Energy Freedom Story – Lee from Glen Waverley.
Each Energy Freedom newsletter features a new Energy Freedom story. This time we look at a real work in progress, with several of the 9 steps in total done and several to be completed – thankyou to Lee and family at Glen Waverley, Victoria.
‘We are a family of 4 and having recently moved into a property in Glen Waverly we were looking at the quickest and most effective things we could do to reduce emissions and save money.
LED’s Switching every bulb to LED seemed like the obvious first thing to do first. We had 30 + bulbs consuming an average of 60 watts which were reduced to 10 watts by fitting LEDs. This was a good start with an 80% reduction in energy consumption. We also put new insulation in the roof which helped to keep a bit more heat in the house during winter and a little cooler in the summer.
SOLAR Next up was installing 3KW of solar panels on the roof. Given our roof layout, budget and energy requirements this looked like the best option. We went with Enphase microinverters to ensure maximum efficiency of the panels. The whole system was installed painlessly in a couple of days.
A month before the installation we had joined Powershop so we had already been able to accurately track, with their app, exactly how much energy we had been using. We could see exactly when we were using electricity and work out where.
The day after the solar went in the drop was huge, on an average day it was 60% less and that was in Spring. Since then we have made a few behaviour changes. Ensuring clothes washing and dish washing is done during the daytime and using the slow cooker more often has seen an even bigger fall in overall energy usage. We consume about 2 units a day now.
Even with the pathetic feed in tariff we get, we still managed to earn $40 dollars a month, in summer, from the electricity we sent back. Electricity bills of about $15 per month are now the norm. The payback for the whole system looks like it will happen far faster than we thought.
NEXT STOP – GAS We see this as a first step. The money we save each year will go towards expanding the number of panels, installing a battery and then disconnecting the gas completely.
We still have gas for heating, cooking and hot water. All these units will need to be replaced in the next few years so we will go with solar powered options. With a young family it is a long term plan to get to zero emissions. We were told to wait for a couple more years as solar panel prices are dropping but why would you wait when you can start saving instantly? Even borrowing the money it seems to make sense to go solar.”
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