Martin Chape of Bellevue and his solar panel array. Picture: Guanhao Cheng

House tour of a Bellevue home taken off grid

Mr Chape said he wants to provide suggestions for making visitors’ homes more sustainable to ease cost-of-living expenses in the long run.
April 18, 2024
Guanhao Cheng

A BELLEVUE man will be showcasing his off-grid house on Tennyson Street this weekend from 9.30am to 3.30pm on Sunday, April 21.

Retired telecommunications engineer Martin Chape has worked on taking his home off-grid since 2011, beginning by installing lights that worked with solar panels and tinkering with the possibilities of using a small wind turbine for generating power.

Mr Chape has been able to build a system to power his house and its electrical appliances without relying on his electricity retailer by using the set up in his back shed, which he said would be a main attraction during the house tour.

“I hope the house tour will attract people with questions so I can give them answers from my experience in making my own home self-sustaining,” he said.

Mr Chape said he wanted to provide suggestions for making visitors’ homes more sustainable to ease cost-of-living expenses in the long run.

“The tour will be mostly about my experiences because I can build a better house now.

“I want to show my mistakes and give people information so they can make intelligent decisions.

“I imagine not many people will want to showcase their mistakes.”

Mr Chape’s talk will focus on replacing appliances with more energy efficient models, using your own solar generated power instead of selling it and buying it back at a higher price, and understanding and inspecting the insulation at home as just some of the cheaper methods of improving energy usage and reducing electricity costs.

Mr Chape’s house is one of the featured houses for WA during this year’s sustainable house day, which is an event from the non-profit organisation Renew aiming to provide the “opportunity to explore some of Australia’s most inspiring homes and learn from the people who designed them, built them, and live in them”.

Tickets are $7.50 for adults and free for children under 12, and can be found here

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