As a solar household, you should be paying around $538 less for electricity each year on average compared to someone without solar according to an ACCC report.
Solar panels are one of the best ways to reduce your electricity bills, if they’re working optimally.
The reality is that solar panels are affected by conditions outside of your control, such as environmental factors (e.g. shading from neighbouring trees, bird droppings) or technical factors such as poor fluctuating voltage in your local grid.
That’s why it’s so important to ensure you have visibility of your solar system’s performance. Without it, it’s almost impossible to know if you’re getting the most from your solar.
1. Your solar system could stop working
According to the Clean Energy Regulator, one in five solar systems are deficient. This can happen because the initial installation wasn’t done properly or low-grade products were used, such as wires without heavy-duty plastic coating.
A Victorian home with a 4kW solar system could lose $96 a month if their system stops working. That’s $1155 a year if they’re paying their electricity bills by direct debit and never notice the increase.
2. Your solar output could drop off unexpectedly
Solar panels usually come with a 25 year warranty guaranteeing their performance over the long term, however it’s possible that the efficiency of your system could drop off all of a sudden without your knowledge.
This could be caused by something as simple as a buildup of dirt on your panels or shading from a tree that gradually grew higher than your roof.
3. Your electricity bill has gone up and you don’t know why
With solar panels, your bills are likely to fluctuate over the year. Seasonal changes mean your panels are exposed to varying amounts of sunshine throughout the year and even shading issues that might only occur in certain months.
In fact, the difference between the middle of summer and winter might be 3-4 times more production in summer.
Day-by-day your bill could also be impacted. If you have a pool and your heat pump is faulty or if you’ve accidentally left your heating on, it’s good to know before the next bill hits.
Visibility of how your solar production and export impacts your bill means you can alter your usage (or fix a problem) before it has a major impact on your bills.