Tawny Frogmouth magazine recently did an interview with Manly resident Mark Kelly titled ‘Sun, Roof, Power, Repeat’ on the benefits he’s getting from his solar power system and importance of adding a battery if you’re generating enough power to warrant it.
When did you first decide rooftop solar was a good idea?
I have wanted to get onto rooftop solar for years but only rented. In December 2021 when we bought our house in Manly, my first call was to get rooftop solar and a battery installed. It was installed 3 weeks after we moved in.
What were the key factors in choosing Solarpro to complete the installation?
Years ago, I organised a speaking engagement to help people understand renewables. We had huge projects down to local solar installers. Dave Veal (Solarpro Managing Director) agreed to speak and did really well at communicating what rooftop solar was all about. I trusted him from that point on and he hasn’t let me down.
What is your energy plan?
We decided on a Tesla Battery which allowed us to join the Tesla Energy Plan (through Energy Locals). This enables the sharing of energy in a community. It downloads power to your needs between 2-8pm each day. Then it tops up during off peak and also directly from the solar panels during the day. The system learns what your normal needs are and works with that data.
How have you found generating your own power?
It’s a no brainer. We generate more power than we need and take from the grid, so we are a net energy contributor. This includes charging our electric vehicle at home. We haven’t had a power bill since we started. So, free power for home and car after the initial outlay, and soon Energy Locals will start crediting our bank account.
How important is the battery?
The battery is the key. You can make a lot of power during the day with rooftop solar, but you need it at night. Even on cloudy or rainy days you’re still producing energy. Having the battery allows you to use your own energy when it is the most expensive or sell it back to the grid.
How do you assess the effectiveness of the Solarpro system?
My primary driver is environmental, but the economic driver is the key to bulk change across the world. When things make financial sense, you see a tipping point in behaviour. When we first signed up the payback for us was going to be 8 years. Power prices rose and the payback became 4 years due to the increases.
How does the real-time data monitoring assist you?
I love numbers and statistics. I love a graph as well. So, the panels and battery being connected live to your phone through apps is amazing. With our system and the Tesla Energy Plan we don’t have to do anything, but I love to log on and see what’s going on.
Any other thoughts or insights to share?
I am obviously a big fan of solar energy. I just signed up to get a second battery from Solarpro so I can harness more of our own power and sell more back to the grid. It makes financial and environmental sense. I encourage landlords to get rooftop solar on their rental properties. Help their tenants out and do the right thing while using the expense as a tax write off.
*Specifications: Mark has 26 panels generating 9.6Kw of power. An 8.2kW SolarEdge Inverter with Single Phase system. A 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall Battery, with the second battery on the way.