A chat with his neighbours is what led Franz to apply for a solar rebate with the Solar Homes program in early 2019.
The electrical engineer had been thinking about solar for a long time, but only when the rebate was announced did he think he could actually afford it. He heard about the rebate from the news. Working alongside his local retailer, he said the application was straight forward. His two neighbours used the same retailer.
In February 2019, 20 solar panels were installed on his roof in a cosy cul-de-sac in Glen Waverley. The retailer arranged for an independent inspector to check the panels before the system could be turned on. He installed a smart metre at the same time, to save money.
Franz says from the first bill, he noticed a difference in his energy use and savings. Even in winter, on a sunny day the panels frequently generate a lot more than 1.6 kw. He says over the past year, he’s saved on his energy bills, money he’s now spending on a few more holidays.
“I changed my energy use pattern, running the dishwasher then the washing machine during the day, when the sun is shining. I changed the shower heads, replaced all the light globes and installed a water tank in my back yard. I have so much more control now over my energy use and bills, it’s made a very big difference.”
His energy consumption dropped by 63% from autumn 2018 (pre solar) to autumn 2019 while his net winter consumption dropped 37% from 2018 to 2019.
Father of two grown daughters, Franz says they all care about the environment.
“The minute I turn a light on, I can see how much energy I’m using with the app on my phone. It even works overseas.”
He always checks the app before he uses his heavy appliances, using them only during daylight hours when the sun is shining. Since he’s had his solar panels, another 2 neighbours have installed solar PV.
The day Franz spoke to Solar Victoria, his app said his solar panels were generating 5 kW of power, with his lights and appliances using 1.6 kW and exporting 3.41 kW back into the grid. According to the app his system had saved 3,278.16 kg of C02.
If you've been thinking about installing solar panels, find out how the Solar Homes program can help at . Take control of your energy bills, tackle climate change and build a cleaner, renewable future.
Reviewed 04 September 2023