Not so green on the other side

A few have asked about the result of installing solar panels earlier this year, and finally I have some info from the letterbox.

To start, we didn’t get a single bill since installing the panels until yesterday when the result of me having a go at the power company has finally resulted in the bill being delivered.

Of course the bill is now near on $700, and because they have wacked the whole lot together, it will be harder to really assess the impact – perhaps that is what they want – hide the myth.

There are two aspects to having solar power.  The first is obvious: during the day appliances can draw some of their power from the roof, rather than from the grid, saving the 26.4c/kWh

The second is whatever power is not used is fed back to the grid at 66c/kWh  Before I got the smartmeter, I watched the old one spin backwards, but the new one actually allows the company to know how much to refund. The old way is interesting to watch, the new way gets more money on one hand, but the tariff has also crept up to compensate (them).

So over the 76 days of solar power on the new meter, and being fully wired in, I got a massive $9.90 refunded.

Compared to the same time last year, my average daily usage dropped a whole 2kWh per day. Doesn’t seem worth the massive government investment to achieve such a minor saving.  $8000 invested to achieve a daily saving of 45c/day.  And 13c/day power back to the grid.

At that rate, the investment will have paid for itself in 38 years.  Glad I didn’t pay for it!  However, in fairness, that is not only over the winter period, but also a bill that was over 6 months.  I’ll wait for the next bill before passing final judgement.

Back when I thought about the solar panel, and thought about the shed, what occurred was that during a sunny day, any work I did in the shed would draw no power from the grid – enough power would be generated by the panel on its own, and any power not consumed would effectively offset power used by the shed in any evening.

So the shed is power neutral – thanks to the solar rebate.  Wonder if that was their intention?  They certainly don’t seem to achieve much more than that.

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