Go green and save
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.”