Contact us today to visit the solar energy house and get extensive hints, tips and notes for free as part of the tour...
Professional Video About Simon Cope's House In Mt Roskill:
'Bringing Photovoltaics Back To Earth': Part 1 to 3
Solar Energy House C/- Simon & Kristina Cope | 19 Manapau Street, Meadowbank, Auckland 1072 | New Zealand | Contact us now to arrange your tour
The Day Simon Started Selling Power Back To The NZ National Grid! 1997
5 years on from first disconnecting himself from the NZ National Power Grid, Simon Cope works out that their is NO legisation to STOP him from selling his excess electricity BACK to the power company - so he gives them 6 weeks notice he is reconnecting AND will be spinning his meter backwards...
Independence Day: March 1994!
Simon Cope declares independence and disconnects himself from the Auckland national power grid - and runs his house in Mt Roskill, Auckland for 5 years - learning and teaching others about his experiences...
1994 was an exciting year! I had taken up the challenge to power my house by solar PV modules, which meant I had to go thru the house and audit all the appliances I currently owned and replace the energy INefficient ones with energy EFFICIENT ones.
For some items my business associates like Bruce Page of Independent Power was putting the finishing touches to researching and finding the most energy efficient brands of Fridges and Freezers in the world that were suitable to power using electricity: Gram & Elcold brands out of Denmark... and he then subsequently became the importer and service agent for these fantastic appliances... Meanwhile I needed a fridge and freezer for my home as I found my standard F&P Fridge-Freezer unit would SUCK my battery bank empty within one week - regardless of how sunny the weather was! (This means 12 x 48-watt PV solar modules @ a cost of $9,600 dollars couldn't supply enough electricity to run JUST the fridge-freezer unit!) So I purchased LPG fridge and freezer units.... All I had done was say goodbye Mercury Energy... hello Rockgas! and the $35 a month I was previously spending on electricity I was now spending that on LPG gas... aka another learning curve.... it was actually the freezer unit that was the problem - insufficient insulation... the LPG gas fridge was excellent... (I just hated spending the money every month on gas when it was better to spend it on gas for heating water (boosting hotwater or heating food in the oven / kettle / BBQ etc).
So, within 6 months I had purchased one of the Gram fridges and one of the Elcold chest freezers. Now the real interesting part. The capacity of the Gram fridge was the SAME as the F&P fridge, yet it used 1/5th of the electricity - which meant out of those original 12 modules I now ONLY needed 3 of them to power the fridge 24x7x365 :-) I then used another 3 of them to run my Elcold chest freezer.... yes you guessed it, over time I needed to start adding more PV modules to the roof... not to mention the added excitment that I was now going out with my wife to be - Kristina Cope: architect - and with another person in the house means more power demand... read about our house from NZ Herald article 'Powerfully UnPlugged' by clicking here. Want to visit Simon & Kristina's latest (final) solar house in Meadowbank, Auckland? Click here to learn how now. We look forward to meeting you personally.
I thought 1994 was exciting! Stressful is probably a better word - I think disconnecting yourself from the national power grid is up there with changing your job, marriage, death, divorce and moving house! I have now done all of these except one and I rate dying as the one I am looking forward to doing - as I am going to heaven - but are happy to wait til I am old... anyway, this has nothing to do with solar power - except meeting the maker of that power source in the sky!
Anyway! Having worked out through the research by Alice Leney of Greenpeace, that there was no actual legisation to say I couldn't grid intertie my solar system here in New Zealand, I informed Mercury Energy that I was reconnecting my house back up to the national grid and whenever I was generating more power than I could personally use... my power meter started to spin backward.... NOW THAT IS WHAT I CALL EXCITING! (well nearly as exciting as marrying Kristina).
In this video the CEO of Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority (EECA) - a NZ Government Body visits Simon's house in Mt Roskill to check it out himself. As he states "Simon has made history today".
From here we reduced the size of the battery bank and experimented with lots of different brands of appliances - measuring their power consumption compared to others of similar specifications etc.
Meanwhile we had our 2nd child and our online business www.ProductsFromNewZealand.com continued to grow... we needed to start planning our next home.
One of the biggest benefits of solar is it's modular abilities and being able to simply unbolt and move to your next premises....
If our case we had a number of improvements we wanted to make in the design of the house, the type of PV solar modules (we had started to get incredible results from the field from people using amphorous technology - (PV modules that used 1/300th of the silicon which makes them cheaper to produce, but also had 3 layers to them picking up 3 different overlapping light spectrums enabling them to start working earlier in the morning and keep producing electricity later in the day, AND didn't degrade in performance in the midday sun!) So we sold all of our equipment at the same price as we purchased at and moved...
Following is a professional video taken by Barry Hillis of our house in Mt Roskill that he (still) uses to educate and show what can be done in a suburban house in Auckland. Barry also has an extensive and sophificated system like ours - the difference is he gets less sunshine hours due to living in Invercargill.
This video has been distributed extensively around the world.
It will give you more details on our solar powered house in Mt Roskill.
Are You Thinking About Doing A Renovation On Your House? (Or Building From Scratch?)
If so, don't you think it would be worth taking the time to talk to a person who is practically minded, did a 9000+ hour apprenticeship as an electrician designing, installing & maintaining solar electric modules, while in his private life was personally involved in the design & building of 2 houses he then lived in?
Who worked closely with his father and helped maintain (repairs & maintenance) 50+ other family owned rental properties over the last 20+ years, where the dwellings are 40+ years old... ?
Where his wife - Kristina Austin - grew up under the influence of her loving father John Austin - creator of JASMAX - New Zealands' largest architectural practice... and became a registered architect herself and then a qualified residential interior designer and has considerable input into the design of the 2nd house solar house they both live in Meadowbank Auckland...?
Where you can get upfront honest information from them both that comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee - or your money back?
If so, we encourage you to click here to either book yourself in for a tour of Kristina and Simon Cope's solar energy house in Meadowbank, Auckland today, or click here to contact them for one of them to consult on your next project. Otherwise you might want to click here to read about the individual companies that helped make the dream into reality. Either way, we wish you all the best for the future. Keep in touch!
Kristina and Simon Cope
Interior Designer and Renewable Energy Consultant
So What Happens When The Power Company Works Out You Are Spinning Their Meter Backwards?
(And they start getting paranoid :-)
'The Battle Of The Bulb': Simon Cope on Holmes Tonight - TVNZ