One of the oldest buildings in Orange has been given a big leap into the future with the installation of a Tesla power storage battery.
East Orange post office’s original 1888 building will now boast some seriously modern technology.
Post office owner Conrad Silvester said that when combined with the solar panel system on the building’s roof he will make considerable savings on his power bill and usage.
“At the moment we feed into the grid,” he said.
“We get six cents per kilowatt. Anything we buy is at business rates.”
He said in peak times that could cost 40-45 cents a kilowatt.
Mr Silvester said the $14,000 battery was ideal for a small to medium-size business as he could make power savings and could claim the full amount as a tax write-off.
Installer Paul Hutt said Mr Silvester’s set-up would give him considerable savings.
“He will get an 80-90 per cent reduction in his bill,” he said.
However, he said the storage battery did not make economic sense for households.
Mr Hutt, an electrical contractor with Sydney-based firm Brightside Solar, said it would take about 10 years use at current rates for households to recoup the purchase and installation cost of the battery.
And that is also the life expectancy of the battery which would mean just as people started to make a profit that would have to buy a new battery.
However, he said that if electricity prices continued to increase it would make storage batteries more viable for households.
Mr Silvester said he was looking to embrace the new technology further by buying an electric car.
“I’m in a queue for a Tesla Model 3 in 2019,” he said.
That car represents Tesla’s biggest push to get into the affordable car market after its first models were priced at the high end of the market.
Mr Silvester will be able to charge it at his home.
But if he needs a top-up he only needs to run around the corner to the the Simply Nile cafe in Nile Street which is another part of East Orange plugging into the future.
Simply Nile Cafe owner Frank Mohun has installed a charger for Tesla cars.
He said the unit, the first in Orange, would complement a supercharger station set up in Bathurst to provide power for Teslas in the Central West.
A spokeswoman for Tesla said they did not plan to install a supercharger in Orange as it was well within an electric car’s range from Bathurst.
However, she said more small ‘destination’ chargers like the one installed by Mr Mohun were likely.
“There are currently 19 superchargers and more than 470 destination chargers Australia wide,” she said.