You are my sunshine…

Date Tuesday, 17 March 2015 12:00 AM

You are my sunshine…

Over the past decade residential solar power has taken off in Australia, thanks to high feed-in tariffs and comparatively low installation costs. As a result, one in five Australian households now use solar power for its electricity or hot water.

If you are building a new home, installing a solar system can be a great way to reduce your living costs. But with feed-in tariffs now lower than in previous years, it pays to ensure you are using your system in the most efficient way.

Typically households pay around 25 cents per kilowatt hour (/kWh) for electricity. Feed-in tariffs have been set to a benchmark rate between 4.9 cents/kWh and 9.3 cents/kWh, or around one-third of the household rate. (This benchmark rate is a recommendation only, so it pays to shop around when choosing an electricity provider.)

The feed-in tariff applies if you produce more electricity than you use: the excess is fed back into the grid at the rate applied. But because you pay a lot more per kilowatt hour than you receive back, rather than producing excess electricity you should aim to use as much of the power generated by your panels as possible. For most families, a unit of electricity exported back to the grid is a missed opportunity for bill savings.

The solution is to use more electricity during your solar system’s peak production times. Running clothes dryers and pool filters at night is more expensive than during daylight hours, when your panels are providing free power directly from the sun. Likewise, you don’t want to install a system that produces twice the electricity you need, meaning you can’t reap the benefits of all that clean power.

For advice on which solar system best suits your new home, talk to your local G.J. Gardner Homes team today. 

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