Trade Your Excess Solar for a Slab of Beer


VB has partnered with the Clemenger Group and Diamond Energy to launch the VB Solar Exchange… and it works exactly how the name suggests!

The program means you’ll be able to exchange the excess solar you generate at home for a slab of VB. Not sure what excess solar is? You can read a little more about it here. Once you’ve got $30 worth of solar excess, it’s time to claim. You don’t even need to leave your house to stock up the fridge; as part of the Solar Exchange, VB will have it delivered to your front door. How’s that for an arrangement? If we weren’t clear enough with the explanation, the brewery has released a video to show you how it all works. Check it out below!

Where it all began at VB…

In 2019, Japanese brewer Asahi bought Carlton & United Breweries for a massive $16 billion. VB, being one of Carlton & United Breweries brands, launched the program to contribute to Asahi’s sustainability plan going forward. This includes fully powering its Australian and New Zealand operations with renewable energy by 2025 and achieving zero carbon-dioxide emissions by 2050.

VB made one of their first steps towards achieving these goals in 2020, when their Victorian manufacturing made the switch to solar. You can read more about that and other Aussie breweries doing the same here.

What will VB do with the credits?

VB will use Power Ledger, a software that helps record transactions, to look after the exchange and make it easy for all involved. If you join the program, you’ll be able to track your progress too. Once VB receives the credits generated from your excess solar, they’ll either put the money back into the program or towards achieving their sustainability goals. Talk about going green!

Sign me up!

As you can imagine, the program is proving to be quite popular. You’ll need to sign-up and complete an application quick-smart as there are only limited spots available. If you miss out this time, don’t stress… there’s a plan for more spots becoming available down the track. There are a few conditions that you have to meet to be eligible though, so we’ll lay them out for you below.

  • Firstly, you’ll have to be a resident of Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland (Exclusive to Energex Customers) or South Australia.
  • You’ll need to be a residential householder aged over 18 (because, you know… it’s the legal drinking age).
  • If you want to use your solar excess for slabs of VB, you need to switch to Diamond Energy and agree to a few other terms and conditions.

If you drink VB, you’ll know a carton of 24 can generally cost you anywhere between $45 and $55 depending on your location and local bottle shop. So, if you’re considering applying for the program, you’re not only avoiding spending your hard-earned money on a slab; you’re also getting roughly $45 to $55 worth of beer for $30 in solar excess credits.

Find us on social media and let us know if you’ll be applying for VB’s solar exchange. If not, tell us what you drink and if you’d love to see a similar initiative from your favourite!


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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.

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