No matter how much money you have, the rising cost of electricity remains a big concern, especially if you have a large home with lots of rooms, lights and all kinds of appliances. Of course, you can choose to endure the perpetually rising cost of utilities and continue to contribute in polluting the environment with your big carbon footprint. Or, you can make the switch to renewable energy and save on cost while simultaneously doing your part in helping save the planet.
Switching to clean energy was the choice made by homeowner Nick Pfitzner — the first Australian ever to have a Tesla Powerwall installed in his home. In January 2016, Pfitzner spent over $16,000 for a complete solar system that included a 7 kWh lithium-ion Powerwall battery pack, a 5 kWh solar array, a SolarEdge inverter and a Reposit monitoring system.
Before the Tesla Powerwall pack was installed, Pfitzner’s electric bill was averaging around $572 per quarter in 2015. A year later, his electric bill has dropped by 92% — down to $45 per quarter in 2016. In one quarter, he even managed to receive $50 worth of credit for returning unused electricity to the power grid.
As Pfitzner explained when he spoke with Choice: “The system will power whatever the house needs first as a priority, then it will fill the battery as a second priority and then anything over it’ll export.”
The drop in electricity cost was an expected result. It’s by how much the drop was that came as total surpize.
According to Pfitzner, and this based on him crunching some numbers, he estimated an 80% savings and a potential return on his investment after a decade. Surprisingly, he got a much better return. Because with the actual numbers of 92% savings equaling $2,110, he’s now looking to recover his investment in just eight years instead of ten.
Most solar installations aren’t actually as expensive as Pfitzner’s because they don’t normally include a battery and a monitoring system. But it’s precisely these add-ons that differentiated his more complex system and made it more efficient.
By having a battery pack, excess power not only was not wasted but was instead stored for later use. And with the monitoring system, Pfitzner was able to track factors such as weather patterns, current utility prices and predict energy use. Armed with this information, he was then able to sell his stored energy back to the grid. In other words, he didn’t just save money from his Powerwall; he was able to make money from it too. And this brings us to Elon Musk who less than a year ago unveiled “Tesla Energy” – a system of low-cost solar batteries for homes, businesses and utilities. At the time Tesla’s founder said his company’s goal was to “fundamentally change the way the world uses energy on an extreme scale.” Being able to slash electricity bills by a whopping 92% is totally extreme no matter how one looks at it.
As the issue with global warming and the need to reduce fossil fuel emission rages on, Pfitzner’s story is exactly the kind the world needs to hear and adopt. And with Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) ramping up production of Powerwall 2, maybe more homeowners will now be encouraged to take the plunge, make the switch and invest in clean energy.