Energy opportunity

in #environment3 months ago


A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

- Winston Churchill -

For the past several years I've benefitted from a solar array on the roof of my house which has dramatically reduced the cost of my energy bills; most of the energy is used during the day meaning the household burns mostly sun-generated energy rather than drawing it from the grid.

The system also feeds back into the grid when the house doesn't require the energy and I get paid for it which helps reduce the overall energy bills each quarter. Over that time I've produced 33.5MWh of energy, exported 20.2MWh and imported 18.0MWh - and used 31.4MWh - meaning a net energy export of 2.2MWh in total over the life of the system so far.

I've been very happy with my investment.

The system cost me a little over $7,500 AUD back in 2016 and was paid off in full after a few years so now I'm reaping the rewards of a system producing more energy than I use. I moved out of that house some time ago, but still own it. A business operates there, owned by me, and with almost all of the power used during the day the system is really paying dividends. But what about my new house?


The opportunity

A few months ago I received a letter from the government offering me a free solar array, supplied and installed on my roof by a well-known solar company. My ears pricked up.

It's a government program that has worked its way into my suburb now and whilst I'll need to give up a couple concessions totalling about $450 per year the gains from the system will work out to easily double that, and probably more, so it seems a good deal.

I thought about it for a while, did some due diligence and decided I'll apply; last week I was advised by the government I qualify, have been accepted and will be contacted by the solar company for a site assessment. This determines the job required and at which time I can decide if I'll go with the standard system they provide, of 4.5Kw, or pay $400 for an upgrade to a larger system, which is exactly what I'll do.

With a few tweaks to the way power is used in the house I'll save a significant amount of money moving forward, and will also probably spring for a battery in a year or two considering the cost of the system is nothing, other than the small upgrade cost.

But what's the catch?

There's none really, nothing I'm concerned with anyway. The household will lose a small energy concession and during production hours will send unused power the array generates back to the grid. That's it. I can accept that.

This is one of the government's initiatives to generate more sustainable energy and keep up with growing demand for power; it basically turns my house into a mini-solar-farm on the governments' behalf and, rather than having to buy land and add costly infrastructure, it's my land and infrastructure, they just supply the solar array and system to run it all.

I'm waiting for the call from the solar company, which I'm expecting in the next week or two, and from there the process will begin. Site evaluation, system design, installation and commissioning which I think will be in four to six weeks or so after the initial site inspection. I'm looking forward to it.

Do you have a solar system on your roof and if so how has it worked for you from a value perspective? Maybe your government is also providing energy options like this one, if so tell me about it below.

Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised so be humble and kind

Any images in this post are my own


OH WOW! That's one great government program right there while here I am planning to put up solar panels for our house in the Philippines and bracing myself for the gigantic cost of it because our government just doesn't care about renewable energy or social benefits. So happy for you and your family you get to have renewable energy very soon! 🌞

It's pretty cool right?

The system has worked so well on my other house, although with all the day time power usage it's always going to. It'll be interesting to see how this system goes on my house when it arrives. There's a very cool data-tracking app that breaks down (in live time) to 15 minute blocks so I'll have a good idea of what's going on, and how to adjust power usage (time of use) to take the most advantage.

I hope your financial cost isn't too painful for you and that you end up with a system that delivers loads of power.

Thanks for your comment.

That system is really super awesome! I hope I can find a similar option in the Philippines! With all commodity prices rising up now, it is indeed wise to invest on renewable energy. It is also more sustainable than traditional power sources. That is why, whatever the cost is gonna be, I'll just have to work on it. 😅

Thanks! I hope I find cheaper but still high quality solar options by then. Thanks for sharing this awesome journey. At least we (readers) can have a reference when we install our own. 🌞

You're welcome and I agree completely, it's a good time to do something as prices will only rise I think. (I mean the price of everything.)

I agreeeeeeee! 😥

Thanks for that insight. We've been wanting to take the plunge at the new house, not just for the cost savings, but to have the backup power in case the lines go down. There's also some good tax incentives here right now 26% which goes down to 20% next year. This is helping me get off the fence... Timing here is critical, we have a steep roof and would have to be installed before October snows start coming. I'm guessing a large snow rake in the winter to help keep them producing. I've also been looking at some of those Anker and Ecoflow type portable batteries rather than a single large wall battery. I like the idea of the portable ones to take to the woods or mobile workshop. If it just wasn't that darn up-front cost!

Yeah mate, now's the time I think, prices will only go up.

Ive been on board since 2016 and have been very happy with mine. Now, at this new place, I get a bit of a head start from a cost perspective as the government is paying, in exchange for my additional output, which I'm happy with.

I priced up a decent storage system for this housenlast year (early) and it was $16,000 AUD for the Sonnen battery and $19,000 for the Tesla. A bit too hot for me. This way I'll not feel so bad adding the battery (probably next year) at about $7,500. It's a huge leap forward financially.

We're lucky here with so many sun shine days, no snow in winter. It's a good deal. Still, with storage you'll get good value also I think. Start the research, I'd say.

Yes, I've been looking at a reputable Solar Wholesale company and DIY kit. Their kit comes with the plans, the paperwork needed for local gov approval (required to connect here), and have the option of paying them or other to install. I've got a good local electrician that does us good on pricing... Our roof is fairly steep though so not climbing around on it to mount the brackets myself. I've been researching for at least a year, was about to pull the trigger on a ground mounted system at the old house before we moved. We'll do it, just a matter of timing.. You've helped push me to get a formal quote though. Don't have the cash lying about, but perhaps a payment plan for a bit which can be at least partially offset by the monthly bill savings.

I figured you'd have a clue already. Also, the payment plan is what I did, gave me the impetus to actually get it done, then I smashed the payments and instead of five years to pay off it was done in under two. It was an interest free deal so didn't hurt at all. The savings in the power bills helped also. It's a good way to go, not that I'm one to promote credit, but for something like this, and with a little discipline, it can work out.

That was a great program by the government. That is a big help, using clean energy helps every individual in daily life and the environment. Hoping the Governments around the world apply this kind of program.

Yeah, it's a program that's being widely adopted although not all areas are covered or all households qualified. It's interesting how they're rolling it out, what the requirements for approval are. Fortunately it worked out for me.

By the way what controller do you use today, what its ah?

Controller? I'm not sure what you mean. These are not home made systems I'm talking about. I'm sorry, I can't answer your question.

I mean the Ampher per hour you have in your solar set up at home. It's Capacity.

They don't measure it by Ah. I have a 6.5 Kw array on the roof, 16 panels. It's not a storage system which would be measured in Ah. The system generates the power in Wh and either it gets used in the house or transferred into the grid for use elsewhere.

Oh, so you don't need a battery or a storage system for this setup? What do you call this kind of Setup? Maybe I will search more about it.

It's a solar power collector and no battery is required. This means it will generate power for immediate usage and send the excess into the main grid. I get paid per KWh for the power that goes into the grid. I can add a battery system which will then store the power for use when the sun is gone although they are very costly. I will probably add one, the Tesla battery, to my new system in a year or so though.

That is good solution for energy problem👍

I agree, I'm hoping this system is as great as the one on my other house. It's newer technology so I think it'll be great.

Well, no. In a word. I don't qualify because of the age and stage of my castle. I have seriously considered building a new shade structure over my 60' long patio (16m) to mount panels to. I'd have to buy them and the infrastructure but could get a rebate and federal tax relief out of it. The biggest impediment is that I'd have to buy the switch gear for the export phase and that is expensive. Sigh.

I sure do like the sound of your program, though. Good for you.

It's a really good idea and I know there's incentives around the place to help people do the job but yep,but can be expensive. I'd imagine solar systems would work well up your way with all the sun you have!

I didn't know you have Solar!

Also you are using the Enphase software, the same one I am using. I have mind installed/permitted last December.

Yep, since 2016 on one house and soon I'll have it here too. It's worked really well. Also, yeah that enphase software is good, simple and effective, and allows me to look at output and usage and make adjustments to maximize the returns.

That's a great opportunity for you indeed, you're the luckiest to be given a chance to qualify on the said program. Soon when I have my own house, I'll surely invest in solar panels. It's a great help.

It was a fortunate thing indeed and I'm pleased something fell my way for a change and that I don't have to fork out the money. I'll see some great savings moving forward and that's good too. I hope you manage to get your house soon and a solar system also.

Roof replacement starts in 4...3...2...

(Ok... A few more weeks)

Our homeowners insurance is covering total roof replacement. (Over $20k usd) On both buildings, (home and garage) Due to storm damage.

After that is done. Later this year We will be applying for whatever solar program they offer here that fits our needs. Hopefully at the same cost as your latest endeavor.

I look forward to what you have done with yours since 2016. I hope it works out like that for us.


Storms suck as does sustaining damage, but it's good to hear you have insurance. So many here don't, then whinge and moan about the storm damage they haven't got the money to fix it and stick their hand out wanting the government to drop money on it. Assholes.

Good luck with the replacement and solar research.

That's a great program extended to you @galenkp, solar power continues to prove low budget in the long run. Amazing offer, that's a good one!

Yeah, it's a pretty good deal.

Solar is a great and sustainable innovation, even in the not so sunny Holland it is a good investment.
My parents have them on the house and I have them on my van. It feels great to not have to go to a campsite to plug in to the camp. And I always have enough energy for my fridge and all my electronics to work. Definitely the highlight of my van so far.

Solar power is certainly very handy. I have it on my off-road camper trailer and have portable panels also. So many use-cases. It's worked so well on my otter house and I look forward to getting installed here too.

I came across some information the other day saying power companies may start charging people that put solar power back into the grid when it's not needed. I'm sorry I can't remember the source of the information but maybe worth searching and see if you can find it. Something to consider.

Lol, and it's not even April fools Day.