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How to further reduce your power bills with solar panels

08 Jan
How to further reduce your power bills with solar panels
Solar

If you have recently installed solar panels, you should reconsider how you use your appliances to further reduce your power bills. Your electricity bills will be lower once you install solar panels but can be further reduced by drawing as little power as possible from the grid in the evening when the sun is not shining. You can further reduce your power costs if you can use your electrical appliances during the day when your solar panels are generating power. 

Heat Pump Water Heater
If you have a heat pump water heater you can set the timer to run this appliance during the afternoon when the air is warmer and your solar panels are generating power. Also your heat pump water heater will run more than 20% more efficiently with air temperature that is 10 degrees higher, which is typical in the afternoon.

Heating and Cooling
Your other main source of power consumption is your heating and cooling system. If you have reverse cycle air conditioning and/or heat pump hydronic heating and cooling, you should consider running these appliances during the afternoon instead of at night. If your house is well insulated, the heating or cooling you have produced during the afternoon should hold well into the evening. Any additional heating and cooling required in the evening will likely be minimal and you will find your power bills significantly lower by running your heating and cooling system during the day or afternoon when your solar panels are generating power.

Dish washers, Washing and Drying Machines
Similarly, you should time these appliances to run during the day preferably when your water heater is not running. So programming them to run in the morning makes good sense when your solar panels are generating power.

Energy Recovery Ventilation
To help maintain the heating or cooling your generated during the day in your home during the evening, you should also consider energy recovery ventilation. Energy loss through leakage through cracks and doors typically accounts for 15-25% of your energy loss: http://www.yourhome.gov.au/passive-design/sealing-your-home 

Opening windows for ventilation will cause further energy loss. Siddons Solar Hydronics suggests that at least a third of your energy costs could be saved by installing a pair of ERV units and not opening windows as much and taking steps to seal cracks under doors, open vents, etc. A pair of ERV units such as the Stiebel Eltron LT-50 can capture up to 90% of the outgoing heating or cooling energy in their ceramic filters. The price for a pair of Stiebel Eltron LT-50 energy recovery ventilation units sufficient to ventilate a standard sized living/family room is $3,200 (excl GST): 

If you would like to enquire about solutions for saving power in your home, click here.

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