Making Money On The Road

GREY Nomads on their adventure of a lifetime are being urged to fund their travels … by turning their idle homes into moneymaking power stations.

According to Sunshine Coastbased Auzion Solar Power in Queensland, harnessing the suns rays is the perfect short and longterm investment for grey nomads and others who leave their homes and embark on extended trips.

Auzion chief executive Mark Leckenby said solar power was at its most cost efficient when fed back into the grid.

“For most households this means trying to reduce the energy used throughout daylight hours but when you are away on holidays, your household uses very little or no electricity,” he explained.

“This means that all the energy you dont use while your home is unoccupied will be fed back into the grid and bought off you by your energy supplier at a premium rate.”

Mr Leckenby said that with the cost of energy set to continue increasing, installing solar made sense for everyone.

“For travellers, the investment is even more of a nobrainer because the additional power generated means they will pay their systems off much sooner.

“For those of us lucky enough to live in sunny Queensland, we get paid a minimum of 44 cents a kW, one of the highest government feed in tariff rates in Australia.”

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, grey nomads make up one of the fastest growing groups in domestic tourism and predicts that by 2050 their number will more than double.

Typical grey nomads set off in their caravans, motorhomes, campervans and converted buses on average three times a year for 14.5 weeks at a time, leaving their home vacant for the majority of the year.

“This means, depending on the size of your system, you could make back your investment much faster and look forward to greatly reduced power bills, or even a cheque instead,” Mr Leckenby said.

Selfconfessed part time grey nomads and Auzion customers Paul and Pauline from the Sunshine Coast installed a 3kW Auzion PV solar system on their home in July and are already experiencing the benefits.

“We travel for three to four months of the year and saw solar as a good return on investment, far better than the return we would receive from having our money in the bank,” Paul said.

“My wife and I recently returned from a fourweek holiday and while we were away, our system fed 344kW back to the grid and at 50c a kW with Origin, we have already made $172 in just one month.”

The retired pensioners said it was nice having the assurance that they would not be faced with another power bill.

Mark said many grey nomads lived off superannuation, savings and government benefits and therefore had to “stretch their money” further as they continued to draw from their savings.

“Solar is a great way for these priceconscious nomads to make some extra cash and, depending on their system size, they could earn well over $1000 a year which is a whole lot of income for doing virtually nothing,” Mr Leckenby said.