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What made you go solar?

We have a chat to Felicity and Roger about why they decided to install solar panels and make more conscious choices about how they are using electricity.


What made you want to install solar panels? 

I've always been excited about the way solar panels have developed. The price hadn’t changed much over ten years, but the actual output has increased hugely. Solar panels got to a point where the price and the amount of output made sense. At around the same time we were planning to reroof our house.

So you felt it was time? The technology was right and you were about to invest in home renovations?

Absolutely, yeah. The solar array, the inverter, and the battery cost about $22,000, so it made sense to add this to the amount we were investing in renovations. Comparatively, using solar and switching to an electric car looked like a massive saving in household power and fuel costs.

How long do you reckon it would take to pay off? 

It's hard to calculate. Initially our solar installer went “let's have a look at your bills from the last three years, and see what the array will produce”. They came up with a median and recommended it would take about six years. But they didn’t take into account that we’d also have an electric car. 

The clean emissions incentive and knowing we’d be charging it with our own solar panels helped us decide to buy an EV. Savings from using the electric car are at least $5000 a year, and that's just on fuel not taking into consideration servicing.

We charge the car directly from the solar on our roof during the day. If we just look at the savings on fuel, then we’ll probably pay off the solar panels in three years. We would have needed to replace our car anyway so, with the incentive, the cost between a conventional and an electric vehicle was comparable.

How does it feel to be generating your own power?

Well, it feels good in two ways.

There's obviously the financial return. Admittedly we'd recently moved into this house and our previous home was very big, so we couldn't really get an accurate gauge of how big our electricity bills would be. But, during the summer our power bills are really quite small, and not nearly as much during winter

The biggest thing is being more energy independent; having an electric car and saving on fuel, having solar for the house and saving on power bills, and knowing that we’re using a resource much more efficiently for ourselves and the planet just feels better. 

I like the idea of having an interconnected smart neighbourhood, which you could totally do where we live because there are other people with EVs and you could connect up the solar panels so all the EV batteries can store and use electricity, that's where this technology is going, right? That's the future.

Published on 27th February 2024
Simon Coley
Simon ColeyDesigner

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