Country Home Rescue with Shaynna Blaze
is a six part lifestyle series that follows award winning interior designer, TV presenter and author Shaynna Blaze, together with her adult children Carly and Jess, as they embark on the restoration of a dilapidated historical home in regional Victoria.
We were thrilled to work with them on the show to design and install a solar and battery system for the 1890’s six bedroom house in Kyneton. Boasting a unique backstory, Shaynna originally bought the house to film a movie about domestic violence with Carly and Jess.
“The idea was to sell the house straight after filming was completed, however, my life took a different turn,” said Shaynna.
“During filming, the house became my personal escape from the public eye and where I bunkered down with my kids. I was surrounded by a crew that were filming about the very sensitive subject of domestic violence and even though the building looked sad, damaged and ugly to the eyes, the heart that was beating inside it was cocooning us all.”
So Shaynna decided she would move into the house herself and, in Country Home Rescue, she takes the audience with her as she and her kids renovate and restore her new forever home.
This project had a big focus on ‘hidden elements’ such as air quality, lighting, water and sustainability, and how they ultimately make our homes more liveable, so the solar and energy component of the renovation was a key part of the project.
Shaynna also wanted the solar and battery system to be hidden away so as not to compromise the design of the home or encroach on space that could be used in other ways.
My main goal with solar was to reduce our environmental impact and cost savings to my electricity bill, but it has ended up being so much more.
Working closely with Shaynna, her architect and builders, we designed a premium 9.5 kW, north-facing solar system with SunPower Maxeon solar panels and Enphase microinverters.
Unlike string inverters, a single box that sits on the wall into which all the solar panels connect, microinverters are very small inverters that sit on the back of each solar panel and allow them all to function independently. Given some shading cast from nearby trees and the split-level building design of this project, the incorporation of microinverters was a gamechanger for Shaynna’s home.
The fact that the building is basically feeding electricity back into the grid to share, and having my bill in credit 80% of the year, is something I hadn’t really accounted for. In the financial market we are in today, it makes a huge difference to how you budget your household bills.
The solar panels are discrete and the battery is hidden, so it’s easy to forget you have this silent hero of sustainability and convenience in your home. Until you get that very low electric bill or a power outage hits and you can just power through it!
We also installed a Tesla Powerwall battery to allow Shaynna and her family maximum use of their solar power, which affords them almost 95% independence from the grid and backup power to both the house and studio at the back of the property in case of an outage.
“Kyneton can be a stormy place and we have had at least three outages in the area,” Shannya says. “When the solar battery kicks in immediately, the outhouse is a bit of a beacon of light. It becomes like a billboard about the important benefits of solar and battery power.”
9.5 kW solar system with 13.5 kWh of battery storage
Over $3150 annual savings
37.1 kWh of daily solar energy average produced
15.2 tonnes of carbon saved every year
23 x SunPower Maxeon 5 mono solar panels with integrated microinverters
23 x Enphase microinverters integrated with the solar panels
1 x Enphase Envoy distribution board
1 x Tesla Powerwall 2
*The statistics for RACV Solar customers have been calculated based on the following assumptions: the site's prior electricity consumption and tariffs, 3D modelling software for commercial and complicated residential sites (identifying shade/structures that impact performance), local sunlight irradiance and climate data, Victorian grid electricity emissions intensity factor of 1.12 kg CO2 eq / kWh, and average home system size in Victoria.
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