ENERGY FANTASY INDULGED
Self-confessed 65-year-old "energy geek" Warren Yates realises a dream with the installation of a $30,000 three-kilowatt rooftop solar power system -- $8,000 of that total rebated by the federal government. Figuring a 20 year life for both Yates and his solar system works out to over $90 a month he forked out in advance for electricity -- $125 a month if the rebate is included. Hardly a bargain. Not only is the system costly, it doesn't cover his power needs:
At first, we weren't self-sufficient; it took us a while to get our energy consumption down," he said.Yates has cut back consumption to the point where he recently received a $10 credit for excess power his system generated. Cool, with $10 he can buy some cheap K-Mart slippers to keep his feet warm.
Turning off the family computers overnight, running the dishwasher every couple of days and refusing to turn on the heating "unless we have visitors" were some of the tactics the family used to reduce consumption.