Customer name: Denis T.
Location: Beaufort, Pyrenees Shire, Victoria
Installation: April 2021
Solar panels: 16 x Seraphim 330 watt panels
Inverter Technology: 5kW Sungrow Premium Inverter
Solar power generation: 21.7 kWh per day (avg)
Expected electricity bill savings (year 1): $1,640
CO2 emissions reduction: 7.10 tonnes annually
Solar Installation Sympathetic to Period Home
Denis’ solar story
We’re keen advocates of solar power. We had it on our previous property in Beaufort in the early 2000s and we’ve got it on our trailer which we use for our Australian desert adventures.
We moved to our current home in the centre of Beaufort in 2011. It’s a lovely period property built in the 1870s.
Before we moved in, we arranged for 1.5kW of solar to be installed together with the 66 cent premium feed-in tariff which was available at that time.
Because of the premium feed-in tariff, our electricity bills were mostly in credit for the first few years which was great.
However, over time, we noticed that the usage charges for electricity were going up with the result that our power bills were no longer in credit and steadily increasing. The premium feed-in wasn’t enough to compensate for the rising electricity costs and our level of usage.
We knew we wanted to do something but it seemed a bit complicated and we just hadn’t got around to taking action.
As we have a period home we didn’t want the solar panels to be visible, if at all possible. Plus, the inverter positioning was something we wanted done in a way that was sympathetic to the period feel of our home. The original inverter was installed right by our front door which wasn’t the right look for our property.
So, I guess our main reason for a new solar system was about keeping our electricity costs under control. It was also important to us that the installation would be virtually invisible.
We heard that there was a council-supported solar information meeting happening in Beaufort for the MASH Community Solar Bulk-Buy and that triggered things for us.
We went to the info meeting and that made the difference. We got the answers to our questions and felt confident to proceed with the MASH Solar Bulk-Buy and their supplier, Specialized Solar & Electrical.
The customer service team at Specialized Solar & Electrical were very helpful and made the process straightforward. They helped us with the application for the Solar Victoria Panels rebate as well, which we appreciated.
The sales consultant took on board our requirement that the solar panels wouldn’t be seen from the street. He located them in the gable on our south wing, with the panels facing north which was really the optimal solution – both aesthetically and for maximising the power generation. You can’t even see that they are there!
Specialized Solar’s installer, Matt Walsh, did a good job. He took off the old system as the panels were really large (bigger than the new ones) and the wattage per panel was pretty low compared to what you can get these days. This made room for the 16 new panels that we had installed which produce lots power per available metre of roof space than the old ones. Plus he took off the old inverter so it’s no longer by our front door (which looks much better) and located the new one around the side so that it’s not visible from the street front.
Our new solar system is working well and everything was signed off by the independent electrical inspector. Matt has been good to talk to about things like switching the inverter on and getting us set up properly.
We’re now looking forward to getting our first electricity bill after having our new solar system set-up and seeing the savings!