Thanks to improved technology and government incentives, millions of Australians have switched to solar power and are saving thousands of dollars per year on their electric bills. Although the cost reductions are significant, experts recommend careful selection of solar systems based on customer circumstances, budget and electric usage. If you are considering solar panel installation for your home, you can find a system that maximises efficiency, savings and return on your investment.
1. Research Products
To get the most energy for your money, you should research and plan your solar panel installation thoroughly. Before consulting with solar professionals, gather your current, recent and past electric bills and learn the patterns of your electric usage. The more information you have to share about your energy needs, the easier it will be for retailers to recommend ideal solar products.
When planning your solar installation, think about what your living situation might be in five, ten or fifteen years. How long do you plan to stay at your current residence? Will you be adding new family members, or will you and your spouse have an empty nest? If you purchase a smaller solar system now, will you be able to expand it in the future if your needs change?
2. Choose a Larger System
Rather than choose a system that might not accommodate your home’s energy needs, solar experts recommend installing a larger setup with more panels. Larger systems will maintain efficiency by generating enough power for your family. If you use more energy than a smaller solar system can generate, you end up spending more money tapping into the grid.
3. Avoid Sacrificing Quality for a Discount
Reputable retailers warn about companies selling less expensive solar systems that are inadequate and inefficient. The National Grid Support Service in Australia suggests a solar panel installation cost of at least $6,000 for a 6 kW system with high-quality components.
4. Learn the Factors Affecting Solar Savings
Before purchasing a solar system, you should learn about variables impacting energy savings. Some of these issues might be out of your control, but there are solar solutions regardless of your home situation.
- Position of the roof – A north-facing roof is ideal. If your roof is not north-facing, you can still get decent electric savings by investing in more solar panels.
- Size of home and roof – If you have a smaller home and roof, and your electric use is higher than average, you may need to buy panels having a higher efficiency rating.
- Geographic location – If you live in an area that is warmer and receives more sun, your system will generate more solar power.
- Overall Low Electric Usage/ Night Usage – Customers who already use very little electricity and/or use electricity mostly at night, may not see significant savings when compared with other solar households. It may take longer to recoup their investment.
5. Change Lifestyle Habits to Increase Solar Savings
Customers can maintain the efficiency of solar systems and decrease energy costs in a number of ways. With dedication and planning, these energy-sparing lifestyle habits can become regular household routines.
- Avoid stove and oven use in the evening and use a microwave instead.
- Programme a water heater for daytime use.
- Run washers, dryers and dishwashers between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Use only LED light bulbs.
- Charge electric vehicles during the day.
6. Consider Purchasing a Solar Battery
Another option to increase the efficiency and savings of your solar use is buying a battery. Although a solar battery is a substantial investment, it allows you to use 100 % of the energy you generate. If you are not home to use your solar system during the day, the battery will store the energy generated while your family is at work and school. You can then relax at night knowing you have the power needed for your evening activities and are not relying on the grid.
You might be hesitant about making such a hefty purchase for your solar installation, but keep in mind that a panel system could pay for itself in as little as three to four years. As long as you receive solid guidance during the selection process, you can choose solar products that are tailored correctly to meet your home’s needs and maximise your savings.