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Maximising your Solar return

Use when the sun is out.


Solar panels only produce electricity during the day,  if you’re trying to maximise your energy usage this means using as much free electricity as you can while the sun shines. While energy needs vary from household to household, some ways you can maximise your electricity usage include:

 

  • Charging your laptop, smartphone or tablet during the day and unplugging at night

  • Setting timers on appliances that use the most electricity to switch off before sunset


And if you still want to use your solar-generated electricity during the night, all you need to do is access the energy stored in your battery.

Use one appliance at a time


The number of appliances you can use during the day will depend on the type of solar system you have and the amount of electricity certain appliances need in your household. By using one appliance at a time, you will be conserving your electricity.

Some of the more savvier ways you can use one appliance at a time include:

  • Having a shower before or after using the washing machine

  • Cooking dinner before turning the TV on

  • Vacuuming after your dishwasher is done

Ensure your panels are clean and free of debris.


In most cases you don't have to regularly climb on your roof, it’s important you have your solar panels cleaned once every no and then depending on the area. Things like dirt, mould, salt and animal droppings reduce the amount of sunlight the output of your solar panels. You should also make sure that there are no trees or bushes casting to much shade, which can also reduce your panel's capacity to soak up the light.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you’ll probably want to have your panels inspected by a professional every two years. The tip here is to make sure you’re giving your system the best chance at absorbing the most light.

Use technology to watch and manage your usage


If there’s one thing that will help keep you on top of your solar panels, it’s tracking your home’s energy usage.  These apps can display your daily, half-hourly and total daily feed-in credit. There are very cost-effective monitors that utilise CT clamps to record flows of power to and from your meter.

 

Having all this info at your disposal will give you an insight into when your system is sending the most, so you can get more savvy with your appliance use.

If you find that your system exports the most at certain times, then you could set a timer on your dishwasher or Washing machine to start at different time.

Also utilising remote control switches and smart light bulbs can further optimise your home for greater savings.