Thursday, February 17, 2011

Smarthome - Off Grid living - only for the rich

One of the greatest political propaganda's of our time is to:

"GO GREEN".


There is an enormous push from governments to make society more environmentally friendly.

Governments penalise people for not going green, by introducing hefty taxes.

Whilst the public are brainwashed into GOING GREEN, the real costs are HIDDEN from Joe Average.

The public are not really told that where they live, going solar may NOT be a viable alternative.

The public are NOT told that the purchase of a 1.5kw solar system will not be enough to power their home in Melbourne, which applies to approx. 4 million customers.

BUT, what IS important is they FEEL good that they are doing something for the environment.

What is the real cost of going "OFF - GRID" solar?

A "hero" home ( described in Australian smart home - summer 2011) is used as an example of living off the grid, BUT at no point in the article there is a mention of the costs involved.

The home has an 80 meter frontage, situated on a 5 acre allotment.

Some of the other features are four 20,000 litre water storage tanks, 50 meter swimming pool, a dam, a pond, a 100 meter long winding waterfall system. The accessories to the property when combined are large dollar items that the majority of the population are not able to afford.


Most importantly the project was undertaken by a company that knew the client from "more commercial, heavy industrial work", signifying that the customer may be wealthy.

The article states that 52 photovoltaic cells are used to produce an 8kw system.

At an Australian electronics hobbyist store, a 175W solar panel costs AU$850. To supply 52 panels will cost $44,000.

There is also the cost of inverters, chargers and also a battery backup, which depending on the specifications can amount to an approximate half of the cost of the panel price.

Also there is the Home Automation system that controls many aspects of the home, including electric blinds opening and closing, and various other aspects of the house.

Other large dollar items include an LED televisions of various sizes scattered amongst the house.

The replacement of lighting to energy 'efficient' LED downlights can cost from as little as $30 per light to as much as a couple of hundred.

The article mentions that there are 200 external lights. At a realist cost of $50 for a 3 LED light that equates to $10,000.

Not forgetting that the entire project was managed / wired up by a professional company, the costs associated are also not conveniently NOT mentioned.

At a conservative estimate of $80,000 for ONLY the 'off the grid' connection of the 'hero' home, does NOT represent a 'cost effective' solution as one may think it does.

The official interest rate for the devaluation of the dollar is at 10%, which is NOT to the confused with the rate of interest that banks give to retail customers (i.e. the public), which can be in the vicinity of 5%.

The investment amount of $80,000 will earn you $8,000 per annum.

An average Aussie home of approx 40 squares can consume 25kWhr per day or approx $1,500 of electricity per annum.

A saving of $6,500 on the ROI (Return On Investment) compared to that of a solar solution.

The ratings of photovoltaic cells is done near zero latitude at a rate of 5.5 hrs of sun per day during summer. Temperature has a large effect on the efficiency of the cells.

Also most cells are ONLY guaranteed at 80% efficiency for only 2 years.

This featured article is not a real representation of how viable off the grid living is, but rather a "show of " of what people can do with lost of money.


Far from a realistic example.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This is interesting discussion about going green.

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