Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Eco Green Time: Solar Charge Your Life

I grew up in an environmentally conscious family. My mother was pouring the washing machine water on her garden well before “grey water” became a household term. As kids, we all dreaded being given the job of putting the food scraps into the compost bin up at the back of the garden – yuck! And then my parents bought some land in country Victoria. Weekends were spent planting trees – natives of course.

Time went on and my parents eventually bought a house to go with the land which resulted in my dad spending many hours installing and talking about solar panels, batteries and a wind generator. As a teenage girl it was put on me that I wasn’t allowed to take my hairdryer to the “weekender” as anything that heats up uses the most electricity. I am sure you can work out what my sisters and I thought of that!

Over two years ago, my husband and I decided rather than to renovate our cute little weatherboard house, we would rebuild. First things first. Our weatherboard house was cut in half, put on a truck and shipped off to a little town called Heathcote to become someone else’s happy home. No landfill!

Second things second, when you are spending that much money on a house, what is a few extra grand to owe the bank. So in went the water tank to flush the toilets (using water as it is harvested) and the SOLAR PANELS. I am sure people thought I was crazy, but I LOVE my panels. We have eight 165 watt Solar Panels with a large enough inverter that I can add more anytime I like.

I also got a rebate from the government so they cost me half of what you would usually pay. AND, they reduce my electricity bill by about half. On really sunny days, I even put electricity back into the grid which is automatically used by my neighbours. The electricity company pays me four times as much for my electricity as they charge me per kilowatt.

And because the electricity goes straight back into the grid, I don’t have any nasty batteries lying around. Huge win/win situation. Never mind the financials – I feel fantastic that I am contributing to greening up our lifestyle and the kids are starting to understand about the production and consumption of electricity.

Now if the production companies could work out a way to produce solar panels in such a way that they don’t damage the environment as they are made... one step at a time.

GUEST BLOG POST BY: Rosalinda Batson my friend on Twitter @RozBatsonfrom Melbourne Australia.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! We built our dream home about 3 years ago & toyed with the idea of solar panels. In the end we didn't install them & I still wish we had!

    Thanks for sharing!