Around three million Australians are now enjoying lower electricity bills thanks to rooftop solar systems. But did you know that you could be getting more value out of your panels and even lower bills?
Load shifting is a technique that allows you to maximise the efficiency of your roof and lower your bill even more. In this guide we explain load shifting and how it allows you to maximise the efficiency of your rooftop PV system and save more money than ever before.
What is load shifting?
Not every appliance was manufactured equally. There are some electrical devices that are energy-efficient, and others that are going to be energy vampires, especially when they are used on the higher tarriffs.
That is the premise of load shifting – identifying those energy-demanding appliances (like pool filters, for example) and only using them during the daylight hours. This is because you are getting the most solar power at this time of day, while the rates you’re being charged by your provider for electricity are at their lowest.
We mentioned the pool filter as this is a common drain. Most people already set them on timers. You can also set a range of other appliances on timers to get the most out of your renewable energy. Your dishwasher, for example, can be filled after dinner, then set to run at 12pm the next day when everyone is at work, making the most of the daylight benefits.
The trick is to identify which appliances are costing you the most money when used at night. You can use a simple device like the Powerpal Smart Energy Monitor to connect your smart device to your power meter and see where your main expenses are. As you identify these appliances, start setting them on timers.
Other ways to reduce your electricity bill
Outside of load shifting, there are many efficiencies that you can gain around the household – your lighting, for example. By switching from halogen to LED, you’ll save about 75 per cent on your lighting expenses. They last up to 10 times longer as well.
Using the Powerpal Smart Energy Monitor allows you to see which appliances might be draining power. They could be faulty and in need of replacement. It also enables you to change some behaviours to further reduce your electricity expenses.
Some other ideas to consider to reduce your usage during peak periods include:
- Switching ceiling fans from the high setting to medium
- Using a pool cover, instead of your pump, during the colder months
- Set your air-conditioning thermostat to between 22 and 24 degrees Celsius for maximum efficiencies
- Disable the drying function in your dishwasher
- Don’t use clothes dryers when it isn’t raining. Hang out your clothes to dry instead
- Use cold water in your washing machine