Solar sparks bill savings

Annelies Brandjes and her father Jan prove going solar is a game changer.

By Tate Papworth

A Keilor East woman has cut the power bill in her five-person home to $5 a week.

Annelies Brandjes moved into her new house – one of a group of off-the-plan townhouses – in February 2018.

Her father, Jan, who has worked on energy efficient buildings for more than three decades knew adding solar panels to the house would reduce costs and Ms Brandjes said she jumped at the chance.

“I’d always grown up knowing about sustainability options because of dad, but when the government announced the rebates, I leapt at the chance,” she said.

“It was a little over $7000 to install the panels, but I got about a quarter of that back and the money I’m saving each month will mean it pays for itself soon.”

Since installing the solar panels in December, Ms Brandjes says her power bills have dropped from $80 a month to $20.

With a wealth of experience in sustainability Jan helped make additional improvements to the property so his daughter would get more value for money.

He oversaw the installation of insulation in the walls and ceiling of the property, including the space between the ground and second floors.

He also ensured all gaps and cracks in the building were sealed, which was done with the permission of the builder, whose supervisor in a twist of fate, had attended one of Jan’s building industry lectures on energy efficiency.

While Ms Brandjes had a helping hand, she said it was simple enough to follow.

“Dad helped with the technical side of things, but I found the Solar Victoria website really helpful,” Ms Brandjes said.

“I managed to educate myself and now I’m able to save about $50 a month, which I’m putting straight back into my mortgage.”

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