Are you getting the most from your solar panels?

David and Gabby Locke and the Entire Tech team receiving their Switched on Business Award from City of Armadale Mayor and Chairperson of the South East Regional Energy Group, Ruth Butterfield. They were joined by Cr Aaron Adams (City of Gosnells / SEREG delegate), City of Melville Business Development Advisor Stuart Tomlinson and Sustainability Engagement Officer Jess Sutherland. Photo credit: City of Melville. 

Whether you have solar panels already or are considering installing them, here are our top five tips for making the most of the sun’s energy.

  1. Save electricity wherever you can. Energy efficiency remains crucial. Ideally, you will implement energy efficiency measures before installing your solar panels – this will make it more likely that you choose a system that meets your needs.
  2. Get to know your appliances. If you have a solid understanding of what is using electricity in your home and when, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to shift your use to make the most of the daylight hours.
  3. Choose the right size system for your needs
    • Your panels are only producing electricity if the sun is shining. Estimate the percentage of your total household electricity use that occurs during the day. 
    • Unless you are on a generous feed-in tariff of 20 or 40 cents per kilowatt hour, there is no incentive for you to produce more electricity than you need. It may be better to get a smaller system and then work on your energy efficiency measures than to get a bigger system and over-produce.
  4. Use electricity while the sun is shining. Examples of electricity use that could be shifted to the day time include charging phones, toothbrushes and other small appliances, pool, pond and spa pumps, washing machines and dishwashers.
  5. Monitor your system’s output so you know when your solar panels are the most productive. This will depend on factors such as the time of year, your location, the direction your panels are facing and any shading from buildings and trees. Once you know when your panels are producing at their peak, you’ll know when you put the pool pump on!

Switch your thinking has partnered with a local supplier to offer discounts on solar panel installation to residents of Switch your thinking Council areas.