Indie store update

Ingram's Home Hardware uses Tesla Powerwalls

Bowens Timber and Hardware is taking over the former Bunnings site located on June Court in Warragul (VIC)

Peter Ingram from Ingram's Home Hardware in Kingscote (SA) said the business has just installed two Tesla Powerwall battery systems on both its Home Hardware and Bi-Rite Home Appliances stores. He told The Islander:

We are now energy neutral.

The Tesla Powerwall is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery stationary energy storage product manufactured by Tesla Energy. The Powerwall stores electricity for solar self-consumption, time of use load shifting, and backup power.

This means a business like Ingram's can operate five separate uninterruptible power systems or UPSs in its stores, allowing them to trade during a power outage. Any access power is fed back into the system thanks to a long-term leasing arrangement with the Allstate Solar company, a specialist in battery storage systems.

Ingram's is also building a large shed for building supplies at the entrance to the town. Mr ingram said construction was going well but one issue still being sorted with the council was drainage and paving of Karatta Terrace, which will be the main access road to the location. The new shed will also eventually be fitted out with a solar and battery system.

The plan is to move the building supply products into the new shed, which would then free up the existing shed at the back of the store on main street for hardware, he said. This would in turn, free up more space in the front of the shop on Dauncey Street for homewares, fishing, and outdoor products.

This year, Ingram's Home Hardware will also celebrate its 70th anniversary, after Peter's parents opened its doors for the first time in 1952. This makes Ingram's one of the oldest family-operated hardware stores in South Australia.


The new Bowens regional outpost in Warrugul (VIC) is expected to open in August. It is part of a $50 million investment in six new stores and refurbishments across Australia by the group this year.

Bowens director and chief investment officer Andy Bowen said the company has been looking to set up shop in the area for some time. He told the Warragul & Drouin Gazette:

This is a decision that has been made over four or five years. We've been watching the area grow and we think we've found the perfect site to set ourselves up in."

Mr Bowen said there was still some work to be done on the site - where the previous Bunnings outlet was located - but believes it is the ideal fit for a Bowens store.

It is perfect for what we do, we are absolutely focused on professional builders, professional trades. That's what we do.
The site is fantastic from a logistics perspective. We can move product in and out really quickly.

Mr Bowen said most of the company's customers are medium to small sized building companies, many of which operate in Warragul and surrounding areas. But anyone can purchase their products.

We have a really diverse range of timber and building supplies ... we will service whatever needs the market requires. Bowens is more focused now more than ever on other building supplies - not just timber.

Some staff already living in the local community will be moving down from the established Pakenham store, and the new store will create additional full-time work opportunities. Mr Bowen said:

Our hope is that within a couple of years we'd have 35 full-time employees there. We are not just there to sell building supplies, we are there to be a fabric of the community and support the community.
Part of that is hiring local talent and local residents, and that is exactly what we intend to do in that area.


Bowens' new site.

Bowens buys site in outer Melbourne - HNN Flash #93, May 2022

Expansion plans for Bowens.

Bowens in expansion mode - HNN Flash #92, April 2022
  • Sources: The Islander and Warragul & Drouin Gazette
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