We are existing in a time where the price of living has increased like never before. According to numbeo.com the estimated monthly cost that a family of four will incur, is on average $4, 813.20, not including rent and a single person monthly cost, not including rent is, $1,336.27. With petrol prices also reaching an all-time high, many are finding less cash in their wallets once their weekly bills have been paid. Sydney, Australia is one of the most expensive cities to live in, even when prices are low. It does leave one questioning, what other alternatives can we implement, to decrease our overall cost of living and reduce our carbon footprint? One solution may be to look at, other means of energy consumption, such as solar power.
In 2015 Tesla introduced to the market the ‘Tesla Powerwall’, truly a game changer when it comes to harvesting your homes own source of energy. The Tesla Powerwall is a lithium-ion battery that runs and stores solar energy, collected from your solar panels. According to tesla.com the Powerwall, “…detects outages and automatically becomes your home's energy source when the grid goes down. Unlike generators, Powerwall keeps your lights on, and phones charged without upkeep, fuel or noise. Pair with solar and recharge with sunlight to keep your appliances running for days.” As a stand-alone unit can provide 5kW (13.5 kWh) of continuous power. The Backup Gateway helps to monitor and manage the Powerwall’s energy by metering it, connecting and safely disconnecting from the grid, if and when a power outage should occur.
The NSW government, as of 2022 is introducing a federally funded rebate, paying thousands of dollars to homeowners, who opt to install solar panels and batteries in their households, over the next ten years. The standard price for a 10 kilowatt an hour system, can fall between $6000 -$15000. With this new federally funded rebate on oﬀer, one thinks of the cost saving incurred when choosing to install solar. The average electricity bill according to canstarblue.com.au in NSW alone is, $1, 424 with Tasmanians paying the most to keep their lights on, spending $1, 824 on average. By switching to solar your energy bills would drastically reduce in cost and by investing in a battery like the Powerwall, you can store your excess energy for future use and sell the energy collected, back to the power grid. As mentioned on Tesla website, the Powerwall’s app allows you too, “Rate plans, also known as energy tariﬀs, generally determine how much you pay for your electricity from your energy provider. One of the benefits of solar paired with Powerwall is reduced energy consumption from the grid, resulting in lower energy bills. Having an accurate rate plan helps your Tesla app calculate and maximise your savings.” The savings being oﬀered by the government rebate, presents everyone with the opportune moment, to jump on board the solar train. The Powerwall’s app reveals the analytics of the data, in regards to your consumption, showing; when your home is collecting solar, your monthly usage and gives you the ability to personalise your Powerwall settings. There are four modes on oﬀer; self power, time based control, allowing you to charge and discharge your Powerwall. The storm watch setting, allows you to monitor any incoming bad weather and the vehicle charging, during power outage setting. There is much to gain when it comes to controlling your own energy, from the comfort of your own phone. It allows you to see the technology truly working for you, taking the stress out of paying the dreaded power bills.
It seemed like an inconceivable thought, that one day we could harness the suns rays, to not just charge our homes and cars, but mainstream such an idea and make it an aﬀordable and available product, to the masses. Elon Musk has done just that, with his Tesla Powerwall battery. It has only been seven years since its introduction to the market, and a lot has changed. Especially in a time where many are struggling to keep their lights on and their cars running. Energy should be free to use, or at the very lest, cheep to run. In a world that is becoming increasingly more expensive to live in, there is hope that we, as a human race are evolving with the problems around us, looking for solutions in dark and trying times. There are better ways to harness and produce energy, we can see that in real time and not just through the words of scholars. Clean and natural energy that not only benefits our pockets, but also our carbon foot print, seems like an idea worth cheering for.