How do I maximise the financial return of my solar power system?
The first consideration in maximising the return of a solar system is to ensure that the system you buy uses quality components that will be reliable for the life of the system (25 years plus). The system should also be sized correctly based on your household`s electricity use patterns and volumes. If a system is too big, producing significantly more electricity than can actually be used on the property, this will lengthen the pay back period and reduce the return on investment.
The next step is to use any power within the property during the day while the solar system is generating electricity. The more electricity consumption that can be "load shifted" into daylight hours the greater the financial benefit of having the solar will be.
Remember, what ever can be done during the solar generation period i.e. daylight hours will help you maximise returns.
To give a few examples:
- Regular electricity consumption items like pool pumps should be put on day cycle to use the solar energy generated
- Use your washing machine, and if you have - dryer during the day. For example, LG appliances now have sophisticated inbuilt timers which will allow you to select the starting day and time of the operating cycle
- Some of us load the dishwasher at night and switch it on before going to bed. We suggest to leave the dishes overnight and turn the dishwasher on before you leave for work and have the solar electricity run the machine. Again LG dishwashers will enable you to pick an exact delayed tine to start. This can be sequenced to start the moment your washing machines has finished in order to maximise the solar power generated
- Ironing clothes can be done during a sunny day or on the weekend.
- Should you have air-conditioning, another good idea is to pre-cool or pre-heat your house from 3pm onward, with the help of solar electricity. That way your air-conditioner is initially supported by solar power and when you come home the house is not too hot or too cold. Also the air-conditioning unit does not have to do all the hard work at peak electricity rates in the early evening.