Decorating the house
Most of our electricity use is during daylight hours. Just the fridge/freezer and a couple of (energy saving) lightbulbs that run in the evening/night. In our case, it’s not worth the investment for a very pricey battery system to store energy for nighttime use.
Our solar hot water system is 27 years old and is still working a treat. On the occasional cloudy day in winter we might have to turn on the booster, 12 days a year maybe? For the rest of the time the showers, washing machine, taps and dishwasher all run on solar heated water. Cutting 30% of your electricity bill easily, especially handy for those not being at home much, because you can still use it in the evening.
After the rainwater tank, veggie garden and the solar hot water, this is just another step to being more self-sufficient. We’ll still have electricity bills for nighttime usage, still have water bills from the kitchen tap and trips to the farmers markets. But all a whole lot cheaper. In three to four years should we have regained our investment, while the panels are guaranteed for 25 years. With electricity and water prices only going up, this will enable us to put the saved money towards the next projects on the list (dam, fences,…). And so we keep on going creating and maintaining our own little paradise: Amongst Gum Trees.