Go green and save

Midwest Times - - REAL ESTATE NEWS - Katie Lee

One of the most pro­lific sus­tain­able tech­nolo­gies be­ing em­ployed by WA home­own­ers is so­lar.

Perth So­lar and Bat­tery So­lu­tions di­rec­tor Quin­ten Lil­ley­man says the sharp fall in the cost of a so­lar sys­tem and the rise in power prices make in­stalling so­lar a smart eco­nom­i­cal de­ci­sion not seen since the days of the high feed-in tar­iffs.

“There are two key fac­tors that make so­lar a good in­vest­ment,” he says.

“The fi­nan­cial sav­ings you’ll re­ceive for in­stalling a sys­tem and the sav­ing on green­house gas emis­sions cre­ated when pro­duc­ing elec­tric­ity from tra­di­tional fos­sil fu­els. An­other, of­ten over­looked, ben­e­fit is that so­lar can in­crease the value of your home.”

Mr Lil­ley­man says most peo­ple opt for the big­gest sys­tem that will fit on their roof, which in most cases is the low­est cost per watt to in­stall.

How­ever, he says the best way to de­ter­mine the right sys­tem and size for your home is to have a Clean En­ergy Coun­cil-ac­cred­ited de­signer visit to take into ac­count fac­tors like shad­ing, panel con­fig­u­ra­tion, your en­ergy use now, and needs for the fu­ture.

“Peo­ple of­ten want the cheap­est, but they need to take into ac­count other costs that can crop up like faulty in­vert­ers, pan­els or poor work­man­ship that end up cost­ing more in the long run,” he says.

“Your best re­turn for so­lar is when there is high en­ergy use dur­ing the day, so if there's a stay-at-home par­ent, older chil­dren at home dur­ing the day or if you work from home, then those are the house­holds who see the best re­turns on their so­lar in­vest­ment.

“Bat­ter­ies are in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar with peo­ple look­ing to fur­ther har­ness their power from the sun and save money.

“They just have to come down in price a bit be­fore the ma­jor­ity of house­holds with so­lar in­stall them, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait to in­stall so­lar pan­els, as a grow­ing num­ber of bat­tery sys­tems can be retro­fit­ted to ex­ist­ing pan­els as long as the sys­tem pro­duces enough en­ergy to charge your bat­tery.”

Pic­ture: Getty Images

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