Had a sudden windfall.
Not exactly. It was already my money. Bank in the UK just sent me a letter saying,” “we are shutting your account, you have a month to move it or it will be gone.” No explanation. No reasons given. Just, “we are useless, gormless twits, pointy headed morons, and no wonder there is a banking crisis here because we are imbeciles.” My friend the (former) lawyer even says the letter does not even give a legal number of days!
Moreover, it is weeks before Christmas, when mail stops, and, “because you have received the letter, you can no longer use telephone banking,” I am told over the long distance phone call I make. Things eventually happen (thanks to people who posted from Europe), and MY money is still with me. Just as well I guess, they are idiots, and I am glad they do not have my money.
Now, what to do with it? My money is suddenly in my hand. Instead of being safe (with those morons?) for a rainy day, it is here in front of me. I always wanted to be more energy conscious. But, it is an investment to save towards, since it is not small (not by my standards). Now, here, my ‘windfall’, is enough!
I investigate. Drive around. Check prices. Ask questions. Then buy a solar geyser (100 litre, Chinese), some LED lights (South African), solar panel, control box, team of plumbers to install, time off to get it done, time off to tweak it, some bits back, some bits forth, some taps on, different ones off, water flow out the door, different taps on again, and we are there. Installed in January, and all working.
One hundred litres of solar geyser is enough for one person to comfortably have a hot bath a day, wash dishes, and all those things one always expects hot water to be there for. And with solar it is always there. On overcast and dreary days, it is not as much hot as warm, but it is always there (when there is water). One hundred litres is not enough for more than one person.
LED lights – I always have light, even when the neighbours are stumbling around looking for the torches and candles. The light is not enough to fill a large room with enough illumination to read comfortably by and do the crossword. It is certainly enough light to fill the bathroom, and do what is necessary there. And it is definitely enough to keep the house illuminated for security while I am away at night.
But the best is, I am not paying for it. A noticeable, significant drop in electricity use. It is too early to really know savings, but so far… November and December last year I paid $40 a month for power. Installed solar in January. This year (what I have prepaid will take me to the end of April) I have paid $90 on power. $22.50 a month.
For simplicity (I did history, not mathematics!) I paid $1000 for the solar stuff and to have it installed. And I am saving $20 a month. Or $240 a year. So, for my investment in solar, I am getting a 24 percent per annum return. What bank in Zimbabwe (or the pointy headed morons in the UK) will give you a 24 percent interest rate? The money is not liquid, so I cannot use it to impress my girlfriends, but, the return! Thanks to the bank for shutting me out. I can make more money without you! And invest in solar!