To get the best benefit from Grid Connected Solar Power you need to be up to date with the latest tariffs that apply to your installation.
These days the Feed In Tariff (FIT) is much less than a few years ago.
Here in Victoria the FIT for excess power put into the grid for new installations is $0.062/kwhr.
The above rate will also apply to existing installations that:
- Are coming to the end of the initial scheme that had a higher FIT.
- Have been eligible for a higher FIT but want to increase the number of panels.
This compares with my current tariff for power consumption of $0.248/kwhr. (I could get lower ‘Off Peak Power’ but it is a balance between paying more for ‘Peak’ and less for ‘Off Peak’)
Although these rates are specific to me the general relationship will be similar for most locations in Australia.
Change Your Usage Patterns
To maximise the benefit from the current tariffs you need to ‘Change Your Usage Patterns’ to maximise the use of the solar power when it is being generated.
To achieve this, during daylight hours, you should aim to:
- Wash and dry clothes. (although drying clothes on the line is better than driers).
- Cook meals and bake, for electric ovens, and cook tops. (or use a ‘Crock Pot’).
- Run your swimming pool filter.
- Recharge battery appliances.
When you are planning to change your usage patterns remember to stagger the operations times so you are less likely to exceed the output of the panels.
Although this does minimise power going to the grid. . . the real purpose is to minimise your power used when the panels aren’t generating and you are importing from the grid.
Consider Panel Orientation
If you are planning a new installation there are real benefits in installing a panel that will give maximum power generation when you would normally use the power.
For most of us that will mean considering a more Westerly Orientation, rather than the traditional north facing orientation.
This will means that you will be best placed to use the ‘Free’ Solar Power from, when you come home, until sunset.
If you find you use more power in the morning, then East facing panels would be of benefit.
See Solar Electricity for more posts