Evergen customers and Australian Paralympians Scott Reardon and Vanessa Low explain why renewable energy is important to them. 

When my wife and I sat down to discuss the idea of powering our new home with renewable energy, we came to the conclusion that we not only wanted to install solar panels but attach a battery to allow us to become even more independent from the grid and make the most of the solar energy we produce. 

We did a tonne of research to make sure we chose a system that suited our personal needs. We were finally ready to pay the deposit, when our 30 year old gas heater packed it in! Living in Canberra with cold long winters, we found ourselves needing to shift priorities, so decided to invest in solar panels but had to make the tough decision to upgrade the cooling and heating in our home to an electric ducted reverse cycle system and put the battery on hold.

Eight months later we had survived the cold winter, and we saved a few dollars along the way with our summer bill being $12 while our system was generating 50kWh per day. So in January 2021 we were beyond excited when we finally had the chance to add a Tesla Powerwall 2 to our PV system. 

About a month in, our household had operated almost completely independent from the grid for 30 days straight, and we started to realise the impact and reach our personal choice and actions were having on creating change. Given the growing concern over climate change, we want to do our part to reduce air pollution from burning fossil fuels, and move towards a more sustainable and future proof electricity system. When we turn on our air conditioning at home on a hot summer day, or use our oven on a cooler winter afternoon, we feel assured that our investment in cleaner solar energy means no coal fired power station had to start up because of us. 

It got us thinking about the future of energy and where the world needs to move to. 

Solar power and batteries are an enormous part of a green renewable’s future. The fact that we already have the technology now to implement today, tomorrow or this year to change the world’s trajectory means that we no longer have an excuse to wait. Big upfront costs are met by interest free loans from the government alongside other incentives to make the change, it just makes sense.

For those who have batteries already, Evergen’s software has the ability to learn our behaviours and routines to ensure that we are using our energy in the best possible capacity, which helps to further reduce costs. However, the even bigger difference and the main reason we went with Evergen is the possibility for a VPP (Virtual Power Plant).

Picture a world where every house is equipped with a solar system and battery to store unused electricity. Some households are using more energy  than they are producing at certain times during the day and their battery is empty. Usually that’s when it would be time to turn on the coal fired power station and bridge the gap. However, the neighbours next door have gone away for the weekend so their battery is full and they have no need for the electricity their system has produced. So, instead of feeding this excess back to the grid they sell it to you directly to bridge the gap in your household’s need for electricity. Now, expand this idea from a neighbour, to a street to a suburb to an entire city, even an entire country. It leaves us with the question: if we can all store and produce energy that can be shared, why do we need to rely on a coal powered plant? Simple answer is, we don’t. 

This idea is a proven concept. There are entire villages in Bangladesh who are running completely independent of the grid, with energy they produce from the sun everyday. It not only gave them cheap electricity but independence and power to the individual.

For us personally, what started with the intention to save money on ongoing bills, has grown into much more. If we want the world to change we must first take a look at what we do as individuals. The impact of an individual may seem insignificant, but as a collective, it can and will change the world for the better.

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