From bill shock to solar pioneers
After living in his brand-new home for less than a year, one owner of a stunning row of 20 luxury townhouses in Croydon, Melbourne was experiencing serious bill shock. Fees of more than $500 per month were coming in to cover the running costs of the home’s central heating and cooling systems and the elevator.
The owner, Deon Botha is a Services Director who had chosen Croydon as the place to put down roots by buying his first property. Deon needed to get on top of the huge energy bills he was receiving each month, without sacrificing the use of his ducted air conditioning through the cold Melbourne winters and scorching summers. His carbon footprint was also a consideration, given his household’s high energy consumption.
Solar power, backed up by a Tesla Powerwall, was the preferred solution, but installation on this three-storey townhouse on a suspended slab above a shop proved to be a challenge. Some solar providers quoted Deon site-unseen, however, quickly became unavailable when the complexity of the job became clear. Others refused to quote at all.
Fortunately for Deon, the Solahart team were up for the challenge.
The not-so-simple brief
The plan to address Deon’s energy needs was simple enough; install a discrete-looking solar system on the roof with the capability to erase or limit his monthly power bills.
However, the nature of the townhouses complicated things. Narrow lots meant that roof space was limited (comparable to the overall footprint of the home across three levels), and poor design choices in the building, like the TV antenna in the middle of the roof, made panel installation and connection more difficult.