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How to Slash Your Electricity Bill with Solar Panels

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 12:06am

Whether it is your desire to go green, evade the rising cost of energy, or a little bit of both, solar panel installation is certainly worth considering for your home or business. The benefits and savings of using solar power can be substantial and can quickly offset the cost of installation.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of installing solar panels on your property is the immediate electricity bill savings. You will start to receive smaller monthly electricity bills from your local utility company, irrespective of how small your installation is.

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So, how large will your electricity savings be?

The first factor that affects your electricity savings is the amount of Kilowatts that you purchase. Solar energy is best described as a modular technology, in that you can install any number of panels, depending on your needs and budget. With every new kilowatt of solar capacity that you install, you get bigger energy savings. If your installation is large enough, you can reduce your energy bill to $0, and even sell the surplus to make some passive income from your local utility company, owing to the feed-in tariffs.

Secondly, your electricity bill savings will continue to grow with time, irrespective of how small or large your installation is. This is because solar energy remains free, while utility rates continue to increase. As such, solar is a great investment that generates increasingly bigger rewards with each passing year.

Optimising Your Solar Energy

During summer, when days are longer and lighter, solar panels generate more electricity. When it is cloudy or overcast they produce less. When it is dark and your panels are not generating, you draw electricity from the grid, which means that you will be charged. Over the year, you will be able to reduce your energy bills, but you can enjoy even bigger savings if you adapt your household routine to get the most out of your panels when the sun is shining. A few ways to do this include:

1. Using electrical items during daylight hours rather than after dark

Whenever possible, some jobs that require more electricity, like cooking, laundry, vacuuming and ironing, should only be done at the middle of the day. It is also best to do other tasks that involve electrical appliances when it is sunny. These include charging electrical gadgets like phones or tablets, using the electric oven and using the electrical hot water system, among others. With the addition of certain monitoring technology, it is also possible to be notified when the solar panels are making excess or spare power for your home. This allows homeowners to use appliances accordingly, depending on usage. This type of monitoring system comes in an easy to view display style system where red indicates your home is consuming more energy than it is generating and green when it consuming less via the solar panels.

2. Using one major electrical appliance at a time during the day

The number of appliances that you can power at any one time depends on the size of your solar electricity panels, their location, and cloud cover. Additionally, different appliances have different electricity needs, and it may not be possible to generate enough free electricity to operate more than one major appliance, even when it is sunny. So, instead of using your laundry machine, oven, iron, kettle and dishwasher at the same time, try doing them one at a time. This means coordinating tasks, like vacuuming after doing the laundry, or ironing before cooking.

3. Use less electricity

This is obviously the best way to slash your electricity bill. For instance, you can wash your clothes on a sunny day, so that you air dry them outside, instead of tumble drying. Also turn off the lights when there is adequate light, and switch off the TV when no one is watching it.

It is hard to say with certainty what savings you will reap from your solar panel installation as it depends on your circumstances (size of panels and needs). However, you will probably need to adjust your household routine to get the best out of your panels.

If you would like to find out how to slash your next electricity bill, call the friendly team at Corospark Electrical & Solar located in Melbourne on 1300 795511.

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