Sunday, October 13, 2019

Watching the Meter

Our neighbours have a friendly rivalry going with us over our respective domestic power sourcing solutions.

They have solar cubes. We have a mix of solar cubes and spheres (technology upgrade in progress). Their's are mounted on the roof and garage. Ours are in a solar farm up in the Simpson desert somewhere.

Now, I'm all for home solar. Forget the FUD about safety issues emanating from certain quarters, most kits are installed in sealed modules that are not about to be tinkered with by the average user anyway. No, that we didn't follow suit with a lot of people when solar power became a cheap and viable option was a matter of practicality as much as anything else. Being situated on a fairly small city plot, we don't have a huge area available for such things. Furthermore, our roof is a cluttered mess, courtesy of an upper storey renovation we did some years ago. So, as much as I like the ideas espoused by the 'reclaim your roof' movement, I'll have to cheer from the sidelines on that one!

They still get power when the grid goes off. We get to watch them spend their high days and holidays struggling with one recalcitrant item or another without going through the roof or falling off. (Of course, after the chuckles have been had, such occasions usually call for a potluck pitch in)

What with transmission and service fees v DIY and local generation, they probably come out a little ahead in operating margins.

At least, we get to take it with us when we ever move! This makes it a popular option with the rental market.

Either way, the solar providers have a market for their kits.

So it goes. We win , they win. And the ball goes back and forth.

It seemed to land squarely in our side of the court the other day when I received the power bill.

Yes... bill! With the rebates we get from our existing Verdantor installations, we usually run at a modest profit (at least, enough to make me think we'll have paid off the admission and service fees in about five years)

So, I'm not used to power bills.

It seems that a couple of our units got damaged in a recent heavy hailstorm. Hailstorms. In a desert? Well, it happens, as they say.

Still, when your assets are a couple of thousand kilometres away, there's always the lingering suspicion that you are not being told the whole story. I got the title deeds out and checked the GPS locations so I could run a quick check with the 'I-spy' site and, sure enough, my units are not looking too happy, the upshots being:
1. Replacements are going to have to be paid for
2. no power income in the meantime

Lost that point.

Then again, the solar spheres we are getting as replacements are 10% more efficient...

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