AFTER being hit with two horrendous power bills, Sam's Fruit Shop owner Sam Giacca decided to bite the bullet and go solar.
Three months down the track and another power bill later, Sam says installing the renewable energy system is one of the best decisions he's ever made.
"It pretty much halved my power bill," he said.
Sam moved his store from The Summit to his new site at Cottonvale late last year.
While he knew the bigger operation would use more power, he wasn't expecting the bill to go up by thousands of dollars.
"I was on the phone to Solar Blessing that same day," he said.
Solar Blessing's general manager, Stanthorpe local Tim Hourigan, made the trip out to Cottonvale soon after to talk over Sam's options face to face.
"Using specific solar software to analyse his daily load profile, we designed a system that would reduce his daytime usage off the grid," Mr Hourigan said.
"We were also able to give Sam an idea of what his payback period, return on his investment and electricity savings might look like."
Sam also queried the tariff he was on with his electricity provider and switched to a better tariff as a result, which also helped reduce his quarterly bill.
At the time, Sam's daily power consumption was sitting at 282kWh/day, now that figure has dropped by a whopping 178kWh/day down to just 103kWh/day.
And his bill, well that has dropped by up to 50%.
"I can now keep selling fruit and vegetables," Sam laughed "I can even leave the lights on in the shop."
Mr Hourigan, who previously worked on research and development on lithium batteries in a nano-technology company, joined forces with Solar Blessing founder Peter Blessing two years ago.
"I brought skills in energy storage while Peter brings to the table 30-odd years of solar systems experience," Mr Hourigan said.
The company's headquarters are now based in Stanthorpe, servicing northern New South Wales and south-east Queensland.
"We design and install solar systems both for grid connect and stand-alone," Mr Hourigan said.
"Solar benefits people like Sam who use significant amounts of power during the day.
"If your energy usage is higher at night, then we'll need to look at battery systems as well."
Solar Blessings prides itself on tailoring systems to suit individual domestic and commercial needs.
"We're not one of those companies that's going to tell you you need the biggest system," Mr Hourigan said.
"Using sophisticated solar software, we analyse your load profile and design a system based around those calculations.
"This way we can achieve a much more detailed understanding of what the client can expect to get from their system."
Environmentally, Mr Hourigan said a solar system would also help reduce your carbon footprint by limiting the amount of non-renewable energy you consume.
Sam's system is expected to have paid for itself within four years.
Visit http://www.solarblessing.com.au or visit the Solar Blessing Facebook page.
If you would like a free solar assessment on your home or business, please phone Tim Hourigan on 0424 251 033 or 1300 765 406.
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