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Scotland Island - Western Shores - Mackeral Beach
- October 2008 -
Newsletter for Offshore Residents of Pittwater, Australia Volume 9, Issue 346
October 2008

Information and Special Offer

The Offshore Community, through its representatives, has worked with Pittwater Council and a number of other residents from the mainland over a number of years to develop the Pittwater 2020 Strategic Plan and its Vision.

A key part of the Plan is for Pittwater to work towards 'Sustainability'.  One of the strategies is 'Energy Efficiency'.

The Energy Efficiency Strategy (EES) contains a number of very important objectives, including -  to 'educate the community and encourage it to use and produce clean power and to reduce energy consumption'.

It also includes some important Strategic Initiatives, including & 'to support and facilitate the development of residents renewable electricity co-operatives'.

The Pittwater Offshore Vision Group has been developing an important initiative, along with local resident and solar power exponent Bill Holland (recently awarded 'Green Hero' for the Australia Wide Green Awards).  Bill has driven Pittwater High School's program to generate enough Solar Photo Voltaic electricity to power the school's energy needs.

With his considerable experience and success with the Pittwater High School program, and his excellent industry contacts, Bill Holland has arranged a high quality package, at a very good price.

The package includes & BP or Schott high quality solar panels, power inverter, complete installation, Certificate of Compliance of Electrical Works (COCEW), and electrical connection & all with an excellent warranty - ready to go.

Special prices are:-  1Kw ($4,500), 2 Kw ($13,000), 3 Kw ($21,000)

These prices are net after applying the $8000 rebate (see 'Limitation' below).  Each package also includes the donation of one PV panel to Pittwater High School (can vary a little depending on the value of the Renewable Energy Certificates on the day).

We have agreed to provide transport of the modules, installers etc across to the houses as required.

For any householder at all interested in having their own high quality Solar Electrical Power, this is a very good deal.

To get things started, AWS is offering a free onsite assessment of your home to ensure that you have sufficient sunlight to generate power efficiently.

Benefits of Installing a Solar Electrical Power System Now

  • Action now will mean that the $8,000 rebate will most likely be obtained.  Rumours say that the pot of money will not last long. 
  • Australia Wide Solar (AWS) will give you the benefit of the rebate up front & no waiting 6 weeks plus to get the $8,000.
  • It is felt that NSW will be forced to follow the other States with increased 'feed-in' tariffs (SA 2 to 1, Qld 3 to 1, ACT 4 to 1), which means that for every Kw of power that you generate and feed back into the grid, you would receive a payment in the form of a credit of 2, 3, or 4 times the value of the electricity that you would otherwise pay for.  As soon as NSW acts, you'll be ready to benefit.
  • Electricity costs will increase significantly, possibly dramatically, so you will minimise the impact of these increases.
  • The package is high quality (Schott and BP are poly crystalline solar modules from Germany and Australia respectively)
  • All work by AWS is warranted for 1 year, the Schott and BP solar panels are warranted for 20 years (life expectancy is 40 years) and the Inverters are warranted for 10 years (normally 5).
  • Your payment covers the donation of 1 solar panel to Pittwater High School's remarkable program of making the school self sufficient in power. This may vary up or down a little depending on the price of the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) at the time & they are a bit like shares.
  • The satisfaction of generating your own power and helping the environment.
This package is only appropriate to houses that can demonstrate the availability of adequate sun to make the system viable and, to this end, all interested home owners will receive an on site assessment and report (referred to above) & there is no charge for this.
The other limitation is that the $8000 rebate now applies only to householders with a taxable income of $100,000 or less.  There is now NO REBATE for householders who have incomes of over $100,000.  Hopefully the Government will realise that this is a serious backward step and will reinstate the rebate for all income groups.

Electricity Meter
It is necessary for homes to have a modern electricity meter.  If you don't have one of these meters, please check with Energy Australia (131367) to confirm that the 'Time of Use' meter is available at no charge, and then order one.  There is about a 1 month delivery, so it would be advisable to order as soon as possible.

Power Audit
Part of this program will involve participating households in auditing their power usage and looking at ways to reduce their energy consumption.  More information will be provided later on this.

Action Steps

  1. If you are interested in the program, but want to ask some questions first, please ring any of the people below.
  2. Once you have decided to proceed, specify the system size you would like & 1, 2, or 3 Kw.  This will depend on your roof area, and/or budget.
  3. Fill in the application form (click on here to download the form) which starts the process to obtain the $8000 Federal Government rebate (fill in Part A on 2nd page; Part C on back page & AWS will complete all the rest).  This does not commit you in any way and it is good for some months.  In this time, the assessment will be made and you can then make your decision. 
    Post (it must be posted) the completed form back to AWS (unit 34, 17 Lorraine  St, Peakhurst 2210).
  4. You will be notified of your rebate approval by letter & it normally takes 8 weeks.  Please immediately sign the last page (page 4) and post back to AWS along with your deposit (50%) of the value of the solar system.  The account details in the rebate payment details section on page 1 must remain blank.
  5. Contact Energy Australia (131367) to arrange supply and installation of the meter (refer 'Electricity Meter' above)
  6. You will receive a quote from Testing Certification Australia (TCA) to install or reprogram your meter.  This is an additional cost to the AWS quote, as AWS cannot install this meter.  This is usually $150 + GST for reprogramming.
  7. Once your system has been approved, pay the deposit of 50%  ie $2,250 for a 1 Kw system, either by cheque, or direct to AWS bank account (NAB & Australia Wide Solar Pty Ltd & BSB 082 365;  A/C 579 457 084.  If you wish to pay by Credit Card (Visa and Mastercard only), please add 2%.
  8. AWS will then install your system - usually within 1-3 weeks of Solar Homes & Communities Plan (SHCP) approval of the rebate & they will contact you.  It will take about 8 hours and access into your house may be needed.
  9. Once the installation is complete, pay the balance.  AWS will provide you with all the relevant documentation, including warranties.
  10. You will be invoiced separately by TCA for the meter reprogramming.
  11. You then sign over your Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to AWS, which, together with all the other participating households, will exchange them for panels from the manufacturer, and present them to Pittwater High School through Bill Holland. 
  12. Now, sit back and watch your system working for you.

Questions can be directed to:-
•    Pittwater Offshore Vision Group - Greg Roberts  (9979 5228)
•    AWS & John Harrison & 9533 7444
•    Bill Holland & 0419 958 660

Newsletter Design:Paul Purvis [0403-442-764]