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One Thing Homeowners Can Do To Save More With Solar 

Do you want to save more money on your energy bills in a household with solar? A new report by St Vincent de Paul Society in partnership with Aviss Consulting shows that looking out for the best value retail energy deal is crucial. The report is also part of a series tracking energy tariffs in Queensland from 2009 to 2022.

This year is all about watching those Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs), with the average electricity rate jumping by 44 per cent last month. It shows a significant difference between the best and worst retail offers for non-solar households. However, solar-powered homes are not immune to the ramifications of the price increase. 

The report states that solar-powered homes, for one,  in the Sunshine State are still seeing a lot of savings compared to households that are not powered by solar yet. The average market offer has increased yearly by $585 for solar homes, which is around 44 per cent. 

Homes with a 10kW system will be seeing fantastic savings, though the lowering of the Feed-in Tariff has shifted how households approach their energy usage and highlighted the importance of a competitive energy deal.

Considering that the solar Feed-in Tariff (FiT) in Queensland has gone down, residents with solar systems must think of other ways to cut down on electricity costs. 

How to get the most from your Solar System

It’s easy to think that switching to solar alone will get the job done. Shifting your usage to daylight hours, when your system is generating electricity, will maximise your solar PV system, thus providing a greater financial return in energy savings.

Familiarise yourself with your household’s energy consumption patterns and shift energy-intensive activities to when the sun is shining. This could mean that you utilise the ‘delay start’ on your washing machine; setting the start time for daylight hours. Set your dishwasher to start as you are leaving the house in the morning. Not only will this use the energy generated from your solar panels but it will ensure that your cutlery and crockery are sparkling clean when you return home.

Consumers can expect an increase in offers that feature time-of-use tariffs and time-of-export tariffs that encourage self-consumption when solar generation is abundant on the grid and incentivise solar exports during peak hours. 

If you are planning to switch to solar,or looking for better ways to save money, you should assess retailers’ FiT rates and the cost of electricity imported. 

You can use our free electricity bill comparison tool to compare local offers from Australia’s major energy retailers and help you make the switch in a few quick steps. All you need to get started is a recent energy bill.

Battery storage is an excellent solution

While solar battery storage may not be financially viable for many, it is a great way to store all of your excess energy that would otherwise be exported to the grid. While you will not receive a Feed-in Tariff for the energy you store, this energy can be used at nighttime when the sun is not shining. Solar battery storage can also provide you electricity security during a power outage. The Tesla Powerall 2, for example, will continue to provide power to your house during an outage. Your solar panels will charge the battery during daylight hours to be used day and night until the energy stored is depleted. It will then be recharged when the sun shines again.

Other ways to save with solar energy in Australia

There are a few factors you need to consider to save more with your solar system in Australia. 

Average energy consumption

Determine how much electricity you use by looking at your most recent energy bill. You will find the amount of electricity consumed in kilowatt hours (kWh). Usually, larger households have higher energy demands, which will require a solar system 5kW and up. A 5kW solar system generates between 18 kWh and 25 kWh on average per day. However, this will also depend on the region that you are in. There are regions that are limited by the solar system size they can install. 

Usage Patterns

Your house solar panels will generate electricity during daylight hours, and if you have solar battery, the excess energy will be stored there. Otherwise, the excess energy generated will be sent back to the grid. When your solar energy is sent back to the grid, your energy retailer will credit you for the energy exported that will offset your bills. 

FiTs

Homeowners who sign with their energy provider will be provided FiTs within the range of 5.0c to 10.0c for solar energy that is sent back into the grid. You can refer to this to get a more specific idea of the minimum and maximum FiT rates depending on your state. However, check with the energy provider to find out their FiTs on offer. As mentioned, it’s best to shop around to get the best rates. 

Additionally, FiTs vary from state to state. With that, ensure you have your figures right before you calculate how much you can save from your solar energy. 

Solar system size

Simply put, the bigger the solar system is, the more power it will generate. Therefore, the size of your system will have an impact on the amount of money you save. It’s crucial to select a system that is big enough to cover your power usage and will enable you to maximise your return on investment. 

Location

Finally, your location plays a role in the amount of money you save from solar energy. The good news? Australia gets a lot of sunlight, which means that, no matter where you live, you will be able to harness the power of the sun to generate power for your home. Where you live in the country will influence how much energy your solar system can generate.

Energy Matters has over 17 years of experience in the solar industry and has helped over 40,000 Australian households in their journey to energy independence.

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