“I paid Sydney Water $800 a year — now I get it for free”

Kylie is a local hero for sticking two fingers to the water company
Unplugged – and loving it

Living in a city it can seem hard to kick free from the grid, but in Sydney Australia, Newtown resident Kylie Ahern will soon become the latest environmentalist to live completely off the grid.
“I am currently getting all my water from a series of tanks – one is buried in the backyard and the others are above ground,” Ms Ahern said.“I used to pay $800 a year to Sydney Water, now I get it all for free from my roof.
“I also have a stormwater absorption pit so all the water coming off the roof goes straight into the tanks and then into the pit.

“I am putting solar panels up and installing batteries and my aim is to disconnect from the electricity grid.

“I am in the process of looking for the most energy efficient appliances and I am cutting off my gas as I will be using an electric induction cooktop.

“The coal seam gas situation in this country has been really upsetting, therefore I want to make sure I am not contributing to the problem.

“We are lulled into thinking we need to pay for these services like water and electricity that we can get for free. Sewerage and plumbing is my next task as I can’t get the tanks onto my property just yet but they are something I am definitely aiming for.

“I am expecting all the work to be completed by early next year.” The Newtown resident shared her disdain at the inaction of politicians charged with reducing global emissions and encouraged other like-minded conservationists to follow in her footsteps.

“I have watched politicians over the years do very little to protect our environment and fail to do anything meaningful around reducing our emissions, so I decided that I had to do more,” Ms Ahern said.

“I think most of us want to do more to protect the environment but it’s knowing where to start that’s the challenge.“You don’t have to do a full renovation of your home; you can do little things like buy energy-efficient appliances or use a diverter so excess rainwater goes into your garden.”

The process of creating a self-sustaining property may seem like a daunting or impossible task to some, Ms Ahern insists it is a relatively streamlined process, if you have the right help.

Ms Ahern, recruited the assistance of Chippendale’s Michael Mobbs, who famously took his home off the grid in March, hopes to achieve the same results with her two-bedroom worker’s cottage by early next year.

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