Summer’s here and that means it’s peak solar season! So how can you maximise the value you’re getting from your solar panels this summer?
You probably pay more for the electricity you buy from your power company than you get for your solar exports, so the key is to use as much solar energy in your home as possible and export less.
Pre-cool your home
Air-conditioning accounts for a huge chunk of the average power bill, so use your solar power to cool your home.
Run your air-conditioner during the day when your solar system is generating electricity. By the time the sun goes down your home will be nice and cool and you can turn your air-con off. If need be, use fans (which are very low cost) in the evening to keep the cool air circulating.
Shift your energy usage to the middle of the day
Where possible, use your appliances in the middle of the day when your solar generation is at its peak. If you’re at work during the day, use the timers on your dishwasher, washing machine and other appliances to set them to run while you’re out.
Sun hours are longer in summer
Summer means longer days and more sunshine which means you’ve got more daylight hours to play with. Take advantage of the sun and, if possible, shift some of your evening energy usage to those later sunlight hours.
Got a pool?
Pools are a godsend on those hot summer days, however they’re also really energy-intensive. In fact, most people are paying anywhere from $800-$1200 a year in energy costs running their pool!
Run your pool pump on solar power to minimise those costs. If possible, do this by setting the timer on the pump to run as close to the middle of the day as possible, as this is when your solar system will be generating the most energy. For summer, this might be roughly 10am-3pm, depending on how much sun you get where you live.
Ensure your solar system is in good shape
In the lead up to summer, make sure your solar system is working well and will be able to make the most of the summer sun.
Check your inverter is working (if it’s not, there will be an error message or warning light visible on the display) and check to see if your solar panels need a clean (dirt and even bird poo can build up over time and affect the efficiency of your panels.)
If you need to get anything repaired or cleaned, ensure you contact a professional. Remember, a solar system is a live electrical system and most panels are very high off the ground!
Is it time for a battery?
Your solar system will produce more energy in summer than any other time of year. This means you’ll likely be exporting a lot of excess solar energy to the grid for a reasonably low feed-in tariff.
By adding a battery, you could store that excess solar energy to use later in the day and minimise the amount of expensive electricity you have to buy back from the electricity grid.
At DC Power Co, we’ve designed a high-quality, affordable solar battery package called the DC Sunny Saver. With the battery package, you can take back control of your power, get better value from your solar panels and get blackout protection, all for less than $6000. Find out more about the DC Sunny Saver here.