“Solar is a lifelong journey that enables us to live by our sustainable values.”
Christine and Michael from Matraville (in the Randwick City Council area in NSW) began their solar journey in 2005, starting with their first system of only 1.5kW. In 2018, the couple decided to take up Randwick City Council’s offer of their solar advice program, and upgraded their solar to a 5.3kW system.
Why they decided to install solar
Solar is part of Christine and Michael’s holistic philosophy to sustainability. “Installing solar has given us multiple benefits,” says Christine proudly. “From our research, solar benefits the economy, future generations and of course, environmentally and is on the ‘winning side’ of climate change.”
How they went about it
Although Christine and Michael were confident in wanting solar, they were concerned about the professionalism, ethics and value for money of various solar installers.
“When we initially began the process ourselves, we received at least five quotes from different solar installers, but none we were comfortable with proceeding with,” recalls Michael. “Quotes were often done remotely through the internet; we felt that they missed out significant details by not being on-site. Also the knowledge and expertise of these installers were lacking – a lot of our questions went unanswered due to insufficient training of the installers.”
Luckily they heard about Randwick City Council’s partnership with the Australian Energy Foundation, where they offered Randwick residents tailored energy advice and connected vetted, trusted solar suppliers.
Having Randwick City Council and the Australian Energy Foundation perform background checks on the solar installers provided a layer of trust and reassurance for the couple.
“Taking Council up on their offer was definitely the safer option and took the confusion out of installing solar!” enthuses Christine and Michael. “The company we chose came around to the house to talk to us. They explained how the panels would fit on the roof and explained the contract.”
In the end, Christine and Michael installed a 5.3kW system which has resulted in approximately 75% in savings on their energy bills. More importantly to the couple, the solar installation has helped them achieve their holistic sustainable philosophy.
The couple is thrilled with the outcome and highly recommends fellow residents to consider following in their footsteps. Christine notes, “Installing solar like making any investment is a project. It requires time and thought and learning how to read your electricity bill to guide the size of the system you need. This program run by Randwick City Council in partnership with the Australian Energy Foundation just streamlines the project for you.”