Cook Friendly Grocer (IGA): Reviews Experience with Solar Panels

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climateXchange likes to hear the views of local businesses on their experiences in becoming more energy-efficient. So we caught up recently with the Cook Friendly Grocer in Belconnen and received an update on their experience with solar panels.

The supermarket installed a 1.5 kw photovoltaic system in October 2008.  Because of low Australian dollar and small number of PV systems installed at that time, the cost was much higher than it would be now.

Supermarket co-owner Nick Spinocchia had expected the system to deliver a good proportion of the supermarket’s electricity requirements but in fact the outcome left a lot to be desired for the amount of money paid.

”The biggest draw on electricity in the supermarket are the freezers which use 50 per cent of the electricity,” he said. “Two energy audits enabled some improvements but even so, the cost of electricity used by the shop has more than tripled in the past five years.”

Their experience indicates that it is quite complex and expensive for businesses to become energy efficient.

However, Nick was still confident that with the latest technological advances in energy generation, there is a lot of potential for energy self-sufficiency, particularly if projects such as artificial photosynthesis currently developed by the Australian National University comes to fruition.


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