Leslie Solar and Keith March of Annandale had been thinking about installing solar PV for five years, since their renovations were completed. But they weren’t sure if they were going to stay in the house or downsize until early this year, when they decided to stay put.
So that meant it was time to go solar. Time to contact Inner West Community Energy.
Even though she’s the co-owner and manager of their high-end residential building company, Keith March Constructions, Leslie found it “enormously useful for me to have a knowledgeable community that I could trust”.
“To have you explain things in a basic way, even though I’m in the industry,” Leslie told us. “It’s complicated and it’s hard to get your head around when you don’t understand it. So the fact that you were available and knowledgeable and easy to understand made an enormous difference and having you gave me confidence in the people you recommended.
“I got an independent quote too, because that’s what we do, and I was incredibly impressed by Paul [Hutt, of Brightside Solar and Electrical, an Inner West Community Energy solar installer] as a young tradesman. And we deal with tradies every day of the week. He was neat, tidy, turned up when he said, easy to get on with, again, comprehensible. The price was great. I just thought he was terrific.
“We got a quote from another guy who didn’t even show up. He did it off Google Earth and gave us a general quote. And then he was amazed when I said I didn’t want to do it and I said I thought it was a bit odd that he hadn’t turned up. You need that face-to-face contact.
“I thought having this group was fantastic.”
Keith’s brother is a solar installer so Keith got a few tips on what to look out for in a solar installation. “He was telling me about the strapping off of cables and the tying-off of things and how messy you can leave it,” Keith told us. “And I climbed up there and it was a really neat and organised job.”
Keith and Leslie have a 5.89 kilowatt system comprising 19 Q Cells panels, each 310 watts maximum capacity, with a Solar Edge inverter and 19 optimisers to boost generation when some panels are shaded by nearby trees, plus there’s Solar Analytics to monitor production and generation.
The job was completed in March and now they’re waiting for their first post-solar power bill, when they’ll again turn to Inner West for our advice on the best offer they can get from an electricity retailer.
Leslie and Keith live on a corner block. Across the road there’s another Inner West solar system, and on another corner there’s another new system we had nothing to do with. We just need to do one more and every house on that intersection will be solar powered.
When it is, we’ll get Paul’s drone in the air for some cool shots!
- Gavin Gilchrist 0407 663 125