After investing in a solar system for your home, the next question is generally “how can I make the most of it?”. The answer is simple: maximise your solar self-consumption.
Solar self-consumption refers to the amount of solar energy consumed compared to the total amount produced and is an essential figure for solar system owners to check regularly.
For example, if your solar system generates 8,000kWh of electricity every year and your home consumes 4,000kWh and exports the other 4,000kWh back to the grid, then your solar self-consumption value is 50%.
When unused solar power is exported from your home to the grid, you will earn a feed-in tariff which is credited to your electricity bills against any cost of electricity you use from the grid. The amount of credit is dependent on your energy provider and the feed-in tariff they determine for you.
However, feed-in tariffs are quickly diminishing in value thanks to an oversupply of solar generation received by energy companies. Because of this, exporting solar to the grid is becoming an inefficient way of increasing the payback period for your investment.
Using up as much of your solar as possible is the key to maximising your solar savings.
Improving your solar self-consumption will generate much better returns for solar owners as using the solar they generate will reduce bills more than a credit they’d receive for exporting it. Self-consumption is worth roughly double your feed-in tariff, meaning that using up as much of your solar as possible is the key to maximising your solar savings.
So, what’s the trick to improving your solar self-consumption?
Load shifting is when you switch your power usage or load from nighttime to daytime.
Basically, use power in your home during the day while the sun is shining and your panels are generating solar. Using your solar by turning on appliances in your home will improve your self-consumption value, lower your electricity bills and improve your payback period.
It won’t be possible to load shift all your energy usage but shifting high-consumption appliances to the day will make a noticeable difference.
Try some of the following habits:
- Wait until the morning to put on a load of laundry to be washed or dried during the day
- Set your temperature control with a timer so the house can be cooled or heated by the time you get home
- Set pool pumps or pool cleaners to automatically run during daylight hours
- Turn on hot water systems in the morning and switch them off in the evening
- Use the ‘delay start’ feature on your dishwasher to turn itself on in the morning
- Save other energy-intensive activities for the weekend when you’re home during the day to monitor it
- Charge power banks during the day to then use to charge your phone or laptop at night
If you can, try to spread out the load throughout the day using timers and other smart technology devices or apps. Run energy-hungry appliances at separate times during the day to make steadier and more efficient use of the available solar energy throughout the day. A healthy self-consumption routine would look like this:
- 7:00 am: plug in your power banks to charge during the day and switch on the hot water system
- 8:00 am: dishwasher set for 'delay start'
- 10:00 am: washing machine and dryer set for 'delay start'
- 12:00 pm: pool filter and cleaner set for 'delay start'
- 3:00 pm: set temperature control on a timer to run in the afternoon in preparation for the evening
- 6:00 pm: turn off power-hungry appliances once the sun sets
By incorporating the above practices into your day-to-day routine, you will draw far less energy from the grid than you would if you were to run these appliances at night. As a result, you save money on your energy bill and maximise your solar.
Springers Solar | Brisbane's Most Experienced Solar Installer
Springers Solar provides quality components with proven performance, backed by industry-leading warranties, and dedicated after-sales support. Thousands of satisfied customers over more than 20 years of operation make Springers Solar one of the most established and experienced solar companies in Australia.
Springers Solar has received multiple awards for design and installation and is a certified/preferred installer for a large range of solar panel, inverter, and solar battery manufacturers, including Tesla, REC, and SolarEdge.
Our dedicated in-house team of electrical engineers, project managers, solar PV designers, solar installers and electricians work closely with you before, during, and long after your project is completed. Springers Solar offers an industry-leading 10-year workmanship warranty which is a testament to our qualified staff and offers you outstanding value and peace of mind.