Origin Energy puts a TAX on households with solar panels!

Discussion in 'Energy' started by Mark, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    379
    Location:
    Pomona, Qld
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Last week's Catalyst Program on the ABC dealt with batteries, solar & feeding it back into the grid for 'profit'.
    When I worked it out for my use, I came to the conclusion I was better off with a generator which I run when we have a blackout.
    My bill is not that big because I am a minimal power user so I would never get back my infrastructure costs.
    However as the price of power goes up & they bring in that 'Time of Day' usage thing, the situation may change.
    Still, it's a massive expenditure for a one person home. The only benefit would be if I was selling & it gave me a large premium on my sale price.
     
  2. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    651
    Likes Received:
    274
    Location:
    Preston, QLD
    Climate:
    Temperate (all seasons)
    Yeah Steve. I haven't described the setup or property dwellings well as yet so I was just going by what the electricians said to me when they installed the unit.

    I have a shed that was built prior to the main house, and is about 60m away from the house switchboard. The granny flat is another 120m away or so and is under the same power line. The entire property shares the one energy bill and the solar sales guy knew this when he came for the initial site inspection. Naively I accepted his word that it would be okay for the system to service all three buildings the way I'd hoped.
     
  3. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    651
    Likes Received:
    274
    Location:
    Preston, QLD
    Climate:
    Temperate (all seasons)
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,443
    Likes Received:
    996
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    But through the day the solar system powers everything right? And at night the system switches to battery storage power but only for the shed?

    As Stevo suggested a second independent opinion from another electrician might find a better solution than you running your own lead all the way back to the shed to gain access to your stored energy.

    You'll potentially have a heap of stored power not getting used! What you really want is to draw that stored energy first at sundown until a certain point before it switches back to grid.

    I know that's stating the obvious but what has stopped them from doing that? Regulations, cost, lack of equipment, knowledge... surely it makes sense to hook the battery power up to the main dwelling at least?
     
  5. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,738
    Likes Received:
    626
    Location:
    Clontarf, Qld
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Nice shed!!! It's bigger than my house!

    That's all you can do, is accept that they know what they're talking about when they sold it to you. Have you talked to the original sales fella about it?

    If all else fails... kick up a stink on social media, their facebook page etc. Make a blog (stick to the facts so you can't get in trouble), to make other potential customers aware, so when people google the name they might find your blog. Make them aware of your blog.

    :cheers:
     
  6. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    651
    Likes Received:
    274
    Location:
    Preston, QLD
    Climate:
    Temperate (all seasons)
    Unfortunately it was all above my scope of understanding on the set up but the sparkie said that it was possible to connect the three places up but there would be a constant shorting of the circuit. Something to do with the single phase set up through the meter box. I just can't get my head around it all, but because I don't fully understand it I had an expectation that the thing would feed all dwellings and it is apparently unattainable.

    The set up as is (according to the sparkie) should feed all dwellings during the day, but at night can only feed the shed automatically as far as I understand it. Far from what I'd expected when I was sold the damn thing.

    I have talked, fought with and in the end after half the job was already complete had to reluctantly shake hands with the swindler who sold me the product, a guy who doesn't really know the electrical side of things, just so he could save the sale and win me over with the typical kind, flattering words of a salesman. He denied me ever talking about feeding the granny flat with backup power. And that's when the fights began. It seems he didn't fully grasp my expectations until the day of installation and continues to deny me discussing them with him. I have to reserve all judgement until the Origin guys come and change the meters over to allow me to use the solar system, which I don't quite understand how it could have been tested and found working if this is not possible until Origin switches the meters over.

    Sounds like to me I was sold a car that doesn't have the features I requested, then shown that it starts fine, but never been allowed to give it a test drive...
     
  7. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,738
    Likes Received:
    626
    Location:
    Clontarf, Qld
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    It might be good if when the Origin dudes come to connect it, you could quiz them about why it couldn't feed the house at night. You might not be there I guess.

    If your power draw from the house is too much for the batteries that could be the issue?

    It would also be good if these companies went through the numbers with the customer and weigh up costs verses savings and have a guestimate of how much benefit if any the system would provide.
     
  8. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    651
    Likes Received:
    274
    Location:
    Preston, QLD
    Climate:
    Temperate (all seasons)
    Origin guys came, had a chat with the missus about the system and she told the guy about how it was not doing what we'd hoped. When asked if we'd bought a lemon, he laughed and said "no, just half a lemon maybe".

    Reminds me of this video I came across:


    The system is now online and producing reasonable results thus far. Batteries charge, discharge at night without too much to do, and the panels are feeding the home okay during the day.

    We may have underestimated the power consumption of the septic tank aerator. It's a guzzler so I'm praying for it to get fried so the tank guys can come around and fit a new one and have it claimed through insurance...
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  9. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,443
    Likes Received:
    996
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Well at least you can cover the running cost of the aerator through the day that's a plus since it's a big energy user.
     
  10. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    651
    Likes Received:
    274
    Location:
    Preston, QLD
    Climate:
    Temperate (all seasons)
    Yeah. But the biggest energy user would have to be the water pumps - about 1200W, and with how often we use it there's no doubt it contributes most to our electricity usage. A replacement aerator will apparently have a third of the energy consumption of this current one we have. So I'm hanging out for our one to crap itself.
     
  11. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,443
    Likes Received:
    996
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    It might be worth just replacing it anyway?
     
  12. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    651
    Likes Received:
    274
    Location:
    Preston, QLD
    Climate:
    Temperate (all seasons)
    I was tossing up between another 2kWh battery or replacing the aerator. For now I'll be switching off the aerator at night and getting the additional battery to see if it can last through the night. Then I'll reassess the aerator.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. OskarDoLittle

    OskarDoLittle Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    113
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Well, no one could ever accuse you of having an undersized shed Ash! When we renovated, we upgraded to a 3 phase system - I don't remember it being prohibitively expensive, but you look to be in a rural setting, so might have much greater distances to cover. Would a 3phase system enable the batteries to feed back to the main house during the evening without shorting the system?
    Your experience reminds me to ensure that I brief people and then put it in writing back to the, - however annoying that may be. We had similar problems with our builder - you have one conversation about how to solve a problem, but 2 weeks down the track, they've forgotten and just do what they reckon anyway...when you call them out on it a try the "so remember we had that conversation about..." of course they have no recollection of discussing it at all
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2015
    Messages:
    651
    Likes Received:
    274
    Location:
    Preston, QLD
    Climate:
    Temperate (all seasons)
    The shed is well sized to take enough panels indeed and I was pleased it was suited to the purpose. I had no idea you can 'upgrade' to a 3 phase system, and haven't even looked into what that is and why someone would want one. I had hoped that the electricians would advise me what I need to know, but that didn't happen. I'll be looking into it now...

    Yep, I've learned my lesson with any trade worker or seller of a home improvement product - get all agreements on paper and be sure you look into what your buying and whether it's what you expect it to be.
     
Loading...

Share This Page