SOLARISED: Christian Poulsen, owner of the Belongil cafe/restaurant with his solar panels pumping.
SOLARISED: Christian Poulsen, owner of the Belongil cafe/restaurant with his solar panels pumping. Christian Morrow

Figures add up for a shift to the sunny side

THE numbers say it all, doing the right thing for the environment makes good business sense too.

Christian Poulsen, owner of the Belongil cafe/restaurant, checks his phone app and at time of speaking, on a sunny winter weekday at Belongil Beach, the 64 panel 16kw solar system on the roof of his restaurant are producing nearly 10,000watts of power, meanwhile his smaller 6kw home system is pumping out nearly 5000kw.

Mr Poulsen is 18 months into the two year pay back scheme for his Origin Energy solar system, but is already happy with the results.

"For the first two years it costs us one and a half times what our power was before, but after 2 years the cost drops to 60% of what they were,” he said.

"Our home system is so efficient and well positioned our power bills there are effectively zero.

"The system also came with a ten year warranty and Origin aren't going anywhere, if anything goes wrong during this period they come and fix it.”

Not only did the numbers add up from a business perspective but Mr Poulsen was ready to do the right thing when it came to sustainability and cutting green house gases.

"To be honest after Tony Abbott became Prime Minister I was done with wondering what they were doing with renewable energy,” he said.

"In the end whatever the government does or does not do we are just moving ahead with this.

"Yes going solar makes sense commercially but it is the right thing to do to for the environment and we try to do that with everything here in the restaurant, with our waste, our packaging and now our power.”

According to Origin Energy Mr Poulsen has reduced his energy bill by about 35 per cent, delivering him an annual savings of around $6,000.

The solar system at the Belongil produces around 23,000kWh of electricity annually, reducing carbon emissions by 16.3 tonnes of CO2 each year - the equivalent of preserving 19.1 acres of forest.

"Solar is a great solution for businesses looking to reduce energy costs,” Origin Energy Solar & Energy Solutions, Michelle Greco said.

"There are a few ways for businesses to go solar, including an easy and affordable option with no upfront costs.

"Small businesses can also $30,000 instant asset write-off on their solar panels.”

Origin Energy will be hosting free one-on-one solar power sessions for local small business owners from Monday 26 to Friday 30 August in the Byron Bay and Tweed Heads area.

To register call 1300 134 138 or go to Origin Energy