Newsletter Archive

E-News Issue #126

29 May 2009

We are sending out this e-newsletter to give you some weekend reading and to let you know for the last time about the Rebates ending.

NSW Feed In Tariff

The gov't is still working out the final deal - there was some rumour and hope that it would be implemented by 1st July.

Grid Feed (SHCP) Rebate

The gov't has announced that this rebate will end on 30th June. It is to be replaced by a smaller rebate (sometimes called Super RECs). For a 1kW system the current rebate plus RECs of about $9000 will reduce to about $5000 worth of Super RECs. If you want to apply, we urge you to contact us within the next week otherwise you may miss out.

Stand Alone (RRPGP) Rebate

The future of this rebate is not totally clear. The word being given out by the State Gov't administrators is that it will end when the funding runs out. Apparently it has already ended in Tasmania . Our best advice is to apply ASAP and definitely before 30 th June. We also suggest you contact the Federal gov't (Peter Garrett) about this outrageous state of affairs.

Solar Hot Water

Feedback about solar hot water systems continues to arrive. I think in general terms it is fair to say that all types are being made more efficient with new designs, coatings etc. This is great - it means you have more hot water, particularly in cloudy weather. However, the problem of too much hot water in summer can be an issue. Our last e-newsletter mentioned about someone who inadvertently cooked the frogs in his gutters from hot water that has discharged from his hot water system. John and Cameron have since told me how the hot water discharge melted their plastic/PVC type of guttering!

Cooking with Solar

Cooking our food uses a lot of power. I might first point out that we do sell solar cookers and ovens [edit: discontinued] which work direct off the sun. These are a slow type of cooker, that retain high levels of food nutrients and work well.

Over the years, I have written articles about cooking with an appliance being run off an inverter. Appliances included rice cooker, bread maker, micro wave oven, toaster, coffee maker, hot plate and an electric jug.

In general, we suggest that if you are on a solar, or other Renewable Energy system, you would do all of your cooking on gas or on a wood stove. However, in good weather, you may often have a surplus of power and some forms of electric cooking are surprisingly efficient.

I recently bought a bench top Convection Oven from a supermarket chain-store for $59. This has a large round 12 litre glass/Pyrex oven. The glass lid has a fan forced element on it. The hot air circulates around the food which is placed on a rack on the bottom of the glass bowl.

I put a large 2.1kg chicken and later added 4 medium sized potatoes in it and set the temperature to 200ÂșC and the timer to 75 minutes. The oven is rated at 1200 watts and the whole cooking process used 1.28kWh. If you are connected to the grid, the cost for the power would have been about $0.20c which is pretty reasonable. If you were on a solar system, you would have needed 3 - 4 large 130W solar panels to generate this amount of power. As I said earlier, this may be an option in good sunny weather when you have surplus power to use, and do not want to heat the house unnecessarily.

BTW the chicken was perfectly roasted and my neighbour said the lamb shanks he cooked in his were perfect.

Cheers from Dave and all the RPC crew.

Dave Lambert (Director)

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We install solar systems in Northern NSW and Southern QLD.


QLD:
Gold Coast (from Coolangatta to Southport), Nerang and Hinterland (Beaudesert) and out West (Warwick, Stanthorpe, Killarney)


NSW:
Northern NSW (Tweed Heads to Yamba, including Evans Head, Byron Bay and Ballina); the Far North Coast Hinterland (Grafton via Lismore to Murwillumbah) and out West (Casino to Tenterfield, including Drake and Tabulam, as well as Woodenbong and Bonalbo)

For larger system we also go up to Brisbane or down to Coffs Harbour and even Glen Innes. Other places by arrangement.