Are You Maximising Your Solar Energy?

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As summer approaches, and the sun is up for longer, make sure you are maximising your solar energy! You can do this by utilising your solar energy power during the day. Using the majority of your solar power as it’s generated will provide you with the best savings. This means that you will avoid the feed-in tariff as your energy won’t be sent back to the grid. Self-consuming your solar energy is a better use of your investment and will help you save more on your power bills. By making a few changes to your everyday routine, you will be able to maximise your solar savings even further! However, before you make these changes, ensure you understand your power bill.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR POWER BILL

Image result for power billMany people are promised by solar companies that when solar panels are installed there will be “no more electricity bills”. However, it is not easy to reduce a bill down to nothing, especially within the first quarter of having solar panels installed. This is due to your power bill being made up of two components — your usage/consumption and supply charges. While you may be able to reduce your daytime usage charges through self-consumption, supply charges are only reduced through earning solar feed-in credits. However, this would also be unsustainable and close to impossible due to the size of the solar panel system that would be required to achieve this. Instead, consider making the following changes around your home.

1. Use your appliances wisely

Generally speaking, the best time to run your appliances is between 10am-3pm, when the sun is high in the sky. However, optimal solar time is highly dependent your the tilt and orientation of your solar panels. To make the most of this, try and use more energy during the day, as mentioned earlier. For example, recharge your mobile phone and other electronic gadgets during the day, and unplug them from at the wall at night. When it comes to general household appliances, such as vacuum cleaners, washing machines or dishwashers, try and stagger their use, or use just one appliance at a time if possible. Doing this will allow you to minimise using energy from the grid and using your “free” solar energy instead.

2. Managing your heating & cooling

Using heating and cooling in our homes helps create comfort. At Eco Efficient House, we are all about creating comfort for you in your home. If timed correctly, you can often run your A/C on solar power alone. If you are out during the day, and want to come home to a cooler/warmer home, consider setting a timer to come on in the afternoon and set your preferred level. This way you won’t have to run it through the night. Presetting your A/C temperature can easily be done through the use of smart home tech.

Hot water can also be a big drain on energy use. Consider changing your habits when taking a shower. For those without solar power, or those who are unable to take a shower before 10am, user timers to keep showering time to a minimum. Not only will this reduce your water consumption, but also keep annual operation costs down in the long run.

3. Utilise smart home tech & understand your energy usage

If you are unable to be at home to make the most of your solar energy use during the day, investing in smart home technology could be the solution! Smart home tech uses devices which are connected through the internet to control and automate appliances throughout the home. We recommend using the Smappee Home Monitoring Ecosystem. Smappee is the leader in smart energy technology. With Smappee you can add in water and gas monitoring for a complete overview of your energy use. It’s modular design is perfect for any home, and can adapt to your changing habits. It is also compatible with most other smart home devices.

We recommend Smappee for it’s real-time energy data, which you can access anywhere from your fingertips with the Smappee app. It is important to understand your energy usage to help you make educated decisions about your appliance automation and how to best utilise your self-generated solar power. Talk to one of our energy experts today to find out more.

4. Get a home energy health check

Some appliances or particular rooms of your home may use more energy than others. Generally, older appliances may use more power. When you are buying a new appliance next, try to choose energy efficient options with a high energy start rating. By giving your home an energy health check, we will be able to help you identify what which appliances use more energy, and what changes you will need to make in your home to be able to utilise your self-generated solar power. It is recommended to get an energy health check first before implementing smart home tech. This is so that we can help you ensure that you are using the right smart home tech for your home and habits. The more detailed the health check, the more accurate the energy-saving advice we can provide. Find out more about our energy health checks HERE.

5. Use less electricity altogether

The most obvious way to reduce your power bills, is to reduce energy consumption altogether. This will also reduce your greenhouse emission impact, meaning you are contributing towards a healthier environment. Here are a few ways that you can use less energy around your home:

Image result for save energy

Air dry laundry rather than using a clothes dryer ✔️
Turn off lights and appliances when not in use ✔️
Use fans instead of air conditioners when possible ✔️
Switch off appliances rather than using standby mode ✔️
Install roof turbines to cool your house in summer for free ✔️
Run your air conditioner at the correct temperature (25 C) ✔️
Take shorter showers (no more than five minutes)✔️
Wash your clothes in cold water ✔️

If you’d like more information on how to utilise your solar energy, please contact us.

SOURCES: Solar Choice, Infinite Energy & Keen 2B Green

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