikes. So, the real question is why aren’t more customers switching? Heritage, loyalty and brand association. These facets really should not come at cost of paying more for energy. I really believe it is down to time-sensitivity and a misunderstanding around the barriers to switching, with cost somewhere in the middle. According to MoneySuperMarket, 75% of us would switch if we could save £149.99. A hefty figure, but why not the £96 highlighted earlier? That is still pretty good, and something that would add up nicely over the years. I understand we are time-poor as a nation, it’s well publicised, but we’re all well averse in switching phone contracts and insurance deals, so why not where our energy comes from? Truth be told, I believe it’s an age-old notion that energy is ‘just something that comes with the house, not worth the hours or hassle to change.’ But in all honesty, it takes a matter of seconds to switch. Firms such as ourselves offer this and more via a quick and easy quote online. Best of all, many energy providers will help manage the switching process for you, contacting your current provider and notifying them of your intentions. I would also like to challenge this notion that once an energy firm ‘gets you’, you are ‘locked in’ for years upon end in ever rising contract costs. If you are on a standard variable tariff, you can switch to a new provider at any time. What’s more, even if you are in a fixed term energy deal, which can be subject to exit fees, sometimes the cost involved outweighs the savings you can make with your new provider. Customers must do their best to ask more of energy firms, check the service they are being given and hold it up against national bill averages. Compare what your neighbours, friends and family are paying under similar living circumstances, and weigh up if you are being given a fair deal. Living costs and regulated price hikes are always going to be an ever present worry, so I call on both customers and energy firms to do their due diligence in these respects. Age-old energy firms relying on their reputation must take a serious inward look at their lessening market share to understand why they are failing customers. It’s time to make a change now, both from business attitude and a consumer standpoint; switching is quick, easy and a vital notion to bear in mind, as both retaining custom and saving money becomes an ever-growing sticking point in the energy market.

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3 Ways Energy Storage is Fueling the Renewables Revolution

Article | March 22, 2021

Across our country, there is an increased focus on renewable energy sources to combat the extreme impacts of climate change, and address the problems caused by a growing demand for power from an aging grid. While significant progress has been made through federal and state incentive programs that have helped drive down the costs of deployment, there is still so much to be done to chart a path toward a clean energy future. Accelerating development of solar and wind projects is a key to achieving renewables goals, but this is not enough. Storage solutions must be integrated to ensure renewable projects can deliver power when and where individuals and businesses need it, and minimize, or even eliminate, reliance on fossil fuels.

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Are Solar Workers ‘Essential’? The Industry May Soon Find Out

Article | March 22, 2021

The U.S. solar industry is preparing to argue that its workers are essential to the economy as it copes with a growing pile of government-mandated shutdowns to combat the spread of COVID-19. State-, county- and city-wide shutdowns, which are already in place in California, the nation's largest solar market, as well as New York and Dallas County, Texas, largely called for employees of “nonessential” sectors to stay home; the orders now cover about 20 percent of U.S. residents, according to the New York Times.

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Why Renewable Energy is Important

Article | March 22, 2021

Renewable energy is here to stay. It’s becoming a much larger part of the United States’ total energy production, and it supports a more diverse energy network to give customers control over how their energy is produced. However, the importance behind this relatively new way to produce energy doesn’t stop there. Below are some of the most impactful areas renewable energy supports, specifically our infrastructure, economy, and environment, and how City Electric Supply is expanding into this growing market.

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Sustainability Options

Sustainability Options is an ‘altruistic business’ established with a core purpose: to work for the benefit of others with compassion and generosity. Community, Social and Environmental concerns are our key priorities. 85% of our profits will be directed to charity, to community, to our vision of doing good, to our staff, and back to our customers.

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