Tips To Maximise Your Solar Savings

You’ve made the smart choice to install solar and now you’re saving, but could you be saving more? Let’s maximise your solar savings with these tips!

Get on Top of Your Appliance Use

Use more energy during daylight hours, whilst your solar panels are generating energy:

  • Use rechargeable appliances so you can charge during the day and use at night e.g. cordless vacuum
  • Set timers on appliances, so that they run during the day e.g. washing machine
  • Have less appliances on at the same time e.g. run the dishwasher after the washing machine has finished
  • Turn appliances off at the wall when not in use, as the standby mode still uses energy
  • Wash clothes in cold water
  • Check the seal on your fridge door, if it’s faulty your fridge will be using more energy to stay cool

Lighting

  • Switch to LED lighting in your home, and sensor lights outside.

Cooking

  • Invest in a slow cooker! Not only will you make some delicious dishes, but you will be optimising the energy during the day and avoiding the use of an electric stove and kettle, which are high energy consuming appliances!

Heating & Cooling

  • Air conditioner and heater – while the sun is still out, set your air-con or heater on timers to bring your home to your desired temperature and then switch it off at night
  • Check your windows and door seals – if they are faulty your home’s air temperature will change and you’ll find yourself reaching for the air-con or heating remote again
  • Use fans instead of air conditioning where possible

Invest in a Solar Battery

A solar battery is an additional battery component to a solar system that becomes charged from solar panels. This battery then stores that charge to be used later. The stored power can be used when a home’s solar panels are no longer generating energy – in other words, when the sun is not out. Whilst adding a battery may lower your power bill further the return on investment/payback period may not be beneficial to your financial situation until battery prices lower. Learn more on battery here.

Other

  • Insulate your home
  • Do an energy audit to see where your high energy use is coming from, so you can better manage your consumption

Find a local accredited Energy Assessor for a home energy audit.

 
Looking to install battery or upgrade your solar system? Receive Obligation Free Quotes!

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Beginners Guide to Solar Power

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.