An expert from Power Smart Solutions explains how you can make long-term energy savings with solar.
The environmental benefits of using solar panels to power your home are widely documented, but did you know solar can also have a positive impact on your household budget?
Solar power can help you make significant savings on your energy bills in the long-term, as Errol Cain, General Manager at Power Smart Solutions, explains.
“We tailor a system based on how many kilowatts per day you use to get down to the absolute minimum power bill where it’s cost effective vs what you’re going to save,” he said.
The cost of installing solar varies greatly depending on the size and power requirements.
“A typical three-bedroom family home will suit a system size between 6 kilowatts to 10 kilowatts, depending on their consumption needs,” according to Errol.
Power Smart Solutions’ calculator helps people understand how much they can expect to save with solar in the long-term.
“Factoring in the time it will take to pay off, after that, it’s like buying a car, the asset is sitting on the roof,” Errol said.
“If you pay your system off over sixty months, you’re going to save massively on power for the next 25 years.”
Saving on energy bills with solar
You start to make savings on your bill as soon as the energy meter is changed over, which is usually about two weeks after the panels are installed, Errol explained.
Power Smart Solutions’ solar systems are based on 4.7 hours of sunlight. And even on rainy days, the system will continue to produce energy.
“Our calculations allow for 28 full rain days in a year’s production. Even on rainy days, the system is still going to produce somewhere between 70 – 80% of the capacity, because solar operates on UV not direct sunlight,” Errol said.
Tips and tricks to get the greatest cost savings from solar panels
There are a number of ways to save money on your energy bill such as turning off all lights and heating or cooling when you leave the house, switching off all electrical appliances at the powerpoint when not in use, and using LED light bulbs.
To get the best cost benefit from your solar energy system, Errol suggests doing high-energy activities during peak sunlight hours.
“Run your swimming pool heating during the day as much as you can, so you’re actually producing the power to run your pool from your roof,” Errol said.
“And wash the dishes, do the vacuuming, things like that, when the system is producing, generally between 9am – 3pm.”
Solar battery — is it necessary?
Some people may opt to purchase a battery as part of their solar system. This captures any unused solar power generated during the day for later use at night and on low-sunlight days.
But Errol says these batteries can be cost prohibitive and aren’t necessary to reap the benefits of solar cost savings.
“99% of solar at the moment is done without a battery,” Errol said.
“The general life cycle of the battery is about 10 years, and it could take you 10 years to pay it off. The battery is not at the tipping point just yet, but technology is getting better all the time.”
Get started with solar power
If you’re considering solar energy, Errol advises using a company that is approved by the Clean Energy Council. Approved Solar Retailers provide a five-year, whole-of-system warranty and ensure a Clean Energy Council accredited installer sets-up your solar system.
“It’s important to protect yourself and make sure you look after your investment for the long term,” Errol said.
Power Smart Solutions partners with humm to make it more affordable to install solar panels at home. With humm, you can cover the cost of installation upfront and pay it off over time, setting you up to make savings on your energy bills for years to come.
“With solar, you’re doing the right thing for the environment and you’re doing a great thing for your pocket, because the amount you’re going to save over a 30-year period, by providing a percentage of your electricity, will allow you to pay off your house quicker,” Errol said.