The Ultimate Solar Home Setup: What Does A Self-Sufficient Home Look Like?

Explore how to make your home self-sufficient with solar panels, battery storage, electrification, efficient upgrades, and EV chargers. Save on energy bills and reduce environmental impact.
Making your home sustainable in Australia

Solar may seem like old news to some, with millions of Aussie homes already adopting the technology. But so much more can be added, and subtracted, from your home to make it truly self-sufficient. Cost of living increases have pushed many to consider moving off the grid. Let’s explore how you can make some simple, and not-so-simple, steps to reduce your reliance on energy retailers.

5 steps to make your home self-sufficient

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for each home, we’ll cover some steps on what you can do to reduce or eliminate your energy bills.

1. Install solar panels

If you haven’t already, the question we have is why not?! Installing solar on your home is one of the most important steps to self-sufficiency. Harnessing the free energy from the sun and using it to power your home is really a no-brainer. Solar is also the cheapest it has ever been in Australia. Federal subsidies, and some state rebates and incentives, as well as access to financing, can make going solar cash-flow positive from day one for many. Your daytime electricity usage will likely be completely covered, which leaves us with your nighttime usage to take care of.

REC Alpha Pure-RX Solar Panels installation Bec Douros
REC Alpha Pure-RX solar panels

Check out the following recommended solar panel and inverter manufacturers and follow the links to get FREE quotes:

Solar PanelsInverters
REC Solar
LONGi Solar
Yingli Solar

2. Battery storage

We know – battery storage is an expensive addition in most cases. But, true self-sufficiency requires your nighttime electricity usage to be taken care of. Solar plus battery storage is a winning combination that should see all of your electricity consumption accounted for. If you get the balance right, you may even be able to remove your electricity connection. This would mean that you would no longer have to pay a supply charge.

Renovate or Rebuild SunPower Reserve Battery
SunPower Reserve battery storage

Check out the following recommended battery storage manufacturers and follow the links to get FREE quotes:

3. Removal of gas – electrification

A little while ago, the thought of removing all gas appliances, and your gas connection, would be almost unthinkable. Electrifying your home has never been easier, more affordable, or accessible. Replacing your gas hot water system with a heat pump will save you thousands over the course of its lifespan. Changing your gas heating and gas cooktop/oven to their electric counterparts will also see a huge shift to your wallet. Pairing electrification with your solar system plus battery storage will allow you to take control of all the energy usage in your home. You can kiss goodbye to the gas supply charge and say hello to a healthier home. Studies have shown that cooking with gas is detrimental to your health. 

4. Swap the old for the new and improved

Free swap programs for lightbulbs and showerheads have been around for years. If you took advantage of them at some point, chances are your lighting is now due for an upgrade. Swap out all of your old, inefficient lighting for new and improved LED lights. The change to your electricity usage can be profound over the course of a year. But the swaps don’t end there. Take stock of the powerboards, appliances, devices, chargers, and other small details around your home. Upgrading your home to smart devices might be a small investment now but the benefits will see you saving money for years to come. 

Smart lighting system

Imagine being able to fully control your interior climate, all lights, your washing machine and clothes dryer, and just about anything with smart-device capability! You could time the washing of your clothes from the convenience of your smartphone during hours that maximise your solar generation.

5. Wave goodbye to the petrol bowser

Electric vehicles (EVs) are definitely a greater investment, but worth considering if you are looking for a new car. Installing your very own home EV charger will save you time and money. Imagine returning home from work, plugging in your EV, and returning to it in the morning either fully charged or with enough juice for your daily travels. Pairing your EV with your solar and battery storage system will see much, if not all, of your mileage covered by free energy from the sun.

Fronius Wattpilot EV Charger
Fronius Wattpilot EV Charger

Check out the following recommended EV charger manufacturers and follow the links to get FREE quotes:

Doing it right from the start

Retrofitting your home is a fantastic way to achieve energy independence, but there is a better way! Designing and constructing your home sustainably will see you saving from the day you move in. You will also see a greater home energy rating. Here are some ideas to consider when designing your new home:

  • Passive heating and cooling: The best way to save on air conditioning is to mostly eliminate the need for it! The way you design your home can achieve consistent 20-25°C interior temperatures throughout the year. Making your home comfortable can be achieved through insulation (roof, walls, flooring, etc), the orientation of your home, material choices, and ventilation. 
  • Wiring your home for the future: It is far cheaper to run conduit throughout your home when it is being built than to retrofit it. If you don’t have the funds to immediately install solar, battery storage, and/or an EV charger then consider wiring your home for future connection. 
  • Light it up: The careful placement of windows and doors will reduce your reliance on artificially lighting spaces. Windows can often create challenges themselves, with too many reducing your ability to passively heat or cool. However, selecting windows and doors with double glazing can double as insulation and soundproofing. Natural light is not only healthier for your home but also free!
  • Sustainable building materials: While some materials you choose to construct your home with may not save you money in the long run, they will have a positive impact on the environment. The construction industry is responsible for 37% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and anything we can do to reduce our impact is a positive step forward. Have a chat with your builder about sustainable alternatives. You might find that some are even cheaper!

Reduce your reliance on the grid

Ultimately, the aim is to move away from grid reliance. We spend a good portion of our lives in our homes, and even more so if we work from home. Creating a comfortable space is paramount, and saving money in the process is a huge bonus! 

We encourage all Australians, who are able, to install solar on their homes. Generating your own electricity will save you thousands on your bills and decrease your own environmental impact.

Energy Matters is ready to help you with this important step. We provide Australian homeowners and businesses with FREE quotes for solar systems, battery storage, and much more. This is a no-obligation service, so it will cost you nothing if you don’t wish to go ahead! We will connect you with local installers who will run through your needs, electricity usage, and future plans to design a system to best suit your home. Click the link below to begin this free process today!

Get a quick solar quote, or contact us today toll free on 1800 EMATTERS or email our friendly team for expert, obligation-free advice!

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