The clean, green revolution in Australia is alive and well, and more people than ever are jumping on board. From the days when even household recycling was a new thing, we’ve come a long way. Now, families are looking for ways they can reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable society. Now we’ve got everything from electric cars to insulation batts made from recycled glass.
But the rise of solar energy is perhaps one of the biggest changes we’ve seen. When solar was first made available to Australian households, the costs were enormous, and not many people could afford the luxury. Now, with government incentives, more market competition and lower prices, everybody can enjoy the benefits of solar.
What is solar energy?
There are two types of grid solar systems – on-grid and off-grid. With an off-grid setup, you have battery storage options. This means you can generate solar energy all throughout the day, and store it for use in the evening and on days when there’s no sun. While more expensive to set up, this completely removes your electricity bills forever
On-grid solar is the more common option, however, because battery storage technology is still quite expensive. With off-grid solar, you power your home from the sun during daylight hours. When there’s no sun or you’re not generating solar power, you automatically switch back to the main electricity grid. So, you still get a power bill, but it’s only for your evening use. In some states you can sell excess power you generate back to main grid. This is known as a feed-in tariff. You then get a credit on your power bill against the energy you use outside of daylight hours.
Is solar energy worth it?
It depends who you ask, but the overwhelming majority would say yes. Whether you choose on-grid or off-grid, you’re still powering your home using natural energy from the sun. So, your power bills are either completely eradicated or reduced considerably.
The setup cost is the only issue. Installing a solar system still isn’t cheap, however depending on your climate, most systems pay for themselves in around 3 years. That means in 3 years you will save enough money to cover the cost of installation. After that, all the savings are yours!
Combine with insulation for more savings
If you want to save even more money, then it’s important to make your home energy efficient. One of the best ways to do this is with insulation. Installing quality roof insulation, wall insulation and even underfloor insulation helps keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter. With less air escaping your home, your heating and cooling systems work more efficiently to maintain your desired temperature.
With great insulation, you’ll save even more money on power. If you’re on a feed-in tariff, you’ll have more excess energy that converts to money in your pocket. Not a bad deal when you consider you’re helping the planet at the same time!