At Richmond Vale Academy we run Another Kind of school where adults join to become inspired, gain knowledge which they will turn into action.
Through The St. Vincent Climate Compliance Conference Program we are doing our part to change the world by walking the talk. Burning of fossil fuels are polluting our atmosphere and creating Global Warming and we have taken concrete action to change our energy consumption to renewable energy with solar panels. A few months ago we set up 70 solar panels and a battery bank.
Our monthly energy consumption is a bit over 2000 KwH, which makes the monthly electricity bill around US $1000. The payback time on the investment of $56.000 will be 5 years, which is less than our current electricity bill. After months of planning and finding out how, we finally set up the batteries and panels during the Building Week in July. It was very exciting because the time had come to turn off the fossil fuels and turn on solar.
During the common meeting we planned the Building Weekend and decided that everyone should be part of setting up the panels. By producing our own energy we have become aware of the use of electricity that it is not just there coming from somewhere. The electricity now comes from our own roof and you start to become aware and concerned about things you never thought about before; like how fast the clouds move away from the sun and the exact use of energy of each appliance like if they required a big start up power like pumps and other motors.
For instance were you aware that a simple water kettle uses as much as 600 LED or 200 Energy Saving light bulbs? We are aware of that now.
We have known for years that by producing our own food we become wiser and learn what it takes, it is the same when we become energy producers.
We had some good discussions at the common meeting because boiling water over the gas stove takes longer time than with the water kettle. We realized yet another step of changes we needed to make in our energy consumption, the way we eat and produce food to take better care of our beautiful planet.