See our tips below to help you get more out of your system.
North-facing solar panels receive the most sunlight and therefore produce the most energy. That said, not all homes can have north-facing solar panels and that’s okay!
While they may not produce as much as north-facing panels, east and/or west-facing panels will still generate plenty. In fact, they may provide more power when you’re home, as they produce most of their energy in the morning and/or late afternoon. If your panels face east, perhaps use your washing machine in the morning rather than the afternoon and vice versa for west-facing panels.
Are your solar panels dirty? While solar panels are generally self-cleaning, dust, oils and even bird poo can build up and affect the amount of energy your system produces. In particular, this can be an issue for panels that are on less of an angle.
Dirty solar panels are far less efficient than clean ones, so if yours aren’t performing as well as you’d like, it might be worth getting them cleaned. While it’s possible to do this yourself if you know what you’re doing, we recommend getting a professional to clean your panels as they’re unlikely to be easily or safely accessible.
Check your panels in the morning and again in the evening to make sure they’re not being shaded. Just 5% shading can result in more than a 50% reduction in system performance.
Sometimes it’s hard to avoid shading issues, however, if you find that your panels are shaded by nearby trees, it might be worth cutting them back. Make sure you don’t cut your neighbour’s trees without their permission though!
If you find that your solar panels are being shaded by power lines or nearby buildings, you could consider contacting an accredited solar installer to see if you can move the panels into full sun.
How long ago did you install your solar panels? If your system is getting old, or you originally bought a cheaper system, you might benefit from an upgrade. Weigh up the costs involved to work out if the potential savings are worth the price of installing a new system.
If you decide to upgrade, it’s important to make sure the person you hire for the installation is accredited by the Clean Energy Council. Click here to get a quote from a DC Power Co partner or, to find a full list of accredited installers in your area, visit the Clean Energy Council’s accredited installer guide.