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Harrington couple lead the charge towards home battery storage

Eight years ago, Kerry and Valda Bourke were among the first Harrington residents to adopt solar technology in an effort to reduce their power bills.

The decision, although expensive at the time, proved to be a worthwhile one, with payback experienced in half the estimated timeframe.

The Bourkes are leading the charge towards home battery storage and putting their faith in renewable energy once more – following the roll-back of New South Wales’ 60-cent feed-in tariff on 1 January.

“I don’t like sending my power off to the power companies and getting six cents a kilowatt for it so thought I might as well store it and use it myself,” shared Kerry.

The Bourke’s original 5kW solar PV system delivered a credit of up to $790 a quarter from their energy provider, while on the 60-cent feed-in tariff, during the warmer seasons.

The couple’s first power bill, post the tariff reduction, saw a return to the red, prompting them to explore their options.

They contacted Care Solar Solutions and in April increased their home’s existing 24 solar panels to 28, upgraded to a modern Solax inverter and installed a 10kWh LG Chem RESU battery, to complete the system.

The property’s pool pump activity was also reduced to four hours a day.

“I have been monitoring the system,” said Kerry. “We’re running out of battery consistently around 4:30 in the morning and peaking at midday, after the sun hits the panels at around 8 to 9am.”

The Bourkes also plan to take CSS’ advice and compare energy providers for the best feed-in tariff and deal available, as they remain grid-connected.

They are curious to see what impact their new system has on their next power bill and would ultimately like to reduce their power bills to zero.

 “I’d love to say I don’t get a bill again. I hope it will reduce it dramatically, so when I get the first power bill (which even then won’t show a full quarter) it will give me an indication of how we’re going and I’m still open to adding another battery if we have to.”

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