Sunshine falls generously from our Queensland sky so it makes sense to harness its power to create electricity. For this reason we decided to go solar.
Queensland is the only state in Australia that still gives a feed-in tariff (currently $.44 per kWh) that is almost double the price of electricity purchased from an electricity supplier. The Australian Federal Government gives a rebate to offset the cost of any approved solar system.
Last weekend, a father and son team of electricians installed a 3.5 kW system on our roof, with 16 panels, each capable of producing 235 watts of electricity per hour.
The panels were mounted on racks to tilt them at an angle of 25° -- the approximate latitude of Mitchell, Queensland. This ensures maximum efficiency of solar collection.
Today I watched Doug watching the two yellow boxes (solar inverters) mounted on our front wall. A digital read-out panel showed that $10 worth of electricity was produced today, exported into the grid -- with a second panel showing the total amount of electricity generated since installation.
By Doug's calculation we will have paid off the investment in four years, and from that point onwards, we'll be producing more electricity than we use.
Wonder of wonders, Ergon Energy will be paying us. That's the theory, anyway!