A SEANZ member can talk you through the key financial costs and benefits of installing a solar energy system.
Here are a few key points to consider:
1. Your location and sunshine hours can determine how much electricity you generate:
This solar generation is defined in kilowatt hours (kWh). Every kWh you generate and use is one less you have to buy from the grid.
The price paid for electricity from the grid varies from region to region. The more you pay (c/kWh or c/unit) the more you will save per kWh you produce, from solar.
2. The electricity produced by solar can be used in any of the following three ways:
Used by household appliances and heating water - this is called self-consumption. The more solar electricity you consume, the better your return
Sent to a battery bank or used to charge an Electric Vehicle (EV)
Sent or exported to the grid, where the solar electricity is purchased for a low price by some retailers. Exporting electricity should be kept to a minimum for the best financial outcome
ANY OR ALL OF THESE CAN BE APPLIED DEPENDING ON YOUR NEEDS
3. The size of the solar system (measured in kWp) you install should be determined by two factors:
- The size of your household/premises
- The percentage of electricity generated that you can consume
4. Whether you are home or not, there are many ways you can maximise self-consumption of electricity you generate during the day:
- Change the time when you use power-hungry appliances
- Use simple timers placed on appliances set to operate during the day when solar is generating
- Use automated internet enabled in-home technologies with smart phone app access
- Consider a Home Energy Management System(HEMS) that enables automatic operation of certain appliances, can divert solar electricity to heat your water, into home batteries, or into an electric vehicle and minimise the electricity you export to the grid
These technologies are now commonplace, and as their costs continue to fall they may make sense for you.