Going solar—at last!

Look at this:

solar 002

That’s MY roof those PV panels are going up on….mine, mine, all mine! I blogged about it last week and now it has actually happened.

Yes, I finally decided it was time to bite the bullet and spend some money on a good cause—reducing my carbon footprint.

A couple of months ago, out of the blue, a nearby friend had a 4 kW solar system installed. I went instantly into deep green envy mode.

Twelve months ago, I had obtained a quote from a supplier for a small 1.5 kW system, but had decided it was a tad too expensive for me, what with interest rates heading ever downwards and my income following suit. So I was astounded to see the quote she was given—only slightly higher than the one I was given, but for a system between 2 and 3 times bigger. It seems that the price of PV panels has come down quite a lot.

She couldn’t speak highly enough of the person from MSJ Solar Energy System who signed her up.  I was at her home on the day it was being installed and was able to ask the installers a lot of questions. They were very nice, helpful guys, too. I was waiting for the proposed rollout of electricity Smart Meters to hit my neighbourhood and as soon as it happened, I rang MSJ and their consultant came out the next day.

So I’m now the owner of a  4 kW solar PV system. My worries about not having a north-facing roof were apparently of no consequence—some panels have been installed on the east-facing section and some (the majority) facing the west. The installers say they do this all the time.

There are 20 panels—yikes!—because they are slightly smaller at 195 watts, than the usual 250 watt panels. 20 x 195 = 3900 watts or 3.9 kW—close enough to 4 kW to brag about.

The system has been turned off and locked and I have to wait for an independent inspector come out and officially unlock it and turn it on. Then I will be generating power from the sun. How good will that feel?

The energy supplier then has to come out and reconfigure the meter so that it registers what is going into the grid. I believe they have to do this within 4 weeks of the system being turned on. You can bet they’ll take every bit of that time, because I’ll be providing power to the grid during that time and won’t be credited for it.

Ready to go! Waiting for Houston to declare lift-off:

solar

Roll on summer! I’m looking forward to my first energy bill. If I get one at all, that is!

If you are anywhere in Melbourne or Victoria—and I know a few of my readers are—and you are thinking of going solar, please give MSJ a call for a quote. You won’t be disappointed in their service. And if you mention my name (this blog anyway), I get a $100 bonus! How good is that?

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12 Responses to “Going solar—at last!”

  1. kayepea Says:

    Well well…finally you have it and now I do too…for me its the envy you were talking of, not so long back. But I’m sure my lesser half will not come at solar, or anything else that I want!! I can but dream. Enjoy your solar freedom Bev.

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      He might when he sees how much money he will save. Lesser halves can be such a problem when money’s involved. I sympathise.

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  2. narf77 Says:

    It looks like a trail of envy generation is going on…I am SO please for you and green with envy at the same time…I think I have turned into an aging hippy paradox of myself ;). We will be watching closely to see how it all goes and hopefully you will be faithfully reporting back to us all as to how it goes and if it does, indeed, save you money. Off to seeth with envy over my second cuppa for the day 😉

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  3. J Robinson Says:

    Congratulations! With a 4kw system and frugal power use, you will not regret this investment. Well done.

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  4. rabidlittlehippy Says:

    Well jealous here too! I itch to have solar panels but they are just not on the budget list at this time. I would adore to be off grid – bugger providing the leccy companies with cheap power to on-sell at higher rates but I’d be happy with any panels to generate power no matter who benefitted. 🙂 However, our bills are around $250 a quarter (LED lights make a huge difference as does no tv) so the financial justification just isn’t there.

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      But that’s an incredibly low consumption for a household of five people. Mine is over $300 and there’s only one of me! Well done!

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      • rabidlittlehippy Says:

        The LED’s keep it well down and it dropped a third over winter as we were cooking on the wood stove rather than the electric hob (4 gas 1 electric one but we’ve not got the gas connected yet) so it will be going up this quarter I expect. Oh, and the ceiling fans will add to the bill (no air con though).
        I still wish we had solar with a battery bank.

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