Stu’s Shed goes a little greener

Or is that whiter when the carbon loading gets decreased?

I’m not weighing into the climate change discussion / arguments etc, but an opportunity presented itself, and that may be the end result, if not the justification used.  Australia’s primary power generation fuel is brown coal after all.

Through a government rebate initiative, and $8000 grant for installation of solar power systems, we are installing a 1kW system that is costing $8000.  No, it isn’t a huge amount of power generation, but the systems are typically very expensive, so being able to do it without dipping into our own pocket seems a no-brainer. If it wasn’t for the zero-net-cash aspect of it, we would not have made use of the government grant, nor had any solar system installed so a little is better than nothing.

The average over the year is said to be about 6kW / day.  It will be mounted on the house, and feeding into the house supply, but I like to think that while I’m in the shed, the first 1000W I use are solar (whether that be 1000W of my 2400W tablesaw, or half the dust collector’s power requirements or whatever.  The rest of the time the power being generated won’t get wasted – it will be utilised in the house keeping important things in the fridge cold 🙂

7 Responses

  1. Who’s offering said system? We’re looking to do the same thing soonish, I’d be interested in your experiences once it gets installed.

    And keeping important things cold is an excellent use of renewable energy. 🙂

    • A company called State Solar Services: 1300 799 378

      Apparently they will be having a TV campaign in the next week or two (according to the sales rep).

      They better be quick if the subsidy ends as Franks says, given there is a 4 week cooling off period!

  2. Better hurry up, subsidy ends end of June 2009

  3. Oh…if we’re talking about the original $8k subsidy scheme (that was limited to $100k gross household income) then no matter, I was already ineligible…and, I might add, extremely pissed off when they introduced the means-testing as we were just about to get a 1.5kW system installed.

    The new system, as best I can tell, will make us eligible for a $7750 rebate since Perth is in Zone 3.

    • If I wait for the new govt. system, the amount I can get drops from $8000 to around $4000. Under the new system there is no way it would be worth me proceeding. By the time the system paid for itself, it would be out of warranty (10 year), and therefore have every possibility of needing replacement, with no subsidy to do so.

  4. Here in California, about the best you can do between utility company and state/federal subsidies is about 50% of the cost of an install. However, from what I can tell, they don’t have any means testing (beyond smaller systems that are free to very low income residents). Of course, you could install 4 kW or more and have a very small electric bill (or pump the grid if you don’t use AC). However, since we have tiered pricing for electrical usage (which goes up almost exponentially once you reach the “baseline” allowances), solar can certaily help keep the utility bills under control. I’m seriously considering the cost/benefit ratio at this point, though I think installations will become much cheaper in the coming years due to new technologies and economies of scale. I wonder how far these government subsidies will push these issues.

  5. […] Posted on January 21, 2010 by Stuart Back on 18 May 2009, I wrote that Stu’s Shed will be getting a little greener, with the intro of a small solar system, funded by a government grant.  On 10 June, it looked like […]

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