3 Months On….

1 Comment

It is now a little over 3 months since the details of the carbon tax were released and now the proposed legislation has been passed in the House of Representatives.  It is almost certain to to passed by the Senate and will become law in July 2012.

I am very pleased to see that something is finally being done to ensure that the biggest emitters of carbon in this country will be held responsible for their emissions.  This may mean that some of us end up paying more for some goods and services.

If you want to offset any perceived or actual increase in costs, now is the time to change your habits and consume less goods and services.  If you consume less you will pay less – it is that simple.

Things that you might consider include:

Drive less – plan your trips and combine errands.

Buy local products where possible – save on transport costs.

Reduce electricity use – dry clothes on the clothesline, do not leave appliances on standby when not in use.

Then there are bigger changes that will make a difference in the long-term.  A perfect example of this is the solar PV panels which we had installed nearly 12 months ago.  We are a household of 2 adults and we chose to install 20 panels on our north-facing roof.  Since they were connected to the grid we have had 3 credit statements from our electricity provider.  As well as paying $0.00 for our electricity we are on track to receive about $1,000 credit in the first 12 months of exporting electricity to the grid.

This has required us to make some changes to our habits.  We try to minimise our use of electricity during daylight hours so that we maximise the amount of power which goes to the grid at the feed-in tariff versus what we use at night which is billed at the standard tariff.  I have never made a habit of washing at night but that has now become my routine because it saves us more money.

Change of habit is what is at the heart of the carbon tax.  As a nation and as individuals we have to stand up and be prepared to make some changes.  Those politicians, individuals and businesses who refuse to change and are determined to selfishly continue on the same course are giving no consideration to the future generations.  I hope they will show some generosity of spirit before it is too late.

Meanwhile, I will continue to do everything I can to reduce my personal carbon footprint and encourage others to do the same.  Time to hang the washing out.  There is enough moonlight not to turn on the outdoor light.

What changes have you/will you make?  Are you interested in reducing your carbon footprint or just offsetting any extra cost?

A Sunny Day

Leave a comment

After a summer of rain and only a handful of sunny days it is a delight to have a real autumn day, even though autumn is nearly over.  Winter is only 5 days away.

These photos were taken this morning, I hope you like them.

2011-05-25 01

2011-05-25 02

2011-05-25 03These zygocacti, in various stages of flowering, came from my mother’s place over 6 months ago.  I have to confess that they had been left sitting on the concrete at the back of the house.  They had absolutely no care, got drowned in flooding rains but have still managed to put on a great show.  The Duke hung them up on the verandah last weekend along with a couple of other hanging baskets.  I am looking forward to adding to the collection in the future.

Those of you who are particularly observant may have noticed that the photo on the header of the blog has been changed.  The Duke has been pestering me to put a current photo on the blog header, so while I was outdoors with the camera I also took an updated photo of the house showing the solar panels and also the solar hot water system which have both been added since we have been living here.

The weather today will definitely allow for some generation from the solar panels.  The wet and overcast weather during the summer has really limited our capacity for generating power but hopefully the winter months will be mostly fine and sunny.  Our electricity reading is due within the next few days so I expect that we will get our bill in the next few days.  I really must stop referring to it as a bill as I am confident that we will once again have a credit balance.  We will then have records for 6 months of our electricity usage and generation from the solar panels so will have a pretty good idea of how much credit we can reasonably expect.  I am then going to request that the credit be forwarded to us as the funds are better being put to good use here than earning interest for Origin Energy.