The uptake of Solar for both the commercial and residential space has been exponential in recent years. The benefits to homeowners and small to medium sized businesses are vast and technology advancements in the space means systems are getting more efficient and cheaper at the same time.
Coupled with the renewed and ongoing focus from Governments around the world to finally set and achieve net carbon emission goals, there is huge growth occurring in every aspect of the renewable energy industry.
With all of this growth, there are many new businesses and organisations that are entering the renewable space. While this is often a great thing, competition is important in business, it can make it incredibly challenging for homeowners and small businesses to know how to get a good solar system for themselves.
Here are the top 3 ways to save on solar this year and make sure you are getting a good system.
1. Do The Right Research
Often when you start your journey to have solar panels installed on your home or business, the first thing you will find is noise. A lot of it! Solar has become incredibly popular and thus incredibly competitive when it comes to advertising. Now, you might think this isn’t a problem at first but when you dive in, it is.
Actually, getting to the bottom of what solar companies are advertising and what will finally be installed on your house is a chore. Prices look too good to be true (because they are) and trying to decide what to buy becomes nearly impossible.
That is why it is important to stay focused and do the right research.
Lots of the products on the market now are pretty good, going down a product research path is a long one and by the end of it, you will need to be an engineer to work out what’s going on. It is thus just as important to focus on the company than the products. Some red flags to look out for in your research are:
- Where are they based? Make sure they have a local presence, and everything isn’t done purely over the phone.
- Image – Check their reviews, Facebook, Google etc. Companies that are not always the best will be very conscious of their image and thus buy fake reviews.
- They only sell packages. Your system should be made for you, not made for anyone. Off the shelf packages mean they want to churn out volume not focus on customers.
Moral is, do not get caught up too heavily in product. The company behind the installation is just, if not more important to you getting a good outcome.
2. Maximise Your Self-Consumption
Often, people will get caught up in how much energy they can on-sell. The concept of getting paid for excess electricity generation is cool but it doesn’t mean you will get the best return on your investment.
The amount of energy you self consume in your home or business will have a much greater impact on the economics of your system. This is because no matter how much you get paid to sell electricity you have generated it is never more than what you are paying for off the grid.
The more you use, the more you save.
Focus on trying to change your energy habits so that heavy power drawing appliances can be utilised during the day when the sun is shining. Simple changes like that, will have a great impact.
3. Change Your Electricity Provider
Once solar is installed, you can start to enjoy the benefits of generating your own clea, green electricity. While solar is reasonably maintenance free, once you have had it installed the focus turns to your electricity provider. Getting the best deal based on the way you use your energy can greatly impact your power bills.
Before switching, it is important to run your solar system with your existing provider until you have a new bill so you can compare your pre and post solar usage without changing anything else.
Things to consider to get the most out of your system and energy use.
- Daily supply/connection charges. If you are using lots of your own clean energy and not buying much from the grid, you want this to be as low as possible.
- Time of use VS standard rate. If you can see that there is a clear pattern of when you are using energy a time of use could be valuable as the rate you are charged changes depends on the time of day.
- Feed in tariffs. If they are available where you live and you are feeding a lot back into the grid, a larger feed in tariff will mean big returns on your system. Remember, if you aren’t sending much back in, don’t let this distract you. A cheaper supply charge or standard rate will have a greater impact.
Installing solar on your home or business can not only have a positive impact on your energy bills, it also helps the environment. With the current availability and access coupled with great advancements in technology, solar makes a lot of sense in 2021.