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Forster couple welcome home battery storage before solar tariff roll-back

Christmas has arrived early at Forster couple Bob and Jan Lee’s home.

Their new battery storage unit was installed by Care Solar Solutions just in time for the extra house guests, and before the roll-back of the big solar feed-in tariffs on New Year’s Day.

The Lees have enjoyed the 60 cent feed-in tariff for their excess solar energy for the past five years.

Predicting their power bills would double, following the end of the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme on 31 December, they increased their PV system from 3kWh to almost 5kWh and had their surplus solar diverted to an LG Chem next generation 9.8kWh RESU (residential energy storage unit).

“We now have 16 panels feeding into the battery and eight panels feeding into the grid,” shared Mr Lee who, while retired, remains on the executive of the Forster Tuncurry Business Chamber.

“At 10am yesterday the battery was 100% full. It was a nice sunny day.”

The decision to add battery storage was three years in the making. The seed was planted when the chamber hosted 2010 National Australian of the Year finalist and environmental campaigner John Dee.

“He has a solar car, solar house and solar battery, and he told us how worthwhile they were… Still, the batteries were quite expensive at the time, but three years later the price hasn’t come down and I don’t think it’s going to for some time, not while there is a massive demand.”

The Lee’s expectations for their home’s new renewable energy solution is simple: “To reduce our power costs virtually to just a little bit above the connection cost. You’ve always got to be connected to the grid and with that comes service charges.”

The ability to tap into their home’s personal power supply will come in handy during the festive season.

“At the moment I’m running two big fridges, a bar fridge, and a 40-litre car fridge connected to electricity. The family will be coming home and you never know who will drop in for a Christmas drink.

“We’ve got sunlight costing nothing to produce power, it’s madness not to utilise the sunlight,” Mr Lee added.

We’ll drink to that. Merry Christmas Lee family.

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