July 5, 2019: Back To Russell Island

Anyone who’s been following our Newsletter for more than six months will know that Cintia and I have been building a house on Russell Island in Queensland. It was the price of land and the proximity to Brisbane that led us here in the first place and we’ve found it to be a peaceful and laid-back place to live over the last year-and-a-half that we’ve been working (on and off) on this project.

For new readers you can catch up on the progress by reviewing our past Newsletters here (scroll down to view all our previous Newsletters in full or use the headings down the RHS to choose the ones you want to read) and you can find a quick video tour of the house here. That video was taken back in February when we had just completed our final inspection. Since then we’ve been off on various other adventures and have only just made it back to Russell Island to put the finishing touches on the house.

We got back last night and were a bit surprised to find one of the panes of our sliding glass door had been smashed. Our first thought was ‘AHHG, WE’VE BEEN ROBBED!!!’

Not exactly the view you want to come home to.

Not exactly the view you want to come home to.

But, on closer inspection, it turned out that a rock from the neighbour’s lawnmower had done the job and nothing was disturbed or missing in the house. PHEW!… These things can be a bit of a nuisance when you live on an island that’s only accessible by boat but luckily we had left the PHEV on the mainland with a plan to return today to pick up the materials we need to build our fence. So I was able to take the door frame (minus the broken glass) over on the passenger ferry this morning, get the glass fixed, load up with fence materials this afternoon and bring everything back on the car ferry this evening (along with plenty of groceries for the next couple of weeks).

 

Our PHEV loaded up and working hard.

Our PHEV loaded up and working hard.

As I write this I’m sitting in the PHEV on the car barge on the way back to Russell Island. The house is basically finished but there are a few details left to take care of such as the fence, the driveway, insect screens, blinds, closet shelves, etc. So we’ll have plenty of work to do for the next few weeks. I’ll keep you posted on how it all goes.

Batteries Don’t Make Economic Sense

Meanwhile, here’s a reminder from a recent Solar Quotes article for anyone thinking about buying a battery to go with their solar power system that batteries are not a good investment. Solar is… batteries aren’t. Here’s a quote from the article

‘I have pointed out…

.. and in plenty of other articles that batteries won’t save any normal household money unless they are in South Australia with that state’s huge subsidy — and even then the circumstances have to be right for a household to come out ahead.

I have also mentioned here home batteries don’t yet provide an environmental benefit, so unless there are special circumstances (like our friends who run their pottery kiln on solar and battery power) you are not being green by getting one.’

There are other reasons why you might want to buy a home battery but be VERY careful and do some thorough research if you want your battery to:

  1. Save you money,
  2. Reduce your environmental footprint or
  3. Give you backup power if there’s a blackout (some will but most won’t).

The time will come when solar batteries offer an excellent ROI, a true environmental benefit and exceptional backup power and you can be sure that both the Greeny Flat and Solar Quotes teams when shout it from the rooftops when that time comes. For now it’s generally best to stick with solar and forget the battery.

Thanks for reading.

Andy

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