Swansea pensioner Shirley Allen had a 6.5kw solar system installed on her 3-bedroom home in May 2018. One year on Shirley is thrilled with the money that she’s savings and the impact that solar has had on her life.

In today’s blog, Shirley tells Janelle Estreich how much she has saved with solar and shares her experience of working with the One Power team.

One Power’s Technical Director, Sean Barry, with Shirley Allen.

What made you consider having solar installed?

“We had a spa installed and were told our power would go up a little bit but not too much, depending on when you run it. We ran it at night on the off-peak power and our bill still came in at more than $750. We thought there had to be a mistake! We switched the spa off and the next bill went back down to around $400.

Even without the spa, the cost of our bills had been going up. They used to be around the $350 mark and started getting up around $450-$480. I can’t afford to have bills like that. I’m only on the pension so everything counts for me. I have to look at ways to save money and think a bit smarter.”

What concerns did you have when deciding whether solar was the way to go?

“We were told by an electrician that solar was a waste of time. He said don’t bother because you won’t get your money back for years. I did my own research and heard a lot of negative reports of busted tiles, leaks in the roof, and untidy work sites. I was worried if the panels got damaged and they’re up on the roof where I won’t know. I’d even heard stories of panels not being placed in the right direction.”

Why did you choose One Power Solar to do the job?

“We got three quotes before deciding on One Power. The first company that came around, the guy didn’t even speak to me. It’s my house, it’s my property and I’m the one who’s paying for it and yet he didn’t speak to me, he spoke to my partner and ignored me. He told us what we needed and told us not to use other suppliers because their panels are poor quality. The second quote was very sales focused and couldn’t offer much information about the systems or the panels — he was really just selling.

When One Power came along, the guy was friendly and answered all of our questions. Not only that, he gave us other information which helped us to work out what was what. And he wasn’t just talking to my partner!”

What was your experience with One Power during the installation phase?

“The guy who installed the panels was very friendly. Even though he was busy he stopped to answer my questions and explain what we was doing. He was also neat and tidy. He came back afterwards to tweak the set up and make sure everything was working right. I didn’t want the panels to devalue the look from the street so they’re placed so you can’t actually see them from the front of the house.

They split out panels so that there are 12 on one end of the roof and 12 on the other. The panels are positioned to capture the sun throughout the course of the day and at all times of the year, from winter to summer.”

So your system was installed in May last year, how is it working for you so far?

“We’ve been seeing solar power readings on our system from the time the sun comes up around 7.30-8am right through until the sun drops around 4-5pm. Before we were trying to use power during the off-peak period at night. I used to do my washing and everything late at night before I go to bed. That was really inconvenient. Now I do everything first thing in the morning so we’re not staying up late doing chores, which I detest!”

What sort of savings can you see coming through on your bill?

“We’ve had the panels on for a year now. In that year our bills have gotten progressively smaller, and smaller, and smaller. The first bill went down (from $400) to around $200, the next was around $100, then $50 and the last two were in credit. We’ve not paid power for the past two bill cycles. The last credit was $28 but that’s better than paying $300-400 every quarter. That, to me, is a bonus!”

How has going solar made your life better?

“By saving a lot more in one area means I can use that money somewhere else. At the moment I’m trying to help my daughter get into a house, so whatever resources I’ve got left will go to that. I’m drawing power off the sun which is natural and better for the environment. The education that happens along the way means I’ve become a lot more energy efficient. I got the app for my phone which shows how much power I’m using at any time of the day or night and how that power is being used. I can log into that anywhere in Australia — I’ve been out in the boat for the weekend and checked to see if the heater or air-con are on, which is pretty cool! It has really changed our habits.”

Overall, how satisfied are you with your system?

“I am stoked with my panels. I’ve got the app so I know that it’s working and if there any problems. My hot water is run off solar, the house is run off solar… even our boat is recharged off solar now. We can now use the spa, I just switch it on through the day when we want to use it so that it’s warm.”

Would you recommend One Power to others?

“I have actually! Other people have asked me about our experience and I’ve told them who I used. I’ve got the product that I wanted, it’s doing what I wanted, so that’s thumbs up from me.”

You can book a free, no obligation appraisal here or call our friendly team on 1300 568 589.