Linnet Good and Dev Mukherjee are renting a 3 bedroom property in central Castlemaine. Dev commutes to Melbourne on weekdays and Linnet works as a copywriter from home. Everything in the house runs on electricity including their heating, hot water, cooking and cooling.
We’ve always been careful with our electricity use and turn off everything when we aren’t around, says Linnet. Despite this our electricity bills were high at around $2,640 per year. This was mainly because everything runs off electricity. But also the house isn’t very well insulated so a lot of power gets wasted and I really feel the cold in winter!
Linnet and Dev had been thinking about going solar for a while. They knew that they had to come up with a win/win proposition that would benefit both them and their landlord.
Linnet and Dev went to their landlord with an offer that they would pay an extra $25 per week in rent towards the cost of the panels ($1,300 per year) if the landlord purchased the solar system outright. This rental increase would pay off the capital cost of the solar PV system within 5 years, with an annual rate of return for the landlord of 5-7%.
From meter readings so far, Dev says they are saving more than $25 per week on their bills. What has also helped is that they have shifted their power usage to daytime as much as possible when they are generating their own power from the sun.
MASH is a project of the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance, a not-for-profit based in Castlemaine, Central Victoria.
Level 1, The Hub, 233 Barker St
Castlemaine Vic 3450