Maximising your solar investment
Maximising your solar investment doesn’t have to be hard work. It simply requires small behavioural changes which could see you reap the benefits!
Unless you have a battery or storage device, the solar power you generate (which occurs during the day) also needs to be used during the day. Here is some great energy saving tips to help you get the most out of solar!
Change that charging
As solar power derives from the sun, the energy is only generated during the day, so it's important to make use of your panels when the sun is shining.
Challenge yourself to make the most of these daylight hours by ensuring you recharge your mobile devices, laptops and other gadgets during the day, unplugging them in the evening.
Timing is everything
Have a dishwasher or washing machine? Fill these appliances up with dishes and laundry, and set timers at the wall so they turn on during the day. This way, you don't have to come home to switch the appliances on, and you can take advantage of the solar energy your panels produce.
TIP: On a sunny day, north facing solar panels tend to produce the most energy between 10am and 2pm. If your panels are west facing, look to use your energy in the afternoon, and morning time is best for those with east facing panels. Try to work within these time frames if you can, to get the most out of your system.
You're hot and you're cold
Heating and cooling account for a whopping 18 per cent of your energy bill, so make sure you're adjusting the temperature of your home when your solar panels can help. In the middle of the afternoon, use your heating and cooling appliances to bring the temperature to the right level so you can switch off in the evening.
Slow cookers are a great way to create a meal using solar power. By utilising a slow cooker, you can cook your meals throughout the day ensuring you are making the most of that sunshine!
Plus, the majority of slow cookers have a ‘warm’ functionality which uses less power. If you switch to this function at sundown once the meal has cooked through you’re able to enjoy a nice hot meal when it comes to dinner time.
Look for the right appliance upgrades
Appliances with rechargeable batteries can be a great way to utilise solar energy. Take a kettle, for example, that you can charge during the day and then run off battery power at night. If you're looking to buy new appliances, consider options which are cordless, as they tend to be battery operated (such as a cordless vacuum cleaner) and you can charge them during daylight hours.
TIP: Consider models and makes which have high EECA ENERGY STAR ratings. It's the best way to cut down on power usage, as new models with high ratings have been designed to use as little energy as possible.
Manage your pool
If you're lucky enough to have your own swimming pool, there are a few ways you can save energy and put your solar panels to work. To start, only run cooling or heating systems during the day when the panels are receiving sunlight, again consider investing in a timer to manage this routine if your system doesn’t already have one.
Use smart home tech
Finally, you’ll likely have noticed a few new devices at your local electronics store in recent years: smart home technologies. Lights you can control with your smartphone, thermostats that adjust temperature dynamically and others can all help you to save energy at home.
Whilst these behavioural tips will certainly help to ensure your get the most out of your solar system, there are other factors to consider before purchasing a system that will ensure your investment is best suited to your needs.
For example, purchasing a system size that takes into account both your historical and estimated future energy needs. To find out more about things to consider prior to purchasing a solar system, check out our website here.
For more tips and ideas on how to optimise you savings with SolarReturn, check out our Solar facts blog.