Heathfield household carbon neutral

19 Jul 2020
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Posted April 19, 2017

Heathfield resident Keith Bladon admits he was “not very green” but thanks to his investment in solar, wind and battery storage, his high energy use household is now carbon neutral.

His journey towards neutrality was sparked by annoyance at constant outages, and SA Power Networks’ insistence the culprits were possums interfering with overhead powerlines.

“Given the power always seemed to go off at 10 past 12, I wanted to know who gave the possums watches!” Mr Bladon said.

He contacted Sean LePoidevin, the director and co-owner of Off-Grid Energy Australia, to discuss options for making and storing his own energy.

Going off-grid can be expensive with standalone systems ranging from $25,000 to $40,000.

Many of Mr LePoidevin’s customers are building in areas where it is more cost-effective to go off-grid.

Faced with a $100,000 bill to install electricity infrastructure, $40,000 starts to look more cost-effective.

“The price (of renewables technology) has come down, and other costs are going down as well, while the cost of connecting to the grid continues to increase,” Mr LePoidevin said.

“People usually go fully off-grid out of necessity but if you take up a solar hybrid system, the economics do break even, and you have that back-up and independence.”

Mr Bladon reaped the benefit of that independence during the blackout after Christmas.

He had sufficient power and power storage for 30kW to ride through many days without power, albeit at reduced capacity.

“I now consider my investment to be viable because I could not see that there was any real concern about power costs and no meaningful strategies were being developed to control the market and stop the electricity prices increasing at four times CPI as it has for the past 10 years,” Mr Bladon said.

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