If you’re in Australia, chances are that you’ve installed, considered installing, or at the very least, heard of people installing solar panels on their roofs to help slash their electricity costs and reduce their carbon footprint. With time, more and more Australians are moving towards solar power and reducing their reliance on the grid. But living off the grid is not for everyone, and your everyday-man may just need to help cut overhead costs. This is both reasonable and frugal, given the ever-soaring prices of property and the ever-turbulent economy. Given that the COVID-19 pandemic has left the ruins of men yen economic sector in its wake, and even with vaccinations flooding the market it is still some time before the virus completely disappears. Even so, a great number of Australians have felt the weight of the recession that has hit the global market rather hard. This is a good time to ask yourself if you’ve done all you can to reduce your expenses and maximise your revenue. What better place to start than the price of electricity; that oh-so-essential, yet undeniably burdensome expense.
To help customers reduce their bills and subsequently their stress, we have compiled a list to aid you in reducing your overhead and easing your financial burden. In this two-part series, we will scrutinise the best ways to make solar power work for our customers and shoulder the burden of providing for their families in these somewhat uncertain times.
Top Ways to Make the Most of your Solar PV System
There are many ways to make the most of your Solar PV system. Not only are there a plethora of solar power companies that are willing and able to sell state-of-the-art solar panels in Australia, but many companies are also willing to go the whole nine yards and help install the solar panels and support customers through the life-cycle of the system. But even in this regard, Integra Solar stands out. With Integra Solar, you have the nation’s finest solar power companies at your beck and call. Customers only need to choose the panel, system or company they like and we do the rest. If you’re having trouble deciding, we’re here to help with that too! Integra solar can provide custom-made solutions for your solar needs. Our experts and advisors are available round the clock. Just give us a call, tell us what you want and we’ll give you the best plan for your solar panel system. We offer panels only from the best and highest rated solar power companies in the nation and our products and services are second to none. Integra Solar’s line-up of solar power companies includes European Powerhouses and Chinese budget friendly options. We have something for everyone’s needs. If you want to make the most of your location’s solar power setup, look no further than Integra Solar.
1. Choose the Right Solar Power Company
Choosing the right solar power company is a big step, and arguably the most important one in this list. Buying solar panels in Australia is akin to getting married. The panel you buy today should, ideally, be around 25 years later. But that’s where this analogy falls apart. With your partner, you would probably want the contract to last much longer. But twenty-five years is no small investment for a piece of technology, even one as productive and helpful as a solar panel. And that’s precisely why making the right choice is so important. Any solar power company’s panels that you invest in are your business partners, for better or worse, for the life-span of the panels. That is precisely why choosing the right solar power company is so important. If you’re stuck with a company you don’t like, or one with shoddy customer service, you will not make the most of your solar panels, or at the least, you may not enjoy making the most of them.
2. Make the Most of Space
Space is key, and for many places, like apartment complexes, it may prove to be a limiting factor. But space is always available if one knows where to make it. Putting solar panels in places that would traditionally go to waste is a good way to go. Customers with additional property may want to consider installing panels on empty plots, but that should always be a last resort. You should start by filling out spaces that you use for one task but may be left over. For example, a car-parking needs a good shed to keep the cars out of the blistering summer sun, yes? Why not make a shed with solar panels installed on top? Another very common idea is installing panels on the roof. A good solar power company will help you determine what’s feasible and what’s not. The location of the property, its orientation and other factors will make some options more viable than others. As with other things, Integra Solar’s experts help customers determine the best layout plan for their solar panel systems.
3. Use Electricity to Make Hot Water
Using instantaneous water heaters and electric boilers is a good way to efficiently use solar energy. Australia’s demand for hot water is more or less constant throughout the year and it can be met entirely by solar panels in late spring and summer. This increases the level of self-consumption and reduces reliance on the grid. Instantaneous heaters installed close to the taps can help tune the need for hot water as and when required.
4. Reduce Electricity Consumption
With or without solar PV systems, this is the best way to reduce electricity consumption and energy bills. It should go without saying that reducing energy consumption is the best and most assured way to reduce your bills. Stop using electricity frivolously and instil more responsible habits in yourself and your family and/or employees. Whether you are using solar power, or power from the national grid, you will only be happy for people’s propriety.
5. Make the Most While the Sun Shines
Solar panels depend on the sun to operate, if you’ll forgive us for pointing out the obvious, and so it is best to make as much use of them while the sun is shining. This may seem really self-explanatory, but not all people have consistent energy consuming habits. Moulding your routine so that you consume the most energy during daylight hours is one of the best ways you can increase the efficiency of solar panels wherever you are in Australia. Any electricity heavy tasks are best performed when the sun is shining on your solar panels and providing you with free electricity. This is the best time to charge your phones, tablets, computers and get your washing and drying done.
6. Regularly Maintain your Solar Panels
No matter how good your panels are or how wonderfully cordial the customer care representatives of your solar power company are, the panels will not amount to much if they have not been maintained or cleaned regularly. A good solar power company (like the ones Integra Solar represents) will tell you how best to clean your panels and when to do them. If you need help with panel maintenance, Integra Solar’s experts have you covered there too. Because panels are out in the open and exposed to the elements, they are likely to get dirty. Mould, sand, dirt, bird droppings and other foreign particles can from a coat over the solar panels and reduce their efficiency. Solar panels have to be cleaned at least twice a year. The good news is that modern solar panels are robust enough to be cleaned by just about anyone. It’s a simple task of just getting on the roof and clearing away any unwanted grit or dirt that is lining the panels. There are companies that provide dedicated cleaning services, but unless you have a medical condition specifically preventing you from performing this task, you might want to consider just climbing onto your roof to do it yourself. It’ll do the job just as well as any cleaning crew, and save you a pretty penny in the process. However, as good solar power company, we at Integra Solar will inform you of the best cleaning methods and also advise you on the best timeframe to clean your panels to keep them running at maximum efficiency.
7. Use Technology
Technology is your best friend. Good solar power companies will not only provide you with state-of the art panels but also with the tools required to ensure they are working properly. Harnessing the power of technology is a sure-shot way to make the most of your solar panels. There are dozens of apps and tools that will keep you appraised of how your solar panels are performing. This will allow you to spot deficiencies early on and alter your habits and routines to make the most of your panels. A good solar power company will also provide you with the option of going all out and upgrading to a “smart home” app. These apps allow customers to monitor and control their solar panels’ performance and usage remotely. If you’re away from home, you can pull out your phone or compatible device and just switch your lights and other appliances on and off with ease.
8. Upgrade Lightbulbs
Solar energy is a fantastic source of energy. It is clean, green and renewable. But unless you make it work for you, it can’t do you much good. On of the biggest ways in which solar energy goes to waste is on redundant technologies. An example of this is the old light bulb. Light bulbs are terribly inefficient. They waste about 90% of their energy on heat and therefore provide terrible efficiency. One of the best practices we recommend to customers is to upgrade their lighting system to LED options, which use 100% of their power to produce light. Not only are they more efficient, but they also have much better efficiency, as is evident. Changing out lighting systems can not only improve efficiency but also drastically reduce electricity bills.
9. Consider Purchasing an Energy Storage Device or Battery System
Point number nine comes with a price warning. It is expensive. Consider yourself warned. Battery systems or other energy storage devices are excellent when it comes to saving energy for when the sun isn’t shining, but they do come with a hefty price-tag. Battery systems can double or triple the price of a solar power system, though an energy storage device from a reputable solar power company can and will probably pay for itself over the course of a decade. The benefit of a battery system is that you can store solar power for when there is no sunlight. Whether you want to extend your solar power usage throughout the night, or whether you want to protect your residence or establishment from cloudy days, an energy storage device is guaranteed to reduce your dependence on fossil fuels and slash your bills considerably.
10. Turning off Standby Mode
This may seem like an underwhelming note to close this list on, but trust us, it is no less important. Standby mode is when electrical appliances are not in use but on a low power state, called standby mode. They aren’t being used but are still using power to maintain a lowered state of readiness. Though this helps increase the speed of their responsiveness, it also does increase energy bills, as these devices are never completely idle. This point is worth mentioning because most people would consider power use on standby mode negligible, and so not worth fussing over. However, it does make a difference as devices pile up, and we recommend that if you’re trying to cut costs on energy bills, you should take devices off standby mode and shut them down altogether. Even if it does mean having to deal with a slightly increased start-up time from your televisions set!