Andrew Chapman, of Pomona business Andrew's A Grade Mechanical, is thrilled with the success of his switch to solar electricity.
Andrew Chapman, of Pomona business Andrew's A Grade Mechanical, is thrilled with the success of his switch to solar electricity.

Mechanic’s bright idea powers workshop for free

Oil-changing mechanics may not first spring to mind as your typical poster child for a Noosa sustainable energy success story.

But Andrew Chapman of Pomona business Andrew’s A Grade Mechanical is playing his part in helping achieve an emissions neutral Noosa.

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Mr Chapman has been thrilled with the results since installing a 7.7 kWh solar power system with battery back up and inverter with 26 panels on the roof of the office and workshop he’s run for 18 years.

He knows black outs can’t phase him, power surges are a thing of the past and even if Energex cuts power to do work on the main lines, he is still in business thanks to all that harnessed power from the sun.

“The actual office and everything runs off the battery and so I’ve got an uninterrupted supply,” Mr Chapman said.

“No matter what happens you never look at solar as a short term it’s always a long-term plan.

“I’m not talking years upon years, it’s only four years and this system is going to be paid off and it’s all go from there.

“You’re actually drawing energy from an outside source that you don’t actually have to pay for.

“It’s a consistent thing, and so no matter what, even on cloudy days it’s such an efficient thing … I’m blown away how well this system works, it’s good stuff.”

Solar is powering more and more Noosa businesses towards savings.
Solar is powering more and more Noosa businesses towards savings.

According to sustainable energy action group Zero Emissions Noosa, Mr Chapman is a prime example of how thinking greener is paying off for local businesses.

He first had solar installed at his home, and saw the benefits and went a step further by making his business energy secure with a system that was manufactured at Coolum Beach.

He said choosing a local proven company was his best tip for top returns as his Enopte Power Station (battery) powered security cameras, fridges and other electronics.

Mr Chapman’s energy costs before hooking up to the sun in May last year were $900 per quarter.

Now his system totally offsets the cost.

He is paying solar equipment lease repayments of $810 per quarter but for only five years with an estimated payback period of 4.5 years.

His greenhouse gas emission reductions work out to 8.5 tonnes of CO2 every year.

Zero Emissions Noosa is now keen for local businesses to sign up for free one-on-one assistance from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland ecoBiz service to reduce their energy costs.

The program provides Queensland businesses with five or more employees access to tools and events including one-on-one coaching, a site survey, online benchmarking, workshops and webinars.

“Zero Emission Noosa welcomes all opportunities for our local businesses to reduce energy costs and therefore emissions,” business leader Anne Kennedy said.

Ms Kennedy said by engaging in the free services, businesses had the opportunity to save on power, water and waste.

“As announced in the 2018-19 state budget, the Queensland Government will provide $3.94 million additional investment over four years in the ecoBiz program.”


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