Do you live in one of the two million Australian homes that currently have solar panels on the roof? If you are, you are already enjoying benefits including reductions on your electricity bill, rebates, supplying clean, green energy to the grid and reducing your carbon footprint.
There are ways you can further drive down your energy bills and enjoy greater efficiencies from your solar panels so you can make even more of a difference. We have assembled the top five tips on how to get the most out of your panels, including:
Make hay while the sun shines: Try and time your charging activities and high-energy usage behaviours so that you are doing them during the day time. Charge your phones, computers, tablets and get all of your washing and drying done during the daylight hours, so you are effectively using free electricity while the sun is shining on your panels.
Clean your solar panels: Your panels are out there exposed to the elements, and they are going to get dirty over time which will reduce their efficiency. Dirt, mould, bird droppings â€“ there are all sorts of things that can coat your panels. We are not encouraging you to climb onto your roof with a bucket and a mop, but ensure you are getting in professionals at least twice a year to clean your panels to get the most out of your solar panels.
Use technology: There are myriad apps out there now that will give you all of the data in the palm of your hand so you can track how your panels are performing. This will enable you to change your behaviours to get greater efficiencies. You can take this to another level as well by connecting up to a smart home app so you can monitor your usage remotely and turn off lights and appliances when you are away from home.
Upgrade your lightbulbs: Solar power is a fantastic renewable-based source, but it doesnâ€™t help your cause if you are feeding it all into redundant technologies. Those old light bulbs are losing 90 per cent of the power provided to them as heat, so you are getting terrible efficiencies from them. Upgrade to LED options that will use almost 100 per cent of the power to create light, and you will notice a significant difference on your bill.
Consider energy storage devices: Do you have a battery system installed on the side of your house to work with your panels? If not, now is a terrific time to invest. The technologies have come a long way in recent years, and these batteries can house many hours of electricity time for times when the sun isnâ€™t shining. This is a great way to offset the weather and ensure you have power available at all times, further reducing your need to use energy from the grid that relies on fossil fuel consumption.
Weâ€™d like to also throw in a nifty little tip. Your energy bills change periodically, and as life gets busy, weâ€™re all guilty of letting these kinds of things roll on from one year to the next. However, finer print and agreements do fluctuate with retailers, often resulting in changes on your energy plan that you potentially werenâ€™t aware of. We highly encourage you to opt for an energy health check at list once a year, so that youâ€˜re able to effectively understand if youâ€™re getting the best possible plan in your area.