Around 1 million households across the country now have solar panels, and installers are seeing an increased interest in getting them installed as energy bills rise. Our partners at Caplor can help you to reduce your energy usage and power your house with renewable electricity with their solar packages.
If you already have solar panels or are looking to get some in the future, it is important to know how you can get the most from your panels. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Use the most energy when your generation is highest
To reduce the amount of excess electricity you will need to import, try to use your appliances during the day when your solar panels are generating the most energy. Peak generation is between the hours of 12pm – 3pm when the sun’s energy is at its most powerful, so this is the ideal time to use high-energy appliances like the washing machine.
If you want to be solely reliant on your solar panels, it’s important to monitor your generation amounts alongside your usage to ensure that you’re not using more electricity than you are generating.
Couple your solar panels with a home battery
As it’s not really feasible to only use electricity during the day, a good way of making the most of the energy you generate is to invest in battery storage. This means you can save any excess electricity to use at night or at another time – especially if you’re not at home during the day when your panels are generating. Batteries mean you can use more of your renewable energy and less electricity from the grid, saving you more money on your bills.
However, battery storage might not be for everyone. If you’re at home a lot and using the majority of your electricity during the day, there will not be a lot of excess solar energy to store. They can be quite an expensive investment, so it’s important to monitor your generation to see if you can benefit from storage.
Keep your solar panels well maintained
Solar panels don’t need a lot of maintenance, as there are no moving parts and the rain washes off most of the dirt or dust. It is still important to clean your solar panels a couple of times a year, especially during summer when there isn’t as much rain, as a build-up of debris will reduce the efficiency of the panels.
The inverter is what turns the energy generated from the sun into energy that your appliances can use. As they contain electrical components, these are what will likely need some maintenance, and even then, it will predominantly be the removal of dust.
Caplor offer full maintenance and servicing for your solar panels and the inverter. They will also give you a performance report of how your system is functioning.
Make use of government initiatives
The Smart Export Guarantee replaced the Feed-in Tariff in 2020, and pays solar generators for any excess power they export to the grid. If you’re still on the Feed-in Tariff scheme, you’re still entitled to those payments until your tariff ends. We recently wrote a blog on the FiT scheme if you’re on a Feed-in Tariff and have any questions.
As part of the 2022 Spring Statement, Rishi Sunak announced that there will be no VAT on renewable technologies including solar panels for the next five years, giving homeowners extra savings if they choose to invest in solar panels.
Use your solar panels to charge your EV
If you have an electric vehicle, solar panels can be a much cheaper and greener way to charge your EV, using power from the sun rather than power from the grid.