Solar savings

My husband decided that we were going to go solar with our new house purchase which was not unreasonable given the unbelievable power price surges in the last few years.  As we live in one of the sunniest regions of Australia getting solar would be the equivalent to giving greedy power companies the third finger which was very appealing to me so I was keen to get a quote.

My husband took researching and gathering information to a whole new level in his quest to find the best system for the most competitive price and became quite knowledgeable on exactly what he was after.  I just went with the flow, as I knew from past experience he would go for the biggest one he could get his hands on.

We had various companies and salespeople through, some my husband offered a beer to when they got through the front door and some he disliked on sight.  The last quote came in with the biggest system, the best inverter, the best sun-tough solar panels, a wireless monitoring system and a wrangled deal with my husband to remove the old solar hot water system from our roof for free.  It was a no brainer.

The installation day arrived and everything was running smoothly until they tried to remove the old hot water system from the roof and it bounced off its perch, to the ground below and went through the neighbour’s Colourbond fence.  The only good thing about that was it went through the back fence and not the side or we would have all had a rather large pit bull to contend with as well as an irate neighbour.

To their credit, they finished the job on time, took a photo of the damage to the fence and got somebody out to fix the fence before the end of the week.  It may have been hastened a little by my husband telling them they wouldn’t be paid until the fence was fixed, however.

We now have fully working solar after a few mishaps and miscommunications between the power company, the solar installer and the company who actually came to turn it on – but that is another story.

I can now happily monitor what our 7.19 Kw capacity can do and it’s marvellous.  We are certainly not using as much electricity as we produce so a lot of our power goes back to the grid for a small bonus payment back to us as well as a reduction in cost of the actual electricity we use.

We get to stick it to the power companies – but only on a sunny day.  The next step is power storage systems.  After even more research my husband has decided to wait for that one for a few years so he can get the biggest and most innovative deal for his dollar, as usual.



The move from Hell

Well, the move is complete and we are now settled into our new home.  I have decided that I am never leaving this place, not only because I really like it here but because I never want to experience another move like this one again.  They can carry me out of here in a pine box – I’m staying put.

We’ve moved a few times and most of the time things have gone smoothly.  We had been lulled into a false sense of security as we perused the classifieds for a ‘suitable removalist at a reasonable price’.  They came, they quoted, we booked it in and they left.  Everything was right in the world.

Two days before the move my husband was called back to sea so it was all up to me to get it done right.  I had a couple of friends over on the day for moral support in case I lost the plot as I was already hyperventilating before the removalist truck pulled into the driveway.

I took one look at the truck and decided that it was going to be too small for our furniture and it was definitely not the largest truck in the fleet – the truck that we had ordered – for the day.  The driver assured me that it would be okay and that he would fit it all in.  I looked at him and walked away before I said something I would regret.

As we lived on an island at the time we were dependent upon barges for transport to get to the mainland.  The deadline for the booked barge was looming, the truck was almost full and I still had a mountain of furniture to be loaded.  I gave the driver my best ‘I told you so look’ and stormed off to ring the company.  I was assured by the manager that they would send another truck to pick up the rest of the furniture and I told the manager that if they had have sent the bigger truck we booked in the first place then he wouldn’t have had to send another truck.  I’m pretty sure he told the driver and his offsider to go slow after that just out of spite because the barge time came and went and I had to book another barge for three hours’ time.

The second truck they brought over to the island didn’t come for another ninety minutes and it broke down just as it got off the barge ramp.

I had one truck fully loaded with three-quarters of my stuff, two sullen drivers, the second deadline looming with the second truck broken down and a third truck on its way.  You can’t make this stuff up.

It was at this point that I let them have both barrels – but I won’t go there.

We eventually just made the second barge and left the other furniture behind to be picked up by a third truck which only just made the last barge off for the day.

We started the move at 7am and the removalists did not leave my new place until 9.30pm.  Despite needing the barge to get us across less than a kilometre of water, as the crow flies one house was only 10 minutes away from the other.  They damaged my furniture and to add insult to injury they left my microwave in the house so I had to go back for it myself the next day.

Then they wanted payment.

To cut a long story short they got paid but they didn’t get paid what they quoted for.  Nowhere near it.  They were lucky my husband wasn’t home as he was gunning for them and wouldn’t have paid them at all.

Like I said.  I’m out of this place in a pine box.  At least a removalist won’t be involved.