You have made a smart decision by investing in a solar system and now you need to maximise that investment. Here are 10 tips to get the most out of your solar power…
1. Use your appliances during the day
This might sound like an obvious tip, but many people don’t take full advantage of daylight hours. By putting your heavy usage appliances like the dishwasher, dryer and washing machine on during the day, you are using the power as it is being produced. Make the most of this time as it is free energy!
Bonus Tip! When loading the dishwasher of an evening, don’t turn it on until the next morning when the sun is shining.
2. Stagger your consumption
Try staggering your usage throughout the day E.g. put the washing machine on at 11 then the dryer on at 12. This prevents you from drawing from the grid and adding to that pesky bill.
3. Heat/cool your home in the afternoon
By heating or cooling your home in the last few hours of daylight, you are doing it for free and avoiding the evening peak energy rate.
4. Check for shade and debris
Keep an eye out for any potential shading issues, cut back any trees, and remove any debris if Remember that shade does impact the systems performance.
5. Get your panels cleaned
Dirt, dust and bird droppings can get in the way of your savings. Anything that obstructs your solar panels will result in lower production of your system, which then reduces your savings on your electricity bill. Getting on your roof and cleaning your panels yourself can be difficult and dangerous, so let us take care of it with the proper equipment and skills. We also provide a free system check while on site. Click HERE to get a panel cleaning quote.
6. Use energy efficient appliances
Swap your lights for LEDs and upgrade to energy efficient appliances to lower your consumption at night and get that bill as low as you can!
7. Shop around for a better rate
As your solar reduces your consumption, you will still be billed a ‘supply charge’ from your energy retailer for providing power to your property. By getting a smaller supply charge, you can reduce your bill even more. Also look out for a good solar fee-in tariff to offset your bill further.
8. Add a battery
If you haven’t already got a battery, we suggest you take a look at your bill and find out how many kWh you are exporting to see if a battery is viable. If you are exporting approximately 12kWh (on average) a day back into the grid, adding a battery will definitely help you make the most of your system by using your solar power at night. Also, by adding a battery you can have complete protection from blackouts. Click HERE to learn more about batteries.
9. Seasonal Changes
Your systems performance will change with the seasons. Expect your daily summer kWh production to be around 5.2 x System Size and your daily winter kWh production to be 2.6 x System Size.
10. Monitor your system and usage
Make sure your solar is operating correctly and learn how your system performs through monitoring. Most inverters will have an app which shows you your systems PV production. You can also get your energy usage from your energy distributor. For Powercor customers, you can monitor your usage and solar export through ‘myEnergy’. This gives you a good insight about your usage habits and how your solar performs throughout the year.