September 16 2014
Whether your solar is a transparent part of your life or a key strategic asset, you’re always on the lookout for tips to maxmise your solar savings…RIGHT?
Solar Savings Tip 1: Energy efficient appliances – Unplug your appliances when they’re not in use – your TV, computer, microwave and even some washing machines have a ‘standby’ mode which means they’re still using energy even when they’re not in use.
Solar Savings Tip 2: When you are generating solar, use it! Run your appliances in the day, harnessing the suns free energy then whatever is left, you can feed it back into the grid.
Solar Savings Tip 3: Modern lighting solutions – Purchase LED lights now. They can make savings of up to 82% on regular lighting bills compared to 50w Halogens. Plus they have up to a 25 year lifespan meaning. No brainer.
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Solar Savings Tip 4: Efficient heating and cooling – Insulating your roof or ceiling will help keep your home a pleasant temperature in summer and winter. It saves you money on energy bills, and pays for itself over a relatively short time.
Solar Savings Tip 5: Keep an eye on the thermostat – It doesn’t always have to feel like the Arctic one minute, the Sahara Desert the next. Reduce the temperature setting on all your heating and air-conditioning units, plus your hot-water system by two to three degrees. It will make a difference.
September 15 2014
Australia has seen significant growth since 2006 in the interest and the production of renewable energy. According to estimates, in 2012 Australia produced 13.14 percent of its total electricity production using renewable sources, including solar energy, hydro power, wind power, wave power, biofuels, biomass and geothermal energy.
The contribution of each type of renewable energy source towards the generation of electricity varies; however, it is clear that developments in renewable energy continue to advance, and the efficiency and available power will keep increasing.
The most popular renewable energy options in Australia are solar energy, wind energy, hydro power, and geothermal energy.
Here is a rundown of each of the popular sources, and what they entail.
Solar energy is created from sunlight. Solar power is captured when the heat from the sun gets converted into electricity. Alternatively, solar power can also be used to heat water, air, or any type of fluid.
This is also the most popularly used renewable energy source in Australian households. Solar energy systems are now more efficient than ever, and can generate electricity for the whole house. You can even get a rebate on your electricity bill if you successfully feed surplus electricity generated by your solar systems back into the grid.
To use solar energy in your home, all that you need is to install a photovoltaic system on your rooftop and you can benefit from the sunny Australian skies.
Wind energy is generated when wind currents are converted into another form of energy. Wind turbines are used to carry out this conversion process, thereby creating electricity using a turbine that is rotated by the wind.
Wind energy power stations are normally called wind farms and consist of a great number of wind turbines installed over a certain area. The total electricity generated from these wind farms is then added to the electricity grid, to be used by households and businesses. It is not practical to install a wind turbine in your house, of course, but wind farms can help to relieve our reliance on fossil fuel electricity.
Hydropower is yet another common type of renewable energy that is used in Australia for electricity production. Hydropower makes use of the energy produced by moving water to generate electricity. ‘Hydroelectricity’ is generated when water is channelled through large turbines that rotate due to the pressure of the water, thus generating electricity.
Australia uses hydropower to generate over half of all the electricity that is created using renewable sources. However, you cannot install hydropower systems in your home.
The energy that is stored in the earth as heat is referred to as geothermal energy. This energy is quite abundant in Australia. Without getting too technical, the heat generally flows from within the Earth’s core towards the surface, and then into space.
This energy is utilised by sucking hot water from deep down in the earth’s surface and the steam is used to rotate turbines, thus producing electricity. This type of energy system is not practical to be installed in a household.
Geothermal energy has one major advantage over solar and wind power – it can provide energy 24 hours a day, unlike solar and wind power that depend on sunlight and wind currents respectively.
Australia gives great importance to tapping renewable energy sources to fuel electricity generation. While not all renewable energy systems can be installed for use by individual homes, they all help to reduce the negative impact we have on the environment. Alternatively, Solar energy systems are a promising and clean way of making a household self-sustaining.
Renewable energy is a way of fulfilling our day-to-day electricity requirements without polluting the atmosphere, and this is why we should use these sources to our advantage whenever possible.
September 11 2014
Here are a few facts that you may not know about solar power!
Solar panels are made up of cells, which are called photovoltaic cells. These are named after the photovoltaic effect, which is the creation of voltage upon exposure to light. When exposed to sunlight, the electrons in the cells become excited and jump free. These free electrons are accelerated into a different material in the cell, creating electricity.
Most parts in a solar panel can be recycled. Solar panels have a long lifespan, with most being guaranteed for 25 years, so do not need to be replaced regularly. However, being able to recycle panels adds to the environmental benefits of solar panels, and the long-term reduction in carbon emissions.
Technology is currently being developed that will use solar energy to cool buildings, as well as heat them. While electricity produced from solar power can power air conditioners, this new technology will actually convert the heat into cooling, significantly reducing the electricity used during Australia’s summer.
Solar power is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). A kWh is equivalent to 1,000 watt-hours. As an example, a 40-watt light bulb uses 40 watts of energy in an hour. If you were to have the light on for 25 hours, it would have used a kilowatt-hour.
Germany is a solar power leader! Earlier this year, the country broke records, with solar power providing 50% of electricity during peak times on June 9. It must be noted that this is not the case every day, but this record and their commitment to solar power are an example of what other (sunnier) countries can achieve.
There are two types of solar technology: active and passive. Active technology includes solar panels and other harnessing methods. Passive technology includes architecture that works with the sun, such as to provide natural heating or lighting.
The planet has long been using solar energy in the form of photosynthesis in plants. Plants convert the light energy into chemical energy. During this process, the plants take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, supplying the oxygen that humans breathe.
Solar power helps combat global warming by reducing pollution. It does this by allowing us to use less electricity from fossil fuels, and because it doesn’t produce any carbon emissions itself. It also helps to save water, which is used in the production of electricity from fossil fuels.
Many countries use solar power to power their spacecraft. Being in space, it is not possible to connect the craft to our energy grid on earth, and solar power is even more accessible up there. The first spacecraft to be fitted with solar panels was the Vanguard 1 satellite, launched in 1958. Currently, the Hubble Space Telescope and The International Space Station use solar power. The International Space Station houses astronauts and weighs about 419,572 kg.
The Mojave desert in California is home to the largest solar thermal power plant in the world. The complex is called Ivanpah and is made up of three separate plants. It will reduce carbon emissions by 400,000 tons per year.
CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, is working on developing renewable energy alternatives for Australia, solar being one of them. They predict that by 2050, around 30% of Australia’s energy supply will come from solar power.
More solar energy strikes the surface of the earth in one hour than is provided by all of the fossil energy consumed globally in a year. More energy from the sun falls on the earth in one hour than is used by everyone in the world in one year. In one year, the Sun delivers more than 10,000 times the energy that humans currently use, and almost twice the amount of energy that will ever be obtained from all of the planet’s non-renewable resources.
Contact us for more information about solar power and how you can install it in your home.
August 27 2014
It’s easy for your energy usage and bills to creep up, especially in extreme hot or cold weather. Here are some simple tips you can do straight away to help reduce your energy use:
Block Cracks and Gaps
Spaces under doors and cracks in walls can let out heat or cool air, meaning your appliances have to work harder to heat or cool your spaces, resulting in bigger energy usage. Use draught stoppers to block the gaps under doors, and look at having other problem areas fixed. Another great solution for reducing energy costs is including insulation in your home. Insulation isn’t a quick fix, but something to consider for long-term savings.
Switch Appliances Off at Power Point
Appliances that remain on stand-by when switched off (like your TV when turned off by remote) are still using energy. Switching them off at the wall means that you are preventing unnecessary power use. If you use a power board for appliances in the same room, you can turn all of them off with one easy flick of a switch!
Energy Efficient Bulbs
One of the quickest and easiest ways to start saving energy and money immediately, is to change to energy efficient globes. You can find these globes from specialty suppliers, or cheaper versions at local the supermarket and there are different options depending on your needs.
If you don’t need a whole room to be lit up, use a lamp or a spotlight instead of turning on every light in the room. When building a home, plan ahead and have one switch for each light, so that you have the option of using individual lights rather than turning on numerous lights unnecessarily.
Wash your clothes using cold water, which will save on the power needed to heat the water. Waiting until you have a full load is also a great way to save energy and money, and applies to running the dishwasher as well.
Line dry clothes and linens instead of using a clothes drier. If you don’t have access to a clothes line, use a clothes horse for clothes, and staircases and doors for sheets and towels. Drying on an outdoor line isn’t possible when it’s raining, but is quick, easy, and energy efficient other times of the year!
Cut down shower time to use less hot water. This is beneficial because you use less water and less energy to heat the water. To improve on that, install a water-saving shower head to save even more water.
If you’re going away on holiday for more than a couple of days, turn off your water heater. You won’t be using hot water while you’re away from home, so there’s no need to be keeping it heated!
Seal The Deal
Your fridge is probably one of your most costly appliances, because it is running all the time (which is a necessity). To ensure it is running at it’s most efficient, check that the seals are working. A fridge with faulty seals has to work harder to keep the inside cool, using more energy.
Put a Lid on It
Cook with lids on pots and pans. Dinner will cook faster and you’ll save energy by being more efficient. Who doesn’t want dinner served faster while saving money?
For more energy saving tips, visit and like our Facebook Page!
April 07 2014
As part of the recent refurbishment a commercial-scale 15kW solar system has been installed on the roof.
Bendigo Council City Futures director Stan Liacos said it ensured the building’s infrastructure will function well into the future and recognised the Council’s interest in renewable energy sources.
Continue reading at: http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/2184320/bendigo-art-gallery-goes-green/?cs=80
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