Big Business Turns To Solar

Big Business Turns To Solar

Government Lags Behind, As Usual

Last week Telstra signed a deal to purchase the entire output of a new 70MW solar farm to be built in Queensland.

Rapidly rising power costs have prompted the move as part of Telstra’s long term energy management strategy.

Telstra consumes about 1% of the nation’s electricity so rising power costs have negatively affected the company’s bottom line.

The unusual aspect of this deal is that Telstra has signed a contract with the developer directly, rather than through an energy retailer.

Telstra has plans for more solar farms as the cost of renewable energy falls, while power prices continue to rise.


Korean owned Sun Metals has also announced a new 125MW solar farm for its Townsville zinc refinery. The facility is expected to provide about 30% of the refinery’s power requirements.

Both these projects are expected to be completed and delivering power in 2018.

That’s one of the great benefits of solar power. An installation can be up and running quickly, without long design and construction phases.

Monash University has also called for tenders for a 40MW wind or solar farm to supply their on-going power needs.

Both the Telstra and Monash projects can be built in locations that are remote from their own facilities. The power output from the farms can be sold to other users, and that income used to offset the power costs of Telstra and Monash.


Australia’s biggest horticultural company Costa Group has identified power costs and reliability of supply as major risks to their business.

They are currently reviewing plans for a solar farm and battery storage facility at their South Australian mushroom farm.

We know that Australians love solar power.

Now Big Business has done the sums and they are voting with their wallets.

We expect to see more businesses follow Telstra’s example and probably groups of smaller businesses forming consortiums to build their own power plants to manage their energy costs.

The federal government is out of step with the Australian community, with its’ continuing support for the coal industry, and constant attacks on renewables.

More and more, consumers and business are turning to wind and solar energy and that trend will only continue.

Solar power is here to stay and will only get bigger, better and stronger, whether the government supports it or not.


For a free on-site inspection and a detailed proposal by the guy who will actually install your solar panels phone Mance Electrical on 6331 4711

Or send us a message using the form below

Generator Inlets For Home Back Up Power

Generator Inlets For Home Back Up Power

A Generator Inlet Makes Home Back Up Power Easy And Safe

Connecting a portable generator to power your home during a blackout requires some preparation.

You could just throw a cord in through a window and run more cords from a power board to your fridge and freezer and a couple of other appliances.

A far better way is to install a generator inlet.  A proper generator inlet enables you to plug your generator directly into some of the power circuits of your home.

This means you can run your appliances from their usual power points and can also allow you to run some lights, depending on how it is set up.

The size of your generator will determine how many appliances you can run. A small generator will probably only be able to run your fridge and a few lights.

You would require quite a large generator to completely replace mains power.  Appliances such as heaters, hot water cylinders and ovens draw large amounts of power.

A generator of around 6KVA size can be sourced for less than $2,000 and will have technology that provides clean filtered power suitable for running computers and other electronic equipment.

There are a few things to consider when choosing the location of your generator.  The generator inlet will need to be close to the switchboard, however you have some flexibility with the exact location of the generator, depending on the length of the power cord.

The generator needs to be in an area where exhaust fumes will not blow back into your home.  It should be located out of the weather if possible and you should also consider the security of the unit.

A large stationary generator will not be easy to move, but could be an attractive target if power cuts become common.

Click here for more information on generators.

Your investment for the installation of a generator inlet installation with an approved change-over switch would start at around $700.

Since everyone’s home is different it’s best to get a free fixed price quotation. The cost will vary depending on the configuration of your switchboard and some other variables.


For a free quote on installation of your Generator Inlet, in Launceston and surrounding areas, phone Mance Electrical on 6331 4711

Or send us a message using the form below

Trying To Save Money Can Cost You  A Fortune

Trying To Save Money Can Cost You A Fortune

Should you buy your own gear for an electrical job or let the electrician supply it?

Some people are very focused on minimising the costs of any home improvement project they undertake.

For electrical work, this shows up as the client purchasing and supplying their own materials.  They believe that they can save money by buying direct rather than having the electrician supply the gear.

Sometimes the client can save money this way, especially with they type of appliances typically available at major hardware chains.

The buying power of the major hardware chains can result in some very cheap prices, although the brands are usually not the same as those the contractor would source through a wholesaler.

Most contractors wouldn’t have a problem with their clients supplying some of the gear, provided it is properly approved and certified for use in Australia.

Although the client is trying to save money by supplying their own gear, in many cases the client ends up paying much more than if they just let the electrician take care of things.

For example, most electrical wholesalers have a “Cash Sale” price for walk-in customers that is considerably higher than the trade price they charge to electricians for the same item.

Just because a client purchases something from a wholesaler doesn’t mean they are getting a bargain.

We have seen plenty of examples where the client would have got their gear cheaper if we purchased it, added a margin and GST and sold it to the client, compared to the price the client had paid direct.

A client often can save some money by providing their own materials, but in doing so they also take on the risk associated with those materials.

If the contractor supplies gear that turns out to be faulty they will be able to supply replacement items under warranty and probably cover the labour cost of replacing the faulty parts as well.

If the client supplies an item that is faulty then the client has to deal with getting a replacement under warranty and also bear the full cost of labour to rectify the problem.

One of our clients arranged for us to install a new electronic timer they had purchased.  The timer turned out to be faulty and the client lived 45 minutes drive from our workshop.  If we had supplied the timer we would have borne the cost of rectifying the situation.

The client saved $15 on the cost of the timer, and got a free replacement, but paid an extra $200 for having it installed twice.

Another client purchased their own sensor light and saved a tiny amount of money and then wore the cost of an after hours callout when the light failed soon after being installed.

Yet another client purchased their own air-transfer fan and a separate speed controller, but the two items weren’t compatible.  The motor burnt out and the client ended up paying twice for both the fan and the installation.

So, yes sometimes it is possible to save money on buying your own materials, but you should probably get a quote from your contractor to make sure you aren’t unintentionally dudding yourself.

When you do provide your own gear you should be aware of the potential risk you assume and compare that risk to the small savings you are making on the purchase costs.

If you focus on cost alone, your job may actually cost you much more than you need to pay.

It’s better to focus on value and ensure you get a great result at a fair price and without taking on the hassles usually taken care of by the electrical contractor.

Know the cost before you start.  For a free quote on all electrical work phone Mance Electrical on 6331 4711

Or send us a message using the form below

The Dangers In Old Fluorescent Light Fittings

The Dangers In Old Fluorescent Light Fittings

There Could Be A Nasty Surprise Lurking In Your Old Fluorescent Lights.

Fluorescent light fittings manufactured before 1980 may contain a dangerous chemical called Polychlorinated Biphenyls or PCBs.

PCBs are known to cause a number of serious health effects including cancer and are now banned in many countries, including Australia.

The PCBs are sealed inside the capacitors and ballasts inside many older fluorescent light fittings. Over time these components can deteriorate allowing the PCBs to leak out.

If you see a dark oily substance leaking from an old light fitting don’t touch it – call an electrician as soon as possible to have the light fitting removed.

There are regulations governing the disposal of PCBs. Due to these regulations and the toxic nature of the chemicals you should not attempt to deal with this problem yourself.

Not sure if your old fluorescents contain PCBs? Give us a call and we’ll check your lights and dispose of any problem fittings if required.

For All Lighting Repairs In Launceston And Surrounding Areas, Phone Mance Electrical on 6331 4711

Or send us a message using the form below

The $800 Power Point Problem Solved

The $800 Power Point Problem Solved

Add New Power Points Without Expensive Upgrades

The Problem
In our previous blog post we looked at the cascading series of events and spiralling costs that could result from a simple installation of new power points.

Click here to see our previous article “The $800 Power Point”

When changes are made to certain parts of your electrical installation it can trigger the requirement to upgrade other parts of the installation to comply with current regulations.

This can be a costly exercise for what started out as just a very minor job.

Regulations require that all new power points, all additions to existing circuits and all relocations of existing power points must be protected by an earth-leakage circuit breaker.

Jargon Explained
An earth-leakage circuit breaker, a safety switch and an RCD (residual current device) are all names for the same thing. They are devices that detect an imbalance in the electrical current flowing through a circuit and switch off the power within 30 milliseconds to hopefully prevent injury or death from electric shock.

The regulations around RCDs are designed to improve electrical safety and are a good idea, but there are additional costs involved.

Even if your switchboard is not suitable for the addition of a safety switch there is a way to comply with the regulations, improve electrical safety and keep the costs down.

Problem Solved
The solution is to install an earth-leakage protected power point.

This power point has a built-in safety switch which avoids the requirement to add a safety switch to the switchboard.

If the earth-leakage protected power is installed as the first power outlet on a circuit it also protects any other outlets downstream on the same circuit.

The RCD protected outlet alone will cost a little over $200, but installation is the same as a normal power point.
Despite the higher cost it is still far cheaper than replacing your switchboard and mains cables.


For free advice and quotes on all power point installations phone Mance Electrical on 6331 4711

Or send us a message using the form below

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