Brad Pettitt's very own blog.
October 12, 2015
For those of you that missed this great piece last week with Josh Byrne and Jemma Green on his ground-breaking sustainable Hilton house.
Filed under Sustainability
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This is an “ad” to promote solar/batteries and a push for higher export prices for those who can afford energy systems, as opposed to solar panels, ultimately, Brad.
It also somewhat undermines the efficacy of the 10 star efficiency of Josh’s House, as elsewhere, such as this from Ch 7, indicates that, for all the attention this House has received for its more affordable living qualities, Mr Byrne was still paying “hundreds” in grid-sourced electricity costs per billing cycle as little as two weeks ago:
The vast majority of billing cycles for Perth residential accounts are bi-monthly, which means Mr Byrne’s 10 star efficiency home, with 3kw solar system, was still costing him circa $1200 a year in additional electricity needs – as well as paying off the solar panels, which doesn’t seem that great an outcome. Does Josh’s House use aircons and electrically powered heaters at all, do you know? Greater efficiency products may still cost quite a bit to run for those that can afford to.
I would also be surprised if Josh’s House was even remotely in the vicinity of being the first 10 star efficiency house in Australia, unless it is rated that by way of a rating system that the many others who have highly efficient housing aren’t aware of or didn’t bother with. As for being near wholly (now) solar powered, there are many houses that exist that way – but appear to work within the energy profile of what their solar panels generate as it is and therefore avoid peak priced electricity.
Perhaps the solar system is covering some household power usage during the day, and what is not used is exported to the grid, but that the still seemingly high grid-sourced electricity costs may be coming from different factors – such as how panel performance varies according to temperature and other factors, and still quite heavy usage of electrically powered devices, or whatever it is that’s costing so much to power outside of the solar envelope.
Did Josh Byrne or Curtin University pay for the $12,000 set of batteries? Can you get some clarification on that possibly? Seems very expensive compared to what we are told is coming from Telsa, etc early next year.
As for higher solar export prices for mums’n’dads, its not looking good because of the need to balance who will bear the cost of the grid otherwise – and it won’t just be mums’n’dads – we need to power an entire community and all that implies.
Vic and Qld govts haven’t arrived at a “fair” price – above what it is now, was the suggestibility in both successful parties’ election campaigns – that didn’t “disadvantage those without solar”.
I’m not convinced there will be a massive number of defects from the grid, because solar panels and batteries aren’t infallible at the end of the day – they are subject to performance continuity and possibly loss of integrity in recharging issues, presumably, I rarely find rechargeable batteries of any kind live up to their “can be recharged 1000s of times” claims – in that respect reference to how many days of the year we have sunshine as a fait accompli is more of a motherhood statement.
The primary concern must still be that electricity access, supply and price (and the import/export necessities of the grid) is fair for everyone, regardless of energy source and ability to whack infrastructure on a home and therefore form some sort of micro grid arrangement, which may favour some more than others (and this includes the White Gum Valley profit-sharing microgrid model on one of the apartment blocks, which may supply solar as part of tenants’ electricity needs, but is certainly not guaranteed to be cheaper than Synergy’s A1 tariff price).
I think it is an exciting development towards a lower carbon future with cheaper energy prices. The aim is not off-grid but a decentralized grid based around renewable energy.
Josh’s house and the Green Swing in Victoria Park are the only two ten star houses that I know of in WA. Do you know of any others?
Any time you want to address more integral parts of my comment, above, Brad….
I won’t tick the Notify me box though – you just keep avoiding what’s emerging when “innovative”, or is it “exciting”? is closely analysed.
Most your questions are easily answered by the Josh’s house website or are best put to him directly i imagine.
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