Trick To Maximize Your Solar Energy Savings
Energy savings doesn’t stop when you finished installing the solar system in your roof. Getting the full capabilities of your solar needs adjustments to ensure you make the most of the energy coming from your solar panels.
Here are the few things you can do to maximize your energy savings and reduce your energy bills.
Make sure you know your bill very well
There are people that became disappointed after they see their first energy bill after they get solar. While they may have anticipated ‘no more electricity bill‘, it’s not that easy to reduce a bill down to nothing.
One of the main reason for this is that your electricity bill is made up of two primary components – your ‘usage’ or ‘consumption’ charge, and your ‘supply’ charge.
You may be able to ‘offset’ your daytime consumption charges by using solar instead of the grid. While you can do so, supply charges can only be reduced by racking up solar feed-in credits. Completely eliminating this charge through feed-in credits would generally require installing a huge solar system, which may be impractical.
Usage charges vary from state and retailer, but 25c per kilowatt-hour is fair rate for most of the country. Supply charges range from 50c/day to about $1.50/day – again depending on location and electricity company. When shopping around for an energy supplier ensure you know how much these charges will be before making the switch.
Solar Feed-in Rates
Also, one of the main thing to look for in a retail electricity plan is the solar feed-in rate. It is the rate that you are paid for sending solar energy back into the grid. This rate also varies by retailer and location, but it is almost always lower than the usage charge rate. This means that you’ll actually save more money by ‘self-consuming‘ your solar energy. It’s best to think of your feed-in credits as a bonus on top of the savings you achieve through solar self-consumption.
Use your appliances wisely
Once you fully understand your electricity bill and know that you’re getting the best deal, the next step is to maximise your solar usage within your home. Keep in mind that the best time to run your appliances is between 10am and 3pm. If you have a pool pump, for example, you can set your timer to operate between these times.
When it comes to household appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers, stagger their running times throughout this period to ensure that they use solar energy instead of grid energy. Keep in mind if it’s a cloudy, rainy day your solar won’t produce as much solar energy as a sunny day, so where possible it may make sense to delay their use for another day.
Use your ‘solar dryer’ where possible by hanging your clothes on the line or using a clothes horse on a rainy day. When using your dryer, keep it to a minimum and try and operate it between 10am and 3pm. If you are not available between those times, buy a timer socket and set to your appliance to come on. Timer sockets are great, and have come a long way in recent years. You can even get some that come with an app that allows you to control your appliances when you’re out and about. This is great for preheating the house when you’re on the way home from work on those chilly winter days.
Hot water is another big energy drainer. If you can’t wait for the sun to come before you shower, ensure to minimise the time you spend there. It’s tempting to jump into the hot shower in the morning, but its wiser to just stand under a lamp. For those who can’t take a shower after 10am, use timers to keep your shower times to a minimum.
Operating your appliances in this way will maximize solar energy savings and will keep your annual running costs down by using your solar energy rather than grid energy.