5 common myths about solar power
According to Climate of the Nation 2018 research report, solar power continues to be Australia’s most preferred source of energy. Around 75% of Australians selected it in their top three preferred sources of energy.
Here are five common myths you might have heard about solar energy – and some solar-savvy tips to help you find the right solution for your home.
Myth #1: “The more panels I have, the cheaper my energy bill will be”
When you get a quote for a solar power system, make sure the quote is based on how much energy you use.
It's easy to compare solar to a mobile phone plan. You wouldn't sign up for a $200 mobile plan if you only use $50 each month. Likewise, you don't need to cover every inch of your roof with panels if you don’t use enough power.
Hot tip! Get in touch with us to get an understanding of how much power you’re using. You can then ask a solar supplier to match your needs with an appropriate number of solar panels. We can give you a quote for a SolarReturn system matched exactly to the way you use energy at your home.
Myth #2: “Solar energy gets sent back into the grid.”
This can be true – but only if your solar panels are generating more electricity than you use in your home.
The sun’s energy gets converted into electricity which can power your TV, fridge, laundry appliances and other equipment during the day. If your panels generate more electricity than your home needs while the sun is shining, that leftover power is exported to the electricity grid.
Hot tip! If you're planning on installing solar panels, make sure you have the right number of panels to suit the way you use electricity.
Myth #3: “I can disconnect from the grid with solar panels or battery power”
Solar power only works when the sun is out. When it starts to set, you'll have to switch across to grid-based electricity or a battery.
Even if you have battery power, home battery technology is not quite at a stage where you can completely power your home through the night and on those rainy winter days with no sun.
Hot tip! If you want to cut back on how much grid-based electricity you use, try using most of your power during the day when your solar panels are at work. Keep reading for tips on how to do this!
Myth #4: “Having solar panels makes electricity cheaper”
You certainly see big savings with your electricity bill when you have solar energy, but how much you save will really depend on how you use power. If you’re still running a lot of heavy appliances at night, your solar power won’t be contributing to powering those appliances.
Hot tip! You can make some small changes to your habits to make the most of your solar energy during the day. For example:
- Do your laundry during the day when your solar panels are receiving maximum sunlight, especially between 10am and 2pm.
- Keep energy usage to a minimum at night if possible.
- Use a slow-cooker to cook dinner during the day.
- Charge your phone, laptops and other devices during the day.
Myth #5: “If I don't use my solar power during the day, it's wasted”
If you have solar panels at home, you might be eligible to receive renewable energy buyback credits (also known as REBS).
This means if you're generating solar power and sending it back to the grid, you'll receive 7.135 cents per unit of energy delivered – although please note this amount is subject to change.
Another option to make the most of your solar panels is to consider battery storage. This means you can store any excess solar energy to use towards powering your home when the sun goes down. Battery storage is a relatively expensive option at the moment, but it’s likely to become more affordable as the technology develops.