Solar Treats

It’s official: the cake shop is going off the grid! Well, we’re moving towards that goal, anyway. The crowdfunding campaign ended up blowing up way beyond what we expected. Who knew that raw vegan cakes would have such a cult following?

We actually did so well that we’re going to have a few dimes to spare after buying the rooftop solar system. My first thought was to put the remainder towards investing in a commercial battery storage system, Melbourne winters being pretty low on the sunlight and all). But after doing some calculations, I’m starting to think that updating some of our appliances to more energy-efficient alternatives might be the way to go.

Specifically, I’m thinking of installing commercial LED lighting. I’ll have to do more research on this, but I read in a magazine that these things can reduce electricity usage by up to 84% compared to other kinds of industrial lighting. Maybe this reduction in energy use would mean that we could meet our goals for reducing reliance on the grid (proportionally speaking) without the need for an energy storage system.

I don’t know; I’ll need to think about it in more depth, do some energy monitoring, and get some professional advice on the subject. One pitfall that I see with this LED idea is that we do rely quite heavily on our fridges, and I don’t know that there’s an alternative appliance in that realm. Anyone heard of any energy-efficient industrial refrigeration technologies on the horizon?

It was pointed out to me that a storage system will be essential if we’re going to be running our fridges at night. Here’s the thing, though – we don’t run them at night. Everything we make is shipped out by our bicycle gang on the day that it’s made, so we never have to store goods on premises. All the ingredients are kept off site, too.

Maybe it’s technically cheating to say that we don’t refrigerate at night, since our clients have to do that on our behalf. It’s not a competition, though – we’re all just doing our best here, aren’t we?