One of the most common misconceptions about solar power is that it’s ineffective in winter. In reality, a solar system can generate plenty of electricity during the cooler months but there are a few ways to make sure you can getting the most from your system.
If you have installed a solar system the chances are that you are already in front, having taken advantage of some generous government subsidies or, if you’re a small business, utilised some of the Federal Government’s $20,000 upfront asset deduction.
Maximising your feed-in tariff
Because the feed-in tariff scheme (the credit your receive for your unused solar electricity) has changed over the years there is some confusion amongst the public about how to supercharge your savings.
It all comes to whether your FIT is higher or lower than the cost of electricity. If your system is older, say five years or so, you’re feed-in tariff will most likely be higher, and thus using as little electricity during the day will offer you the greatest savings.
Conversely, newer members of the solar community receive less for the solar electricity they don’t use. If you are nodding your head right now it’s a sign that you should try to use all the free solar power that your system is generating to avoid buying it at full retail prices.
Tip: Try adding a timer switch to your washer/dryer to power it from the sun.
Is your system all that it could be?
As we approach winter our roofs are covered with falling leaves, and frequent rain can be both a blessing and a curse. Rainfall can often wash away surface dirt on your solar panels, but occasionally the sitting water can trap dust from the atmosphere especially in rural areas.
Tip: Servicing your solar system often starts from as little as $200.
Although solar systems enjoy a rapid payback of as little as five years, they can last for twenty or even thirty years. Over the decades nearby trees may have grown to shade your roof, if so the small investment required to have them pruned back could pay for itself when you receive your next power bill.
Take advantage of the falling cost of solar
Installing solar used to be an expensive affair and most customers opted for modest systems that didn’t maximise their available roofspace. Although upgrading to a large solar system will effect your existing feed-in tariff, a larger system could be a better match for your power consumption patterns and work out better for you financially in the long term.
Tip: Always discuss the pros and cons of upgrading your solar system with an experienced solar consultant.
Seeing is believing… the photo below is from 2011. Since then prices have dropped by 66%, just imagine having three times the amount of free electricity at your disposal!