A self-powered sanctuary at home

Since having a solar battery installed, Darren and Louise have been able to reduce their energy bills and reliance on the grid.

Darren and Louise Peters built their perfect family home from the ground up. Now they power it – and their active lifestyle – with the help of their solar battery and our Virtual Power Plant (VPP).

Darren and Louise Peters know good design when they see it.

They live at home with their three daughters along with their dog in a stunning Adelaide home that Louise designed herself. She made sure there was plenty of space for everybody to do their thing – from getting through school assignments and working from home to whipping up fun family dinners and enjoying movie nights together.

And that’s just inside. Outside, there’s plenty of space for this sport-mad family to get their blood pumping. There’s a swimming pool for long summer dips or quick cool-offs, a spacious driveway that serves as a de facto netball court and a collection of riding equipment – from mountain bikes to a motorbike and Vespa scooter. 

The Peters family know all about the benefits of good design – with their family home a prime example. So when Darren and Louise heard about AGL’s Virtual Power Plant (VPP) two years ago, and its ability to help stabilise the electricity grid (benefitting their community), they jumped at the chance to join.

“Having a solar battery and being part of the VPP has social, environmental and financial benefits,” Darren says.

“You could save considerable amounts of money – when you’re running a busy house with lots of people in it, you don’t need to stress about a light being left on here or there. And you can see that you’re doing the right thing by the environment.”

All about the VPP

When our VPP was launched, it was the largest retailer-led VPP to be announced in the world. It creates a network via cloud technology that connects solar batteries in homes around the state. These solar batteries store unused power captured by solar panels.

The VPP can draw upon excess power stored in those solar batteries and send it to the electricity grid as needed. 

“The VPP enables AGL to tap into our solar battery and send it to the grid so it can be used by others,” Darren says. “It enables others to take that power when they need it, so they don’t have to rely as heavily on fossil fuels.”

Darren looking at app and writing notes on notepad

A seamless experience

With all the responsibilities of parenting three very sporty children – from fueling their bodies and making time for schoolwork to getting them to matches on time – the last thing Darren and Louise need is to worry about their solar power being drained when they’re not paying attention. But that’s not an issue.

“We were concerned we would have power taken from us when we could least afford it, but that’s not how it works at all,” Louise says. “We can power our home as we want – we only know power is taken from us because we look at the app.”

“It’s just so seamless,” Darren says. “It just exists there in the background, and we get a really nice financial incentive when power is taken from you. We don’t have to do much to really benefit from it.”

We’ll manage your solar battery remotely based on the best way we think we can help take pressure off the grid. You’ll always have enough energy for your home either from your solar panels, your battery or the grid, and you’ll be helping to support the energy needs of your community when you can. 

A dip in their electricity bills

Darren says his family has already saved “a considerable amount of money” since installing their solar battery.

After they’ve worked up a sweat, the Peters love hopping in their outdoor pool. It’s another feature of their beautiful home that’s powered affordably by their solar battery.

“We absolutely see a difference in our energy bill with the battery,” Darren says.

“Typically a home like ours with a pool would take thousands of dollars a year to power. But we receive a credit of about $500 each year instead.”

Like many others who have invested in a solar battery, the Peters see a credit on their bill that rolls over each month. That credit is the outcome of using solar power captured by their solar panels – so they usually don’t have to spend money on grid power – and sharing their excess stored power to the grid for community use.

Spreading the solar message

Of course, when you have a home as beautiful as the Peters, it’s only natural to host friends and family whenever you get the chance. Darren says it often doesn’t take long for the conversation to shift toward the family’s Tesla Powerwall solar battery.

“We have people over from time to time, and they’re all keen to have a look at the solar battery in our garage and learn more about it,” he says. 

Darren says he loves the social aspects of being part of the VPP.

 “You’re enabling others to use solar when they need it, so we collectively can rely less on fossil fuels,” he says. 

“It makes us feel really good doing our bit for the community, knowing that the power is there for us, and it’s also there for the use of the community as well.”

Setting goals for their daughters' future

And it’s not just visitors who are learning about the power of solar. Louise says she and Darren make sure to share the power of solar with their kids, too.

“As a family of five, we’re quite conscious of how we use our power, and that’s something we try to teach the children by leading by example. 

“They’re aware of the investment we’ve made in both the solar system and the solar battery, and they know it’s important to us. It’s good for them to make more sensible decisions based on using a resource that’s already come into the building.”

Darren and Louise have worked hard to create an environment for their three girls to live and thrive in today. And they want to do what they can to ensure their children can live comfortably in the future.

 “We need to do our bit for the environment our girls are going to grow up in, so they’ve got a better future,” Darren says.

Darren, VPP customer, sitting on armchair with mobile in living room

It just makes sense

Darren says he and his family have been AGL customers for more than a decade. They leaned on our reputation and reliability when deciding to buy a solar battery. Choosing the solar battery and installing it was quick and easy – just a simple phone call and connect to their existing solar panel system. And that trust in our customer service continues to pay off.

“Whenever we had a question, AGL was there to answer that question and support us through the whole process,” he says. “We’re really happy with our decision.”

And it’s not just our people that have helped the Peters get the most from their solar battery. The AGL app shows just how much power is stored in your solar battery, your home’s energy usage, how much you’ve received from selling power to the grid and more.

“It just makes you generally feel better about your power consumption,” Darren says. “The savings are tangible, and you know you’re not relying on fossil fuels.”

Help build a battery powered future

Want to be part of our growing network of home solar battery owners? 

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