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Another Tasmanian Residence Goes Green

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

Margaret and Peter Forscutt are Tasmanian residents who have recently received a SolarGen 4kW grid connect solar system. “We are both pensioners on a fixed income, and our main objective was to minimise and control expenditure on power bills, both now and in the future. We have had a 20% price rise in electricity this Year with a guaranteed increase of at least 5% every Year into the future, without taking into account the possibilities of carbon tax”.

The Forscutt’s are concerned about climate change in the future. “I think there is going to be a high impact on Australia from climate change, because it is a very dry Country. Tasmania now imports ../../high percentages of its power from the mainland grid because of decreased rainfall leading to extremely low __lt.css;30%) in the hydro dams. I don’t think climate change can be totally stopped and we will have to adapt to a new climate, changing our lifestyles, becoming more efficient, more self sufficient and less consumer orientated”.

In addition to the above benefits of a grid solar system, the Forscutt’s purchased a grid connect solar system because of the unavailability of green power in Tasmania. “There is great publicity about clean green hydro power but the reality is we import dirty brown coal power from Victoria. The demand is such that we would be experiencing brown outs if this were not possible”.

Their 4kW grid solar system was comprised of German quality Schott solar panels and a Sunny Boy 3800 inverter. “We have information on: total electricity generated; total electricity consumed and net electricity exported to the grid. Our average daily consumption last quarter (before the system was installed) was 21 kW hours per day. This varies with the season as we have electric central heating but no air conditioning”.

The Forscutt’s have noticed that their solar power system has generated more than just green electricity, with curious neighbors approaching to ask questions “…in fact someone asked me for information when I was walking the dog this morning. On the actual day of installation the tradesman were worried about there being an accident with so many people around watching them!”

The Forscutt’s intend to remain at their current residence well into the future. “We have no intentions to move at all! But if we were to build new we would incorporate solar generation or look at the option of moving the existing system”.

Another West Australian Resident Goes Grid Solar

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

When West Australian pensioner Brian Murray heard about the $8,000 Federal Government rebate available for grid connect solar, he jumped at the opportunity. “I have always believed that we must do more to protect our environment but since returning to Australia in 2000, I have heard very little about it until this Year. The population in WA don’t seem interested in discussing the subject. It was only when I became aware of the Federal Government $8,000 grant that I realised that with strict budgetary control and a bank loan of $2,000, I could afford to participate in the system.

On the issue of climate change, Brian believes the impact on Australia will be high. “…if we can educate the general public to take an interest and participate seriously we may have a chance”. At this stage Brian doesn’t believe that climate change can be stopped. “…With the present belligerent attitude of the worlds Governments and mankind we will have to adapt to a new climate, but its severity can be diminished. Im trying to do my bit; I have my car running on LPG and I have synthetic lawn which doesnt require any watering”.

On the question of buying green power, Brian commented. “I didn’t buy green power because I couldn’t afford it although after the photovoltaic system was installed, I was forced to buy green power because otherwise I could not export to the grid under WA law.

Brian’s grid connect solar power system provides him with information on the total electricity generated; total electricity consumed by his home and the net electricity exported to the grid. At present his home uses 191 kW hours per Month of electricity. The unforeseen result for Brian post system installation was his awareness of his electricity usage. “I am now very interested in my household consumption that I read my new import/export digital meter several times a day, get cranky when the weather is cloudy or it is raining and calculate my savings on a daily basis.

Brian was surprised at how little interest his solar system gathered from neighbours. “ I live in Belswan Retirement Village in Mandurah, Western Australia and this village has around 250 individual houses (population approx 400). Admittedly I am one of the youngest residents, being only 67 Years of age but I am the only resident that has a Solar Hot water System (installed November 2007) and a 1kW grid solar system (installed October 2008). The population that inhabit this village are not interested in anything other than television (including Foxtel). They could not care less about the ENVIRONMENT.

In relation to moving house Brian was adamant that this wont be happening again. “At my age and having lived, studied and worked for 39 years in 5 states in Australia, 2 years in the USA, 7 years in Hong Kong, 7 years in Portugal, 2 years in Nigeria, 5 years in Holland and 5 years in Saudi Arabia, which constitutes residing in over 25 residences during all of this time, I have no intention of moving house again! Hence my 1 kW SolarGen photovoltaic system will be staying with me. However should I win Lotto, I will certainly upgrade it to a 2KWh system so that I can make more money from Synergy.

“Yesterday afternoon I was informed by a spokesman for the WA Minister for Energy, Mr. Peter Collier, that as of July 2009 the new Liberal State Government, through Synergy, is going to pay me 60 cents for every KWh that I export to the grid until my capital expenditure of $4,990 has been paid back to me. This means that the cost of supply and installation of the 1KWh SolarGen Photovoltaic System will in the longer term cost me nothing!”.

Overall Brian has been very happy with his system and believes it has exceeded his expectations. We congratulate Brian Murray for making sacrifices in order to purchase his solar power system.

Kensington (VIC) family purchase SolarGen 2kW grid solar system

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

In February of 2008, Susan and Neil decided to make the commitment to purchase a 2kW grid solar system for their home in Kensington, Victoria. “…We wanted to be part of the solution to climate change rather than part of the problem”.

Both of them feel strongly about the issues facing the planet with climate change. “Climate change will have a major impact on Australia and on the world. We are all on the same planet. National boundaries are meaningless. Climate change has already started and maybe we cant stop it, but we can probably diminish its severity. Whether we can or not, it would be irresponsible and feeble not to try”.

They already purchasing green power from their retailer prior to having their grid solar system installed. “I am considering changing my green power ‘package’ if I can as I get charged a fixed amount per week rather than in proportion to the electricity I draw from the grid. So I am paying just as much for Green Power even though my grid usage has dropped enormously” said Susan.

Susan and Neil estimate their household consumes about 300 kW hours of electricity per Month. The motivation for getting a 2kW system rather than the 1kW they needed to get the maximum rebate was to try to generate as much electricity as they consumed on average over a 12 month period. “I don’t think we’ll quite manage it. We’d hoped to generate 9-10kwh per day on average, but it looks as though it will be more like 7-8. But that’s just made us more determined to reduce our consumption further. Based on a week when the house was unoccupied, it looks as though our fridge uses about 3kwh per day, so we’re investigating what we can do about that.”

“We have no regrets about our decision to go solar. Some people have said we should have waited until it got cheaper and more efficient, but technology is always improving so there’s never an ideal time. And while you’re waiting for it, the climate is changing – maybe irreversibly. If you are serious about tackling the problem, you have to make a commitment.”

Although their household is not high income (they would still qualify for the rebate even after the means test was introduced), Susan and Neil have already managed to restore the bank balance to close to where it was before making the $15,000 investment in solar. “Our reliable income is quite low, but we’ve worked out how to manage on it. When we get additional work and have a high wage month, we always put some aside and we don’t claim family tax benefit through the year, so the tax rebate goes straight into savings. The outlay on the solar panels hasn’t been as big a financial burden as we thought it would be and anyway we see it as an investment.”

Redridge (QLD) Residence Receives SolarGen Grid Solar System

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

Warrick Tidswell lives in Redridge, Queensland. He received a Solargen grid solar power system earlier in 2008. “Our objective in purchasing a system was to reduce our household carbon footprint”.

The Tidswell’s believe that climate change will have an impact upon Australia however its severity could be diminished. They also feel that Australians will need to accept and adapt towards a new and changing climate.

They currently pay their energy retailer for ‘green power’ in addition to their grid solar system and their reasons for doing so were independent of each other.

Their solar panel grid solar system provides them with accurate energy production data which they monitor and record.

The Tidswell household consumes 360 kW hours of electricity per Month. Their SolarGen grid solar power system has met their expectations producing 10kW hours of electricity per day. “Having the system has made us more conscious of household usage and more motivated to make savings. Many people ask questions about it and have shown interest, but the cost seems to put most off – even those who can easily afford it”.

In the future, if the Tidswell family decided to relocate, they would purchase a new grid solar system.

Giralang (ACT) residence makes the switch to a SolarGen Grid Solar System.

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

Dr Paul Sidwell became yet another Australian resident to seek the highly popular solar panel rebate this Year. “My main objective was to make a highly visible statement to my neighborhood that I was prepared to invest in a better future, and successfully encourage others to do the same”.

On the issue of climate change, Dr Sidwell believes there will eventually be a significant impact felt here in Australia. “…We already live with climatic consequences such as water shortages, damage to buildings through loss of ground moisture, and the changing seasonal effects on things such as food production, hay fever and wildlife.

Dr Sidwell does not feel that climate can be stopped anytime soon, “mankind will have to adopt to a new climate, but its severity could be diminished. The effects will vary from place to place, from moderate to extreme. We need to apply precautionary principles, just as we take out insurance in our everyday lives”.

Concerning green power, Dr Sidwell has decided that option was not a suitable choice “I don’t buy green power, because in the ACT it is largely hydro, which I believe is defiantly not ‘green’. I have seen the devastating environmental effects of hydro (e.g. diverting hundreds of little streams in the alpine park area by the snow scheme has devastated the park environments, and the diversion of water inland has ruined the snowy river and salivated the inland) which has motivated me to adopt solar.

The Sidwell residence uses around 1000 kW hours of electricity per Month which accounts for heating, hot water and cooking for six (6) people.

Generally speaking the grid solar system has performed to Dr Sidwell’s satisfaction. “…my only gripe is that when there is partial overshadowing of the panels the output drops disproportionately, for example, if one panel out of six is shaded, output drops from maybe 700 watts to 150 watts”. This is due to the fact that solar panel performance drops significantly if when even a small area of panels becomes shaded. Amorphous solar modules are shade tolerant however its worth noting here that it would be most desirable to install solar modules on a roof which has no shading issues.

The Sidwell grid solar panel installation has generated significant interest from their neighbors nearby. “…within a couple of Months our next door neighbors installed a 1kW system, and another family a street away installed a 4kW system.

The Sidwell family have raised their awareness to their energy consumption after having their solar power system installed “…we have turned down our heating thermostat and actually removed the heater from the bathroom, and fitted a solar water heater to boost our electric storage heater”.

The Sidwell family would install a new solar panel grid system if they ever moved into another house with the idea of implementing a better layout/design.

Queensland Resident Goes Grid Solar

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

Peter Friis is a Queensland resident living in Buderim. Peter decided to purchase the grid connected solar system as his contribution towards a more sustainable future …”I strongly approve of charging carbon costs for dirty fuel such as Coal, yet I am aware that, until we have sufficient clean electrical power, the cost of peak electricity will be beyond the affordable cost to be met by the lower income people; However we MUST allow the Market to make the use of coal unfordable and in my small way I must be prepared to do what I can”.

Peter is of the belief that the impact climate change will have upon Australia will be significant…”I do not even trust the Rudd Government to do enough by 2020 to balance the increase of Global Warming, and by then we will have little chance to avoid the release of gases from the frozen tundras, the loss of of the Great Barrier Reef, with its protection of our coastal regions, the declining ability of corrals and crustaceans to form their calcium skeletons, the rising and flooding of the seas and the millions of those seeking refuge from catastrophes. A20% reduction in the use of dirty fuels by 2010 would be possible in Australia, but we must also do more to help others reduce their dirty energy; if we can do all this, the impact will still be high but less so for some countries with such benefits as we have for clean energy supply”.

Peter remains confident that climate change can be stopped, …”it will take time and we will have to adjust by avoiding the wastage such as long distance transport by internal combustion engine and transport our goods by electric trains. We will find that Distance is one of the most expensive means of provision of resources of electricity, goods and of services, we must decentralize where energy is wasted, but also shrink the distances between housing, education, child minding, public transport and workplaces, making the need for private transport less essential. Eventually the world will become healthy again, but that may not be in our lifetime.

Peter also buys green power in addition to his grid connect solar panel system, “I buy Green-Power when and where I can and can afford it, it did influence me to buy the photo voltaic system, though without the Governments assistance I could, as a pensioner, not have afforded it, but being connected to the gird is part of my view that we have to help others who need more than we do”.

Peter has the ability to use view his energy usage and history from his Fronius inverter however he has not yet been able to familiarize himself with the functionality of the system yet “the Fronius Grid Inverter, which seems to provide information on production use and everything, is explained in 70 pages of the 85 page booklet and I ave not yet received the billing of use and reduction of cost from the billing company; it seems that the “Fronius IG” booklet does give everything if I only knew how to use it”.

Peter’s home energy usage is quite low “I have no idea what the average use is in Kwh’s, but the average billing charge per quarter has been just over $127″.

On the issue of future grid solar system purchases, Peter feels that he will not be relocating nor purchasing any future system, “I have no intention of moving my accommodation; possibly I might go into a place of care, as my age is already almost 79, but that is something that I have presently no reason to concentrate on. All would depend on who wanted the house and did or did not value the presence of the photo voltaic system in the house and if not I could donate it to a charity; I am though still interested in increasing the number of cells by lots of 3 at a time, as I can afford it, but that would be at a cost of several thousand dollars and be a slow process of affordability”.

Another Satisfied Victorian Customer

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

Hi Scott

I just wanted to say a big “THANK YOU” for your customer service.

After originally signing with another supplier, who did not rise to the occasion to install the Solar Panels in time to get the Government Rebate, I was desperately searching for a supplier who would supply and install the Solar Panels and obtain the Government Rebate of $8,000.00

My internet enquiry was promptly attended by you and I was impressed with your “can do” attitude. Your professional approach was refreshing and the contract was finalised within a day. The Solar Panels were installed within the next few days, thanks to your installer, John, who deserves a big THANK YOU for a great job done. This prompt attention and commitment to customer needs has enabled me save my Government Rebate.

I am really pleased with my new 2kW grid solar system and happy with the extremely good quality in terms of both performance and hardware.

I have already recommended your company to my friends and have no reservations to recommend you in future to others, subject to your maintaining the quality of product and service, which you have amply displayed.

Thank you again. It has been a hassle-free and rewarding experience dealing with you.
With Regards
Bob Paalep

Victorian Resident Decides on 1.5kW Grid Solar System

Posted by admin on October 21st, 2010

Chris Williams of Cranbourne, Victoria recently had a 1.5kW grid connected solar panel system installed at his home. The system was comprised of German quality Schott solar modules.

Mr Williams felt there were a number of important reasons why he made the decision to purchase a grid solar power system. “Being a pensioner I wanted to keep my energy costs where I am in control. As a grandfather of five, if there is something that I could do about my impact of climate change in Australia then I wanted to be part of it”.

On the issue of Australia’s future impact of climate change, Mr Williams believes that the severity will be moderate. “…only because we have acted positively already”.

Mr Williams also decided to buy green power from his energy retailer after his solar power system was installed, “…when the power mob eventually pull their finger out”.

Integral Address N.S.W Backlogs

Posted by admin on October 19th, 2010

Integral Energy has had a significant increase in the number of enquiries, applications and meter installations for solar panel connections in N.S.W. This has created a high demand on our processing capability which is resulting in delays which could impact you for a limited period of time.

If you have had new metering equipment installed it is likely that there will be delays in processing the information provided to us by your Accredited Service Provider.

Our delay in processing your documentation is likely to have the following impact on you:

  • 1. You may not receive your account in the normal cycle that you are accustomed to.
  • 2. Your account details may not include readings from the additional metering equipment which actually exists at your home.
  • 3. As a result your account may not show the full details that you are expecting to be present on the account.

Please accept our apology for any inconvenience which you may experience, on a temporary basis, as a result of our processing delays.

Meters installed by Accredited Service Providers will be recording energy throughout, irrespective of when the metering information is entered into our billing system. Customers’ accounts will include all energy recorded on their metering once the metering information has been processed.

Where an urgent need exists Integral Energy, Network Connections Branch will endeavour to assist in processing specific documentation to address your concerns. Please contact Paul Hardman in our Network Connections Branch whi will try to assist urgent need

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