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Articles in the Electricity Category

Electricity, Science and Technology, Transport »

[18 Nov 2010 | 9 Comments | ]
Mitsubishi i-MiEV Electric Car Thoughts

My thoughts on Australia’s first mass-produced all-electric car. Is this the start of something big?

Electricity, Illawarra Businesses »

[27 Oct 2010 | 2 Comments | ]
NSW Government Revamps Solar Feed In Tariff Scheme

Effective midnight tonight, the NSW Government has announced a revamping of the Solar Bonus Scheme – the gross feed-in tariff for solar electricity has been reduced from 60c per kWh to 20c per kWh.

Electricity, Events, Illawarra Businesses, Illawarra Councils, Illawarra Organisations, Science and Technology »

[19 Oct 2010 | 4 Comments | ]
Shellharbour Solar Expo A Huge Success

I spent most of Sunday helping to staff the Jamberoo FutureCare table at the Shellharbour Solar Expo, at Shellharbour Workers’ Club (who actually have 22 kW of solar panels installed themselves – see photo).

The expo was organised by Jamberoo FutureCare, in conjunction with Shellharbour and Kiama Councils. There were a number of solar power and solar hot water suppliers there, displaying their products and giving people quotes. There was also a wind power company and a few other energy-related displays. FutureWorld had the table next to us, which was great …

Electricity, Science and Technology, Waste »

[5 Oct 2010 | 2 Comments | ]

Australia, and many other countries around the world, are legislating to phase out the sale of incandescent light bulbs. It is estimated that this initiative will reduce Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions by 800,000 tonnes of CO2-e; not bad, but it’s still only 0.14% of our total emissions. That said, any saving is progress.

I’ve previously published about my own experience of switching from low-voltage halogen downlights to CFL downlights

In the past couple of weeks I’ve had several people express concern to me that the mercury in a CFL poses …

Electricity, Science and Technology, Waste »

[3 Oct 2010 | 2 Comments | ]
Cleaning Up Broken CFLs

Not long ago I dropped and broke a compact fluorescent lightbulb (CFL) in the garage. D’oh!

I had a vague recollection that there’s a procedure you should follow to safely clean up broken CFLs, due to the small amount of mercury inside them. So, geek that I am, I jumped on the computer to look up what to do.

The best instructions I found were from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) web site. To summarise (this is for hard surfaces, like the garage floor):

Before anything else, air …

Electricity, Science and Technology »

[1 Sep 2010 | 5 Comments | ]
The CSIRO Home Energy Saving Handbook

I was interviewed on Monday by a researcher from the University of Wollongong about my experiences with installing solar hot water at our old house. They’re looking into why people choose solar, how they choose the system and supplier, what their experience has been, etc.

Sitting in on the interview was an interesting guy from CSIRO named Peter.

We got chatting about hot water and home energy usage, and I mentioned something from the book I’m reading at the moment – The CSIRO Home Energy Saving Handbook. “Oh,” said Peter, “that’s my …

Electricity »

[25 Jun 2010 | 3 Comments | ]
Fridge BuyBack Scheme Pays $35 For Old Fridges

I’ve had an old second fridge in the garage for a long time now, and I’ve been meaning to try out the Fridge BuyBack scheme to get rid of it. It’s extremely energy-inefficient.

If your fridge meets the requirements (over 10 years old, over 250 litres, working second fridge) and you have less than 6 steps to get the fridge out of your house, the scheme will pick it up, recycle the gas and parts properly, and pay you $35. Nice!

The idea is that old, inefficient fridges can be permanently taken …

Electricity, Science and Technology »

[14 May 2010 | 18 Comments | ]
Residential Solar Power: Is The Income Taxable?

There has been a bit of a storm in a teacup lately in the Australian press, claiming that all those people who “bought into the hype” and installed solar panels on their homes will now have to pay tax on the income they receive for any electricity generated.

Of course it’s very easy for the media to scare people and stir up reactionary outrage, but then when the situation turns out to be a little different, the reporters move on to the next football scandal and never bother to clarify the …

Electricity, Growing Food, Keeping Animals, Water »

[18 Mar 2010 | 10 Comments | ]

I’ve long had the feeling that more and more people are getting into things like growing their own food, keeping chickens, and living sustainably. But then my own interest in these areas has been growing over the past few years too, so I wasn’t sure if it was just that I was paying more attention to those topics or this was a real demographic trend.

As always, it turns out that Google has the answers!

Below is a graph of how the number of searches for the term “backyard chickens” has increased …

Electricity »

[15 Jun 2009 | 2 Comments | ]

While putting together notes for my talks over the weekend, I noticed something interesting. The amount of electricity we saved each day by converting 10 halogen downlights to CFLs (4 kWh) is about equal to the amount of electricity we are generating each day (on average) since installing a 1 kW grid-connect solar power system.

The difference is, the 10x GU10 conversion kits and CFL lamps cost us about $120, whereas the solar power system, after government rebates ($8000) and renewable energy certificates (RECs) (~$1500), cost us $2675.

Similarly, replacing our clunky …