A Newspoll survey of 1000 home-owners, commissioned by Solahart Industries , has revealed the overwhelming majority of Australians (94%) are concerned by hikes in energy prices with 58% very concerned - and 88% would like to reduce their household energy use.

The results showed that 79% of Australians were wanting to increase energy use from sustainable sources, and almost a quarter (22%) have opted to pay extra for ‘GreenPower’ from their energy supplier,  a further 22% have replaced electric hot water systems with more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly alternatives such as solar water heaters, and more than one in 10 (11%) have installed solar panels on their roof to generate their own power. 89% have installed energy efficient light globes, 72% have purchased energy efficient appliances, and a further 72% are turning off appliances at the power when they’re not in use.

According to Stephen Cranch, National Manager for Solahart, the figures of the poll indicate that solar energy has become a reality, and no longer a niche. “A few years ago, sustainable energy was barely on the radar, and only a small proportion of householders thought of making the swap,” he said.“These survey findings illustrate things have changed dramatically, with Australians now more conscious of the environmental impacts of their own lifestyle choices. Coupled with the power price surge and the current government rebates and incentives available, sustainable energy is rapidly moving to the top of the agenda.”

In an attempt to convert Australians, The Federal Government is offering a $1,000 rebate, with additional State Government incentives to those replacing electric water heaters with a
solar hot water system, as well as additional rebates for those switching to solar power under the Solar Credits Program. Other initiatives include the availability of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) , which save consumers up to another $1000 when buying a typical Solahart 300 litre system.

By 2012 the ability to purchase a new electric hot water Although these initiatives are in place and on offer, Australian's are still unaware of the potential savings. 50% are conscious of the $1,000 Federal Government solar hot water rebate and only 52% knowing about RECs. In addition to this figure, just over a quarter (27%), are completely unaware that any legislation or rebates exist to help them transition to a sustainable energy supply system will be stopped, diminishing rebates. Solar hot water systems are both more energy efficient, and will help save on energy bills, leaving Australians with more money to burn.