A Devon couple, Mike and Jan, have reduced the amount of energy they buy from their energy company by 86% using the county’s first Tesla Powerwall.
A Devon couple have reduced the amount of electricity they buy from their energy company by 86%, after receiving Devon’s first Tesla Powerwall energy storage device to compliment their solar panels.
Mike and Jan Lister, who live in Torquay, were looking to reduce their reliance on the national grid and were among the first homeowners in the UK to have the Tesla Powerwall designed and installed to accompany their solar PV system.
This allows Mike and Jan to store the electricity that the solar panels on the roof of their house generate during the day (when the sun is shining), rather than feeding it all back to the grid when it is not used. They can then use the energy stored in the Powerwall whenever they most need it to power lights, computers, televisions and many other devices. Monitored directly from a simple app on their phones and computer, the Listers can see how much energy their solar PV system generates and how this directly stores energy into their Tesla Powerwall.
Now, with news that the Tesla Powerwall 2 – with double the storage capacity – is be available in February, households with higher energy demands will also be able to hugely reduce their need to purchase electricity from the grid.
Our Powerwall now means that we are now much more self-sufficient
Keeping the energy that is generated
“We have been fans of solar panels for a long time,” said Mike, “but it seems such a waste to generate all that energy and then send the majority of it back to the grid. Our Powerwall now means that we are now much more self-sufficient, spend much less on our electricity bills, and could power our house even if there was a powercut or grid issues. This makes the very best use of the solar electricity that our panels generate.”
Devon-based SunGift Energy is a certified Powerwall installer. The company installs many different solar-electricity-storage devices, but the US-manufactured Tesla Powerwall is the one that has gained the most attention recently. From February SunGift will have access to the next stage of the technology – the Tesla Powerwall 2 – which will have double the storage capacity of Mike and Jan’s battery.
“We’ve already carried out a high number of installations of the Powerwall,” said Ollie Gibbs, solar specialist at SunGift Energy, “and the feedback has been tremendous. Not only does it hugely reduce reliance on the grid, but also it looks modern and attractive.
Solar energy available at night
“Energy costs are forecast to rise significantly over the next few years and there are limited fossil fuel resources, so it’s crucial that homeowners get the maximum benefit from their solar panels,” added Ollie. “We designed Jan and Mike’s Tesla Powerwall to work alongside solar PV system, giving them peace of mind that they can produce and use their own electricity supply, with backup so that electricity is available in the evening.
No maintenance required
“Homeowners are increasingly looking for simplicity, so the Powerwall is ideal because – once we’ve installed it – the battery is completely automated and requires no maintenance.
“The Tesla Powerwall 2, which we will have in stock from February onwards, will make it possible for houses with larger energy demands to massively reduce their reliance on the grid too.”
The Listers have a 6.6kWp solar PV system, which was installed on the roof of their house by SunGift. The system includes 20 BenQ 330W Modules, a SolarEdge inverter, and a 6.4 kWh Tesla Powerwall battery. The couple can also fully monitor the performance of their solar panels and Tesla Powerwall through their SolarEdge StorEdge software.
Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?
Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?
Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.
Is Biofuel Green?
One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.
Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?
Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.
Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.
Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.
Benefits Of Biomass
The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.
Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.
7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees
As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.
After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:
One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.
While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.
Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies
Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.
The Ability To Work Remotely
It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.
Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.
Unlimited Time Off
This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.
A Full Pantry
Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.
Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!