Top tips on solar energy

More than 30 residents attended a free information night last week to have their questions answered by local volunteer group, BMRenew, on installing solar panels for their home.

The session was held at the Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre in Lawson as part of a regular series of events by Transition Blue Mountains and Permaculture Blue Mountains.

BMRenew have been working with local solar installers to identify the best solar photovoltaic (PV) systems currently on offer so they can assist homeowners, landlords and businesses understand how to take advantage of the latest rebates and tariffs.

With the right advice it’s a great time to invest in solar, BMRenew member and solar owner Michael Skeggs said in his presentation on the night.

“Electricity bills are rising and the cost of solar panels has plummeted in the last few years, so there are more reasons than ever,” Mr Skeggs said.

“BMRenew is one of over 50 community energy groups around the country focused on creating a new approach to energy in Australia.

“We want to encourage more people to join the 7000 homes already powered by solar in the Blue Mountains and lower Hawkesbury.

“At the moment the payback time for an average solar PV system is seven years. Most solar panels come with a 25-year warranty, so you’re looking at over 15 years of free daytime power from the sun.

“However choosing the right solar PV system for your home can be confusing. Getting a good price is always important, but to get the most out of your investment there are a few other things to consider.

“Many of us in BMRenew own solar panels, so we’ve done plenty of research and can advise on the whole process. We can help you calculate your daytime electricity usage, choose the right sized system for your needs, explain the federal government discount and how much power companies will pay you for the solar power you don’t use.

“We’ve also contacted every local solar installer and can recommend some special offers.

“By joining BMRenew as a member we can provide you with advice every step of the way, even after your solar panels are installed,” Mr Skeggs said.

To learn more about installing solar and becoming a BMRenew member, visit www.bmrenew.org, call Erland on 0408 255 583 or come to the next meeting at 11am on Saturday, April 12 at Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre, Lawson.

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