With the price of electricity at all-time highs, it is critical that you use your solar system correctly to maximize your savings. Just changing some habits can make some significant benefits. Furthermore, your solar system is connected only to Tariff 11 or your general tariff. Any loads connected to Tariff 31, 33 or an economy tariff will not have the benefit of your solar system.
If your home has a swimming pool, this is the most critical appliance to have connected to Tariff 11 and be on a timer that only runs the pool for 8 hours during the day. (8am to 4pm) Doing this will save you between $1000 to $1400 per year.
Electric Hot Water Systems
Your hot water system is the next most important appliance in your home to use your solar. It is important to have your electrician connect it to Tariff 11 and install a timer in the switchboard. (This will cost approximately $350). The timer should be set between 10am to 4pm. Some colder regions in Australia may need adjusting to this. Doing this will save you $400 – $600 per year.
Most of these have delayed timers built in now and economy modes. Set your dishwasher to run in the morning from 8am to 10am. Doing this will save you $75 – $100 per year.
Set the timer on your washing machine to start at 3pm so it is ready for you for when you come home. Doing this will save you $75 – $100 per year.
You have an A/C that is mainly used during daylight hours (like your home office) it makes sense to have this on Tariff 11, using your solar system. Your lounge room A/C could be another option if you run it during the day and not that much at night. During Summer solar systems can still be producing up to 7pm at night. This can save up to $700 per year.
Your fridges, freezers, lights, fans, TVs, and power points are all connected to Tariff 11 and are using your solar system every day.
Electric Vehicles (EV)
When you’re driving one of these cars, it will be best to have them on Tariff 11 and charge them from 6am to 6pm on weekends using your solar smart Electric Vehicle Chargers. Other options are to top the vehicle up after School or work from 3.30pm to 6pm. These chargers use ECO mode using your surplus solar to charge your car (there is no doubt people will be upgrading to larger solar systems when they have an EV). EV chargers can charge up to 7KW an hour and use 100% of your solar system capacity when in use.
Your solar system can save you a lot of money on your power bill if you use your appliances correctly. The goal is to use as much of the solar as you can, and it is not that hard to do if you follow this guide above. The game changer coming, is electric vehicles and using your solar to charge them makes a lot of sense.
Founder & Manager of Horan & Bird Energy. Director of Master Electricians Australia. John has played a key entrepreneurial role in the transformation of the Energy Landscape in Queensland having founded Horan & Bird in 2004 and building it to a $35 Million Business. The business was then sold, repurchased and merged with Juice Capital in 2020. Juice Capital own one of the largest renewable energy funds in Australia and allow customers to go solar and batteries for no up front capital through Power Purchase Agreements.