A Yackandandah family’s energy transformation over the decades

A Yackandandah family's energy transformation over the decades

So very often amazing stories of innovation and courage reside amongst our homes, just waiting to shared.

Anne Corcoran offers one such energy tale. In 1958, Anne’s family moved to a small timber home on a dairy farm near the quaint gold-era village of Yackandandah, Victoria. At that time, the family used kerosene lanterns to light their home and even a kerosene powered vacuum pump to milk the cattle – no refrigeration was even possible.  That kerosene pump, which needed petrol to prime, is long since retired, though can still be found in the original plant room. The dairy has long since given way to the changing dynamics of the dairy industry and has become a dedicated beef property.

Going back, the Corcoran’s did a house renovation in 1962 which included the addition of household wiring in preparation for the arrival of the grid. According to the State Electricity contract in Anne’s possession, they signed up for connection in April 1963 – at the grand total cost of £680.00!

The Corcoran families energy agreement with the State Electricity Commission of Victoria in 1962

Fast forward to 2018, Anne ambitiously purchased a solar and battery system through an ARENA funded microgrid trial (Networks Renewed) through the University of Technology Sydney, with project partners of AusNet Services, Mondo and Totally Renewable Yackandandah.

With a few subsequent additions, the householders enjoy the services of 5kW of solar generation, a hearty 20kWh of storage, a highly efficient CO2 hot water heat pump and the Mondo Ubi smart energy controller to tie it all together.

Anne’s family now enjoy the services of an energy system that uses little power from the grid, can operate with confidence during network outages and has more-or-less eliminated the carbon emissions associated with their own electricity. Indeed, they export far more electricity than they use each year. Furthermore, with the recent doubling of the battery size and the installation of the hot water heat pump, they will have a zero-cost power bill when totaled across the year.

Anne Corcoran with battery at her Yackandandah family residence

And the real kicker, Anne has just signed up to Project EDGE, an ARENA funded virtual power plant in the Hume Region of Victoria. The project is striving to securely link energy users, the network and the market to leverage the amazing capabilities of electricity storage.  This ‘internet of things’ will invite a more dynamic smart grid using battery storage to facilitate a more confident shift to clean, affordable and reliable electricity.


The Australian Energy Market Operator is integral to Project EDGE and being delivered in a nation leading partnership between network Operator, AusNet Services, energy specialists, Mondo, residents and innovative businesses.