Can I save on electricity without investing into solar?
Yes, households can save on power bills without solar panels. While solar can substantially reduce power bills it is also very worthwhile to review power use and waste less.
Interestingly households who buy solar power take more interest in power usage and tend to get the double benefit of cheap solar power and lower power consumption. Huge financial savings can be made by this two pronged approach. Here are some non-solar tips:
1. Switch to LED lights. They use up to 75% less energy than an equivalent incandescent or halogen bulb and up to 30% less than CFL bulbs.
2. Switch off appliances on standby and not used regularly. This particularly applies to older air conditioning systems which often have a very high standby power usage and should be turned off at the meter box.
3. Reduce heating and cooling costs by insulating ceilings, walls and floors and stopping drafts from doors and windows. Double glazed windows make a big difference.
4. Use passive natural cooling and heating such as opening windows on summer nights and on warm winter days.
5. Cool & heat your home efficiently, for example new, efficient split system air-conditioners use around 20 to 25% less electricity than older models. Look for a high co-efficient of performance "COP" of at least 4.
Higher is better. Note that small fan or bar heaters use 3 to 4 times more power than reverse cycle air conditioners for the same amount of heating.
6. Heating hot water requires a lot of energy. An electric element hot water system uses 3-4 times more electricity than a heat pump system.
If you have a big solar pv system and a lot of excess power this might not be a problem but otherwise reduce hot water use by installing star rated (efficient) showerheads and taking shorter showers.
When a hot water system fails review your options. Generally a heat pump installed on a timer powered by free solar electricity will always have the lowest running costs.
7. Use curtains and shutters to keep the sun out during summer. Consider installing louvres or deciduous plants & vines to shade windows.
8. Use cold water to wash clothes and the sun to dry them. If you have a dryer, use it during the day when your solar system generates the most electricity e.g. from 8am to 4pm. Even better use a clothes line or frame to dry clothes.
9. When building, renovating, renting or buying a home, aim for high energy-efficiency appliances. Do not have the fridge located right next to the stove. Old & cheap fridges used as the second or 'beer' fridge are notoriously big power users.
10. Use timers to start and turn off electric appliances to match high solar power generation times.Following the energy saving tips above will assist you and your family to reduce your electricity bills. Adding a solar system to your home or business will help you to further reduce your electricity bills. Find out more about solar by contacting an authorised LG installation partner.