Recycled Interiors Podcast 0015: Renewable Energy in Australia, Reality TV Shows & The Block!


What is renewable energy and what is happening in Australia at the moment? What is it like to be on a reality television show like the Aussie renovating shows The Block and Reno Rumble? How can your daily time in the toilet power your home? All this and more will be answered in this week’s podcast epiosde with Reno Rumble finalists Scott and Nadia! Blockheads from way back, they were contestants on the little sister show to the Block, and this year have been covering behind the scenes with their energy company, Diamond Energy. Scott has an endless supply of useful information about renewable energy and we chat about the energy scene in Australia, as well as what it was like being on a reality television show.

And you have the chance to join me at an exclusive rooftop party and have a tour of the Block before anyone else does, next week on the 25th October! Just watch the video here to see how to win and listen to the podcast for more. I am very excited about attending this party and getting to tour the Block!

Please head to iTunes to subscribe and leave us a review if you love the show as it helps us to get it out there and make a difference. You can also listen on Stitcher and leave a review over there, or just sit back and listen on the blog. Thank you for being here.

Helen xx


You have 6 days to head here for your chance to win exclusive tickets to the party at the Block on the 25th October – there are only 25 double passes! Would love to meet some of you there! It is going to be an amazing night with a full tour of the Block before anyone else gets to see the apartments, as well as having a cocktail on the rooftop garden at sunset. 

Things you will want to remember from the show

  • Being on a reality show really is like the television show UNreal! If you have not watched it, do yourself a favour!
  • Scott and Nadia say that the experience of being on Reno Rumble was pretty epic – 5 auditions just to get on the show, with no idea what would happen at each stage. That must have been hard with 3 kids and a life to run!
  • They were the oldest couple on the show (and they are not old!) and they said that meeting all sorts of different people on the show was a bit of a challenge but they stuck to their ways and got stronger, being the only ones to not have any fights! Which is lovely.
  • It can be very stressful and Scott says that UNreal is so close to the truth it is not funny! Nadia says that renovating a house in 6 days once you get the plans can be stressful but if you can take the approach that you can not stress about the things you can not control, really helps.
  • If Plan A B C D E don’t work, go to plan F! Great philosophy for life and very mindful.
  • What actually happens on set is very different to what you see. There was a constant chance of being off the show on Reno Rumble each week Scott and Nadia thought they were going out every week!
  • Also, 6 tradies in a tiny bathroom – STRESSSSS!! Mr Recycled does not like that aspect of these shows.
  • You must trust your tradies and support them when doing anything with your home – a good tip for projects you may be doing at your place – look for the right tradies who are prepared to work the way you want, and to work with you.
  • Nadia is now studying interior design so is looking at a career change after the experience!
  • The Block has been typically sponsored by a big energy company in the past so this is a real change to have a green energy company on board.
  • As a renewable energy company they are providing 100{5baa604ca7ba54356663ac818e2540f5a63eb80840e8fce1c1738a88d2e39fef} green power to the Block – this is massive.
  • They are a generator as well as a retailer – and have a biogas plant in Shepparton, solar farms, and even a wave farm – they do not support coal. All power comes from 100{5baa604ca7ba54356663ac818e2540f5a63eb80840e8fce1c1738a88d2e39fef} renewable sources. You can then have the options to take the steps to get a green power product. They either produce their own power or arrange connection to green power sources.
  • Biogas is basically big sewerage pumps that produce methane, mix in chemicals and run some generators which make power – when we go to the toilet we can be powering our lights! The biogas plants are usually aligned to a sewerage plant.
  • Diamond Energy  also have massive solar plants where they take power – they have these in every state
  • Food waste power is being used, which also uses methane gas produced – this is sourced from farms, manufacturing etc
  • Industry left to its own devices is very slow – they work off a theory of empowering consumers to become generators – solar customers are then generators for them
  • Solar farms are one part of it but also it is just as good having heaps of customers with their own solar at home joining them as they become part of their generators – they work with installers across the country to put the panels on your home. Scott calls them the IGA of electricity and installers! They look after the independent installers and they send their customers to the Diamond Energy generator portfolio
  • Wave power – they helped develop and bring to market at Port Fairy – 20 metre pontoons installed on the seabed floor which move with the waves and generates electricity. There is a lot of research happening in this area – it is costly to develop.
  • The green power scheme is the government scheme – where you get a percentage of green power you choose. Diamond Energy have this across a number of states. Anything you grab from the grid without the green power scheme could be a mix of both coal and renewables. The only way to guarantee 100{5baa604ca7ba54356663ac818e2540f5a63eb80840e8fce1c1738a88d2e39fef} renewable is to go 100{5baa604ca7ba54356663ac818e2540f5a63eb80840e8fce1c1738a88d2e39fef} green, or add solar panels to your roof.
  • The difference with Diamond Energy is that they aim to put more reneweables into the grid than their customers use each year.
  • The recent SA blackouts have started lots of conversations about how our energy networks are set up and we need to look at this in far more depth and make changes. It is rubbish that it was related to renewables. Scott says it was mainly because the interconnector was down between Victoria and South Australia. A lot of the generation in South Australia is controlled by one group – more localised energy production will mean less chance of that happening. We need to take the power back! You can do that by using your purchase decisions.
  • The Block are having solar panels installed along with a massive battery system that is new to Australia – a plug and play system that is easy to install, with Sunpower panels, which have a small footprint.
  • In terms of battery storage, they will come down in price over the next 18 months, just like solar panels did. Technology is always improving and volume of sales increasing will drive costs down. At the moment if you are going solar, go with a hybrid ready system, so that your inverter is ready to be plugged into batteries later, when the cost curve improves. You can then plug the batteries in.
  • If you oversize your solar for the battery system you are using the power during the day and charging the battery and then you take away the evening peak, and are using the battery. This means you have fully charged batteries during the 5 – 9 pm time of night where there is such a drain on power in most homes.
  • If you do not have a hybrid invertor now you are likely to have to replace this when you get batteries hooked up.
  • Having the Block go this way will really help get renewables out there into the mainstream so it is a plus for the green industry.
  • One of the apartments coming up on the Block is like the apartment of the future – they will be showing the technology that is here now and that it is affordable. Keep an eye out for that.
  • As we are getting more options and more renewables into the grid it will make it more affordable for us.

Remember you have only until the 20th October to head here for your chance to win exclusive tickets to the party at the Block on the 25th October – there are only 25 double passes! Would love to meet some of you there! It is going to be an amazing night with a full tour of the Block before anyone else gets to see the apartments, as well as having a cocktail on the rooftop garden at sunset. Also follow along on @scottandnadia and @diamondenergyaus on social media

Head here to find out more about Diamond Energy

Helen xx

*this is not a sponsored post and I was not paid for the podcast episode or blog post. I was gifted a ticket to the cocktail party!

1 Comment

  1. Helene Wild on October 14, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Yes please!! U0001f604

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