Posted on 28 October, 2020

Our last electricity bill was 27¢.  This is how…

Here at Tropical Energy Solutions we don’t just provide energy management and cost savings for our customers, we live it.

Last year we out grew our office and moved to new digs at 1 Carse St, Hyde Park.  The new site was a run down office and workshop, which we fitted out to suit our needs.  This included several energy efficiency initiatives like inverter split system air-conditioners, LED lighting and efficient electrical devices.

The graph below shows our electricity bills since we opened an account with Ergon Energy:


As you can see, the first bill was a bit of a shock.  We were able to take Ergon to task on this because we knew it was wrong.  It included a “meter reading” for a tariff we didn’t operate and a meter that was disconnected.  Ergon fixed this up for us and sent an adjusted bill, putting us in credit.

The next bill was another shocker and once again we were able to show that it was incorrect.  We received another adjustment, with quite a considerable refund.

Once everything was sorted out, we ended up with a refund of around $800.  More importantly though, the metering issues were rectified and Ergon started charging us correctly.

The next three months saw us operating our business as usual and purchasing electricity from the grid as needed (note the December dip.  This is due to the Christmas shutdown where we turn everything off, even the hot water system).

In January this year we finally got our solar power system operating (it’s always the way, everyone else comes first!), and our bill dropped dramatically.

Then the pandemic hit and the world was turned upside down.  We, like every other small business in Queensland, received the state government’s $500 Utility Bill Relief Assistance credit. This put us in credit with Ergon.

Since then we have been steadily creeping up towards a $0 balance.  Sometimes we have a cost and sometimes we get a credit.  Our last bill was 27¢, and we were pretty happy with that.

If we continue at this rate, we won’t be actually paying an electricity bill for the next two years.  We are pretty happy about that as well.

This wasn’t achieved just with solar and a government hand out though.  It was a mix of our energy literacy (which enabled us to dispute meter reads), our office fit out using efficient lighting, air-conditioning and appliances, and our energy efficient behaviour combined.

Without energy literacy and energy efficient devices/behaviour the solar system would have been taking $250 off of a $1,000 bill, not a $270 bill.  As for the $500 government assistance, we do appreciate this, and we have been able to put it to great effect during these uncertain times.  From the long list of fears that business’ have operating through a pandemic and economic nightmare, electricity costs are one thing that we don’t have to worry about for the next two years.


It’s pretty much the same as usual – solar is part of the solution, not the whole solution!