Getting off the Grid and Saving Money

January 19, 2017 Saving Money

Clements Air conditioning, Refrigeration and Electrical have been long term supporters of energy efficiency.

Not only will this save money for families and businesses alike, it is far better for the environment. Renewable energy sources are of great interest going forward for both commercial and residential energy users as the need to save money and reduce our carbon footprint becomes more important.

Here at Clements Air conditioning, Refrigeration and Electrical we are concerned about the impact we have on the environment and want to remain as environmentally friendly as possible.

Getting off the Grid and Saving Money
An interesting project began in September 2016 in Armidale, NSW. Just over two years ago, Geoff Bragg, an NSW solar installer, had somewhat of an epiphany. He imagined a system where customers could sell energy to other customers.

New England Solar, Bragg’s company, in partnership with a local real estate group Paragon Property Partners have now started to bring the dream to life. This unique project offers buyers a chance to build their dream home and become part owners of their own power company.

This company is essentially a purposely-built embedded network allowing the energy which is solar generated from neighbourhood roof tops, to be bought and sold and stored in batteries- among community members.
The custom built smart meter technology being used for the project will be consistent throughout the whole development. A third party will collect data and be responsible for the billing. The community will own the embedded network. This will make home owners shareholders in a utility. Underground sub mains will supply each household through supply pillars located on the community land and sitting adjacent to each house.
Ultimately, the aim of the project is for the households to be, for the most part, energy autonomous. Reliant on the embedded network and only needing the wider energy grid for short periods of extreme weather. Peter Cooke, Director of Paragon Property Partners told One Step Off The Grid in 2016,

“People are very interested in the notion of, not only going off the grid, but being pretty much autonomous; having their needs met by a community utility and only as a matter of last resort …going back to the grid for energy.”

The project, known as Lingerwood, was originally intended to be completely off grid. In the end, the cost of such a set up was too great and reverted to partial reliance on the main grid.
Bragg’s original Utopian dream has hit some political and regulatory stumbling blocks as he told One Step Off The Grid- “while there’s a desire for these sorts of transactions, there’s no regulation to allow it.

…It shows how slow the networks themselves are moving when everyone else is getting on with it… If the principal can work in a small way, then why can’t  it work beyond that gateway meter?” he said. “We need a political understanding of, and support for the concerted push to get the regulators up to speed.”
It will be interesting to see how this project plays out, and if this is a step towards making homes and even someday businesses, more energy efficient and safer for the environment.

For any information on the benefits of solar energy, or for all your air-conditioning, refrigeration or electrical needs, contact the experts at Clements today!

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