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Solar a 'no-brainer’ for Port Macquarie businessman

Hastings business owner Rod Hall may have a degree in maths, but he believes anyone can run the sums and work out the benefits of solar.

“It’s a no-brainer. If you do the numbers on it there is no way you wouldn’t invest in it,” Mr Hall said.

Mr Hall runs an aviation business from his Port Macquarie hangar and recently had Care Solar Solutions install a 5kVA solar system (consisting of 24 panels) and a dual inverter on the premises.

It’s not Mr Hall’s first investment in solar – he has previously instigated the installation of a 30kVA system on the formerly owned Kempsey Toyota business premises, while two homes have each been equipped with a 5kVA system.

He said the results spoke for themselves.

“At Kempsey Toyota our bill ranged from $4,400 to $4,800, and it went down to between $800 to $1,000,” he explained. “We retrieved our investment back in under three years.

“The domestic system bills ranged from $700 to $1,200 because of heated pools and these went down to around $300 per quarter, and again it has retrieved the investment in three-and-a-half years, and now we’re running on very cheap power.”

Mr Hall anticipates the hangar’s $500 quarterly power bill will be almost wiped out by the latest north-facing solar investment, which he expects will pay for itself in just over four years.

The bulk of the building’s power consumption occurs during daylight hours between Monday and Friday, allowing weekend solar generation to flow back to the grid (for which Mr Hall receives a feed-in tariff of 10 cents per kWh).

The hangar features Phono Solar panels which are covered by a 20-year manufacturer’s warranty, and this was paramount to Mr Hall.

“It’s important because you can deal with a lot of companies that come and go in this business and it’s important that you get the manufacturer’s warranty not just the (warranty from the) company you’re dealing with, and that’s what we’ve got, so if the company that installs it goes out of business the warranty continues.”

Numbers aside, Mr Hall is also proud of the environmental benefits.

“You get a lot of satisfaction that you are a part of a movement towards alternative energy sources.”

While battery storage isn’t on Mr Hall’s immediate radar, it is something he will consider in time – if the figures are in favour.

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