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Avoiding bill shock

The family outside their home 

Keeping a lid on the cost of living while raising four children is no easy task. But it’s a challenge that Cairns couple Robert and Lilly have faced head-on, coming up with their own strategies to lower bills.

"We’ve looked at how we can reduce our electricity usage, like not using some appliances and buying low-energy light bulbs," Robert said.

"We’re hoping the solar panels will make things cheaper for us.”

“I work part-time as a cleaner and Lilly is a student but hopes to become a teacher’s aide one day, so we have to cut costs where we can to get by,” he said.

Fishing for a greener life

After “moving with the work” around north Queensland for 17 years, the couple have stayed in their Cairns home for the past four years to allow the children to settle into their schools.

The family enjoys fishing in the local rivers and creeks. They also like to live in an environmentally-friendly way."

“We always try to recycle, and we’d like to have plants in the yard but they just won’t seem to grow."

“We’ve got a couple of big trees and foxtail palms everywhere and a big mandarin tree.”

Easy installation

Robert said the installation was a quick and easy process, taking only half a day.

“It was done so quickly - they started at 7 o’clock and were gone by lunchtime,” Robert said.

Getting involved

Robert is one of 800 people living in public housing in Cairns and Rockhampton who are expected to have solar installations completed by 30 June 2018.

The solar panel trial is a partnership between the Queensland Government and power provider Ergon.

Public housing tenants in houses with three or more bedrooms were able to qualify to participate in the trial.

Last updated 16 May 2018    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


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