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Home solar solution passes first bill test for Port Macquarie couple

It’s not often you meet a couple who is eager to receive their quarterly power bill, but for Sovereign Hills residents Paul and Glenda Kells there was an extra incentive.

The energy-conscious Port Macquarie couple recently had a complete solar storage solution installed on their new home to help minimise their power bills, and this would be the system’s first test.

“With no solar system we were averaging 14.4kW consumption a day, including the use of an air conditioner. After the solar system was installed this dropped to an average of 2.8kW a day,” Paul explained.

“We’ve also been putting an average of 11.3kW a day back into the grid during the same period.”

Paul and Glenda’s system (which consists of a 5.1kW solar system and a 6.5kWh LG Chem Residential Energy Storage Unit) was installed with 39 days remaining in their quarterly billing cycle.

The bill total, including the electricity provider’s network charge, was almost $317.00. Paul and Glenda calculated that $241.00 of this amount was consumed during the earlier larger portion of their billing cycle, with the remaining $76.00 occurring after the solution was installed by Care Solar Solutions.

Paul and Glenda receive a 10 cent per kWh feed-in tariff from their energy provider and a 10% discount on their power usage.

They estimate their bill would have been as high as $465.00 without the installation of their complete solution, and as low as $120.00 if the solution had been in place for the entire billing period (based on their daily generation and consumption average and taking into consideration their network rebate).

Paul and Glenda keep an eye on their power usage data online via the Solax monitoring portal.

“We’re finding under normal circumstances the battery runs the house right through the night and early morning,” shared Paul, a retired secondary school principal.

Paul and Glenda fitted their new home with energy efficient appliances, including LED lighting, and (despite suggestions they wouldn’t need it living in Port Macquarie’s temperate climate) had ducted air conditioning installed throughout.

Having lived in Queanbeyan, on the NSW/ACT border, for many years where good heating and cooling is an essential, the couple wanted this “creature comfort” in their retirement. It proved worthwhile during the recent summer.

However, they also made it their mission to learn about the new technology available to them to offset their energy consumption, and so began their search for information.

“The choice of air conditioning was straight forward. We knew what brand we wanted, having had previous experience with it in previous places. With solar it was a completely different story,” Paul and Glenda explained.

“At the point of installation, we wanted to be dealing with a local firm. We’re aware there are other firms that advertise for solar solutions, send a team in to the local area to put the product in and then go away. We wanted to be sure we would be able to get follow-up if necessary.”

Having received their first bill, Paul and Glenda are now very interested in the breakdown of their next power bill, which will showcase a complete quarter with their solar solution in place.


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