Knowledge is power.IMG_7736

Before installing a system (or even if you have solar already), knowing how you use energy at home can make a massive difference! Gone are the days when you’ll be paid exciting rates by your retailer for any excess power you produce…now its all about self-consuming as much of your solar power as possible.

Things to understand:

  • What are you currently paying for power: Does your rate vary at different times of day?
  • Do you have any fixed costs on your bill? If you’re not sure, ask your retailer or a good solar company.
  • What’s your average daily kWh consumption? This can be found on your electricity bill.
  • What times of day do you use most power? Is everyone at work/school, or do you work from home?
  • Consider the categories your home appliances fit into: Always on. On during the day. On at night.
  • Can you shift any of your energy load to daylight hours? For those homes with solar, a load control device can be fitted and programmed to automatically shift excess solar to energy intensive appliances, such as to heat electric hot water.
  • Are there other energy saving measures you can implement? e.g.:
      • Switch to energy efficient LED lighting
      • Turn off all appliances at the power point (this alone can save up to 10% on your power bill)
      • Patch up any drafts
      • Shut the curtains during summer days to keep the house cool 
      • (Adjustments like these, plus installing solar can increase the energy star rating of your home and thus increase its overall value)
  • Invest in monitoring!! Energy consumption monitoring can be purchased independently of solar or integrated into your solar system alongside solar production monitoring (more to come on monitoring in a future issue)

Why you’ll love it:

    • Shows you your kWh energy consumption at different times of the day (particularly powerful if you are considering batteries in the future)
    • Helps you understand the power-demand from specific appliances
    • Helps establish a longer term relationship between you and your installer – if you don’t want to get into the detail yourself, a good solar installation company can help you choose a system that’s able to be remotely monitored. Together you can review energy consumption vs solar production and workshop adjustments to help reduce your electricity bill even further!
  • Consider a battery-ready system. Store the excess power your solar produces and use it later…like during peak evening periods when electricity rates are high. If you’ve already got consumption monitoring and a relationship with your installer, designing a battery storage system that’s perfect for your energy requirements will be a breeze!(PRODUCT NOTE: Right now batteries are expensive, but all that is expected to change over the next 1-2 years. We’ve all seen the Tesla batteries but there are many other exciting options coming out for households – stay tuned…I’ll go into more detail about this in a few weeks time).

Want to know something specific? Send us your questions and we’ll ask Jess to answer a couple for us.

COOL RESOURCES: Why your power bill is not real! Watch this short video:

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