Sparking Conversations July 2023
Questions from our Energy Circle on July 23rd
Each month, we share some of the questions we covered at our last energy cicle, to make sure everyone is part of the conversation.
Questions this month
Why electrify my home?
By far most of our emissions come from machines used in our daily lives (think petrol cars, gas heaters, gas hot water systems, and gas cooktops), along with fossil fuel power plants that still supply most of our electricity. Efficient, electric versions of these machines, powered by renewable electricity, can minimise our emissions, and even reduce them to zero, as well as drastically reduce running costs.
How can I get off gas?
It’s not uncommon to have gas reliant systems and appliances in your home, but there are now electric alternatives for all of these. Reverse cycle air conditioners are far more efficient than under-floor ducted gas systems, heat pump hot water systems are an efficient all-electric solution that works extremely well in combination with rooftop solar, and induction cooktops are unbeatable on efficiency compared with gas and standard electric alternatives.
How can I electrify my home and utilise only renewable energy?
Electrify Bass Coast breaks electrifying your home down into 5 steps: 1 – use solar and renewable energy; 2 – upgrade to energy efficient hot water systems; 3 – switch to reverse-cycle heating and cooling systems; 4 – switch to electric induction cooking; 5 – electrify your car.
Don’t forget that you don’t need to have solar on your roof to access renewable energy. Ask your energy provider and shop around for 100% renewable energy. The Mycelia Energy Collective is one example of where you can access 100% renewable energy, and for those that do have rooftop solar, the Collective is looking for additional members with solar to join and be part of the Collective’s energy mix.
Am I exposed to wholesale electricity price fluctuations?
As an energy customer, your exposure to price changes in the wholesale electricity market depends on where your retailer purchases electricity from. In the example of the Mycelia Energy Collective, The People’s Grid purchases energy from 100% renewable sources like solar farms, wind farms, bioenergy plants, and excess rooftop solar generated by members of the Collective. This means for members of the Collective there is no exposure to wholesale electricity price fluctuations, and members can be confident that their energy supply will be delivered in accordance with Australia’s energy regulations.
Do I need 3 phase power?
3 phase power allows you to import and export up to 3 times as much power at any one time compared to single phase, but it does come at an extra cost, and if you think you might need it it’s best to bring it up with your installer in advance. You may need 3 phase power if your all-electric home has some hefty energy demands, or if you want to maximise your potential to export solar energy. In the case of exporting your excess solar energy, single phase allows exporting up to 5kw, and 3 phase allows up to 15kw.
What are the benefits of adding a battery to my solar power system?
Batteries connected to your solar power system allow you to use your solar energy at night, often coinciding with peak energy demands, and may help you avoid importing energy from the grid at peak rates. Thinking ahead, excess solar energy stored in your battery could be sold on to others during peak periods, and in future there may be higher feed-in tariffs that recognise this peak demand.
Can I use my solar power when the grid goes down?
In order to use your solar power in the case of a grid outage, you need to have an island-able system, along with solar energy being generated on your roof, and/or solar energy stored in your battery. Typically, residential solar power installations are not designed to be island-able and therefore they shut down during grid outages. If you need an island-able solar power system, make sure to let your installer know in advance.
Can I make my solar power system EV ready?
Even if you don’t have an EV yet, you can make provision for fast charging to set you up for the future. If you are planning on switching to an EV one day, make sure to let your solar installer know in advance that you intend to install a fast charger so they can make it easy for you to add to your system later.
Mycelia Energy Collective