Jim’s story (not part of Solar Bulk Buy)

Congo Crafts Gallery Eco-Upgrades April 2020

Long-term Congo resident and ceramicist Jim Simms has been busy making his home more sustainable and better prepared for future fires. His upgrades include:

  • Battery back-up for his 2.2kW solar system
  • New guttering that is relatively self-cleaning
  • Installing Ekodeck

Like many of us who experienced power outages during the horror summer bushfires, he was keen to adopt a sustainable source of back-up power for important household functions including running his water pump, maintaining communications, lighting and refrigeration.

Jim engaged a local solar installer , who originally supplied and installed his solar panels to install:

  • 1 x BYD B-BOX Pro LV 5.1kWhr battery
  • 1 x Selectronic SP Pro 480 battery inverter

This will give Jim enough electrical energy to run core household appliances and his water pump for three hours during a bushfire emergency. The system also comes with an emergency recharge switch, so when a fire or other power blackout is pending, the mains power can fully recharge the battery for maximum back-up power.

As Jim’s average daily household electricity consumption is less than 2kWh, his solar panels and battery back-up, whilst still connected to the mains power, have reduced his electricity bill to $0 and he will be paid for the additional energy he generates at a rate of 21 cents per kWh with Origin Energy. Cost for supply and installation: $10,550

Jim also installed a new DAB Jetinox 82m water pressure pump that was specifically sized to suit his battery back-up from Moruya Mower and Chainsaw Centre, cost: $650

Jim investigated various gutter guard options, however due to his flat roof, he was advised to install half-round guttering which traps less leaves and is easy to clean. He also installed first flush leaf guards on all downpipes. Half-round guttering available from Steeline Moruya, cost per metre: $12 www.steeline.com.au Rain harvesting leaf beater available from Bunnings, cost: $30

Jim’s 30-year old deck was in need of replacement, so he decided to choose Ekodeck, an Australian product available from Bunnings. Ekodeck comes in a range of colour options, requires no ongoing oiling or sealing, is resistant to termites, rot, decay, mould and mildew, is manufactured from over 80% reclaimed and recycled materials and has a BAL rating of 29. Bunnings cost per 5.4m length: $90 www.ekodeck.com.au

Jim is delighted with his eco-upgrades and is happy to chat to anyone who would like any further information. He can be contacted on: 4474 2931 or congosponger@gmail.com or www.congocrafts.com.au

Amadis Lacheta

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