30 years ago in the eastern suburb of Warrandyte – only 30 minutes from Melbourne's CBD – John began to transition to off-the-grid living. John's home stands as a shining example that sustainable living is possible anywhere – whether you are in the middle of nowhere or near the city.
“Why wouldn't you do it? It's good for the planet, it's good for your pocket, and most of all, it's good for your grandchildren. And that's truly what it's all about.” — John, Warrandyte
It's not just the bush landscape and natives you can see from John's terrace; you can also see the work of a green thumb. In his backyard stands a glasshouse storing fresh veggies, a chipper filled with fresh mulch, and chickens in a coop providing fresh eggs. Everything on John's property is fresh, repurposed or recycled – there's no wonder that John decided to join a virtual power plant program.
How does a Virtual Power Plant work?
Virtual Power Plants (VPP), also referred to as battery aggregation or energy sharing, are the next step for solar energy.
“After fifteen years of rooftop solar, it was time to take it to the next level by utilising the clean energy my panels were generating that otherwise would continue to waste. And why waste it? It's clean energy. I would rather gift it to someone else.”
John first heard about VPPs through a Facebook advertisement from the Victorian Government.
“I stumbled across the VPP program through an online ad about the Victorian Government subsidy you can receive by joining the program. I thought, well this looks interesting. If you can gift your unused data from your broadband internet, why couldn't you gift your unused clean energy? If you're not going to use it, someone else should. It just made sense.”
John felt safe joining a VPP program knowing that Solar Victoria had already done the work for him, and were there to answer his questions along the way.
“I will say it was very helpful that Solar Victoria actually did most of the work for me. I thought it was terrific. It was also reassuring to know they were behind it.”
John's now excited to be helping the planet and most of all, his grandchildren by giving them a cleaner future.
“That was the greatest motivator – why waste unused, clean energy – especially if you can get paid for it.”
Find out more about virtual power plants and energy sharing, the financial and environmental benefits.
The financial benefits of Virtual Power Plants
We are making it easier for Victorians to make the most of renewable energy through the Virtual Power Plant pilot program.
Solar battery rebate
Rebates of up to $2,950 are available to support eligible Victorian households to install a solar battery.
Reviewed 30 March 2023