Moving to a house with solar? Here’s the basics you should know

Solar panels are becoming more popular each year in WA. Many Australians say they would pay more, whether to rent or buy, to live in a property that has solar installed.

So how does solar work, and does it live up to the hype? Here are the top five things you should know.

1. Solar can help you save

Solar panels are one of the most affordable renewable energy sources available today and will provide future savings on your energy bill.

When the sun is out, your solar panels are generating electricity. This means instead of buying energy from the network, you’re using your own generated electricity. If you can do the most energy-intensive tasks while the sun is out (heating, cooling, washing and drying), you’ll help to keep your energy costs as low as possible.

2. Solar does need a bit of love

Over time, dust and debris can build up on the solar panels and impact the performance of your system. Just like a car, regular maintenance and servicing will help to ensure your system runs safely and efficiently.

Maintenance and cleaning costs can set you back around $200 a year. If you decide to organise maintenance and cleaning, ensure your system is inspected and maintained by a licensed electrician or accredited solar panel system installer.

3. Time of day does matter

Unless you have a home battery storage unit, you should aim to use the energy you generate as it’s generated. The WA State Government offers a buyback rate for any excess electricity that you export back into the network, however it’s more cost efficient to use as you generate.

You’ll generate the most energy when your solar panels are exposed to full sunlight. This will be sometime between 9am and 3pm in summer, depending on which direction your solar panels are facing.

With solar, the time of day does matter. Look for changes you can make to ensure you’re using energy while your solar is generating. Simple things, like running your pool pump or washing machine, or charging your mobile or laptop during the day.

4. Timing your usage

You can also set how long you leave your appliances on for. Modern air conditioners have a timer feature that can enable you to set when and for how long you’d like to run your air conditioner. Try running the air conditioner to cool your room during the day or late afternoon while your solar is generating electricity, but set it to turn off for a few hours overnight. Those couple of hours will help you save energy.

5. Seasons play a role

As the seasons change so too does our energy use. Heating and cooling are the highest contributors to your energy bill. Carefully manage your air conditioner usage in summer and increase the temperature to the recommended range of 21-25°c.

Ask any West Aussie, we live in the sunniest state in Australia with over 3,000 daylight hours on average each year. So, why not make the most of the sun.

Move with Alinta Energy