How do I make the most of my solar panels?
Posted by Helena Ripley on 2 October 2015 at 10:30 am
If you were one of the early installers of solar PV and are receiving generation and export Feed in Tariffs (FiTs) then you are probably making a good profit. However, as the FiT has decreased, newer installers may be wondering how to use more of the electricity generated so that you don’t have to buy as much electricity back from the grid. The export tariff is fixed based on the assumption that you will export half of the electricity you generate, but if you are able to use more than half you can make more of a saving. Here a seven handy tips to help you do that.
- Use timers on your washing machine and dish washer. This way you can run them in the middle of the day when your panels are generating the most electricity even if you’re out.
- Stagger appliances with a high electricity demand: do the vacuum cleaning, cooking (if you have an electric cooker) and laundry one after the other when the sun is shining to maximise use of solar electricity and decrease the amount you need to import from the grid.
- Charge your phone early in the morning or in the evening: your panels won’t be generating as much electricity then but you can still make use of it.
- Turn things off: quite obvious really but you want the electricity to be used for things you really need. If the sun’s out you probably don’t need the lights on. Try to avoid stand by too - you don’t want your TV and computer eating electricity while you’re out.
- Need a new fridge? Look for the most energy efficient models available. The highest energy efficiency rating is A+++ but it keeps going up! Your fridge and freezer are on all the time so the smaller the amount of electricity they need, the lower your bills.
- Use surplus electricity from your panels to run an immersion heater in your boiler. That way you won’t need to use as much gas for central heating and hot water. Make your panels work harder!
- Invest in an electricity storage system: save up your excess electricity to use in the evening and avoid buying costly electricity from the grid.
Push your panels to the limit and make sure you are using as much of your solar electricity as possible.
Photo : H2ECO
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