This is a guest post from the team at Solar Market, a Perth, WA based company that shortcut the process of finding quotes for solar installers in your area.

image of solar panels

Solar power is a great source of renewable energy. It utilises the incredible light and heat of the sun to power homes and many other buildings. Using solar energy to power homes offers many benefits – Australia has some of the most sun in the world, so why not take advantage? Here are some of the top reasons to make the switch:

Solar is Low Maintenance

The process of installing solar panels can be tricky and ideally should only be done by a professional, but once the installation is done, the solar panels will be little to no trouble. Solar panels generally do not need much maintenance once they have been installed. They aren’t an energy source that needs a lot of extra cash to maintain. Along with a quick yearly check-up, panels may only need something done every 30 years which is a sizable amount of time.

Solar is a Prime Energy Source

The most attractive reason to use solar energy is because the source of energy is free. The sun is powerful and will last for billions of years, so there’s no reason to worry about the source of energy running out or being lost. It’s almost wasteful not to take advantage of such an obvious, readily available energy source like the sun. Whether it’s solar power for homes, or a commercial business, the electricity bill can be greatly reduced. This is a great way to beat the impending carbon tax!

Solar Rebates and Feed-in Tariffs

Although the Federal Government has ended the solar hot water rebates, they are still continuing those for solar power systems. This means you can save thousands of dollars on a full solar system including the PV panels, inverter and roof mounting. Just double check the equipment is certified by the government to meet safety standards so the goods actually qualify for the rebate. Apart from rebates, most states around Australia have what’s called feed-in tariffs, where you can sell your unused electricity back to the grid – this means you could end up not paying a power bill ever again – how good does that sound!

Environmental Advantages

Using solar energy is much better for the environment. Fossil fuels and some other energy sources require plants that spew out waste which pollutes the environment. These plants also release a lot of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, contributing to the global warming problem.

Another disadvantage of fossil fuels is that the methods used to obtain them can devastate areas of the Earth permanently. Solar energy causes no problems with water, land, or air. Solar energy is clean, efficient and completely environmentally friendly.

logo for solar market

If you’d like to find out how Solar Market can help you, simply fill out the form on the website mentioned above and three Clean Energy Council accredited solar installers will be in touch with you within 24 hours.

When We Were Green…

March 24, 2011

I got sent this fabulous email recently, and to me it really highlights where we’re going wrong with our efforts to tackle climate change and the like (and boy, isn’t that getting some airtime here in Australia at the moment!).

Image of old lady with a shopping trolley

"Shopping Trolley"

The Old Lady

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologised to her and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

That’s right, they didn’t have the green thing in her day. Back then, they returned their milk bottles, Coke bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, using the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.  

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But she’s right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 240 volts. “Wind and solar power” really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house, not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a pizza dish, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you.

When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used wadded up newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.  Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.  

But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.  

But they didn’t have the green thing back then. 

Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus, instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But that old lady is right. They didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

They didn’t need it.

Now I’m no luddite, but it makes you think about simpler times, less consumerist times doesn’t it? And if you’re celebrating it this weekend, Happy Earth Hour.

Image Credit: Looking Glass

Don’t Landfill it, Freecycle it!

September 10, 2010

Today, I’ve a guest post from Caroline Smith, about one of her passions – freecycling. Caroline also likes to find creative ways to reuse old furniture and give it a new lease on life. If you’d like to see more of Caroline’s work, visit her website that features a selection of Surefit slipcovers and tips on […]

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Costa’s Complete Compost Compendium

October 25, 2009

OK, I’ve no idea if you would really class this as a compendium, but with “Costa” & “Compost” to be used in the same title, I had to come up with something! I hope you’ve been catching up with Costa’s Garden Odyssey on SBS of late. This guy’s characterful enthusiasm really makes this the best […]

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Why no posts?

October 12, 2009

While my blogging frequency here on Treading Lighter wasn’t anything to write home about; I feel that there’s been a sufficient absence of new posts that probably deserves an explanation and apology. My apologies firstly to any of you who may have been checking back here to see if there were any updates, the explanation […]

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Queensland’s ClimateSmart Home Service Review

June 13, 2009

Greg Howell writes a guest post review of Queenland Government’s ClimateSmart Home Service.

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Solar Feed In Tariff Update

June 13, 2009

Just a quick update on the solar feed in tariff petition that I posted about recently. The petition is now nearing its final days and will be submitted to Green Senator Christine Mine early next week. So far 15,000 signatures have been collected so if you haven’t yet added your name to the list – […]

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Treading Lighter 2009 Goals Update

May 17, 2009

A quick update on the goals I set for myself at the start of 2009

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