So you have just had your new solar system installed, what happens now?
The Run Through:
Firstly you want to make sure that you have had a detailed run through with your installer to make sure you understand the basic operation of the system and how to tell if there is a fault that needs investigating. If your installer did not go through this or you have more questions make sure you contact your salesman. You will also want to make sure that all of the appropriate product manuals have been left with you.
If your system was installed by us you can find all product warranty and user manuals here.
The Meter Change:
Before you can start enjoying the benefits of your new solar system your current electricity meter may require replacing (In QLD + NSW there is no cost to the customer for this change). If you already had a solar system installed prior to this new install your meter should all ready be updated and good to go, likewise if you already have a digital smart meter installed your electricity will just wirelessly reconfigure the meter to start reading solar production.
If your meter does require replacing your solar installers will leave the inverter(s) off to ensure that there are no discrepancies in your electricity bill.
Once the installers leave the site your sales company will work in the background contacting your electricity supplier and the network operator (Energex for SE QLD) to arrange the replacement of your meter to a new digital smart meter. This process should all happen seamlessly without the need for you to contact anyone yourself, it is, however, a good idea to follow up with your electricity retailer if you have not heard anything within 10 days.
It can take around 2 – 3 weeks for your electricity retailer to replace your meter and they should contact you with a date and time for the install. On the day your new meter is installed the metering provider will require access to your switchboard and will have to keep the power switched off for approximately 1 – 2 hours.
Once the new meter is on you can go out to your inverter and switch it on. If you are unsure on how to turn your inverter on please contact your salesman to arrange a detailed run through.
Congratulations, you can now enjoy your solar power and the savings it provides! For some detailed tips and tricks on how to increase your solar savings more check out our other blog posts.
Getting solar installed is an achievement, and you should be proud to say your house is a solar-powered home, and while your system will save you money without you needing to do anything, there are certainly lots of ways to “Supercharge” the savings your solar panels provide.
The first suggestion I would make to anyone who really wants to make the most of their rooftop solar is monitoring, monitoring your solar usage and consumption is a fantastic way to get a clear picture of where you are doing well in regards to energy usage and where you could do better. The simplest form of monitoring would have to be reading the inbuilt screen on your inverter or using the wifi app that comes free with many inverters. Reading from the screen or using the built-in apps are ok methods of monitoring however it can make it difficult to get a clear picture of your energy production.
If you had a solar system installed by us you would have likely been told about the monitoring solution we like to offer called “Solar Analytics” this is an awesome tool that allows users to get live data from their house that will tell them exactly where, when and how your power is being generated and used. This information is extremely valuable when it comes to making the most of your solar because you are able to clearly see exactly when power is being generated and when it is being used. Solar Analytics also gives portal access to ourselves so we can keep a watchful eye over your system and make sure that everything is operating as intended.
Because the solar feed-in tariff is no longer 45c per KW solar owners need to switch the way they utilise their solar power. The most productive way to use your solar with today’s feed-in tariff is to use as much electricity as possible while it is being produced, for example, put the washing on a timer to wash/dry while you are work. See below for a list of other saving techniques:
Install a timer on your hot water system to operate between 8am and 4pm
Heat / Cool your home in the afternoon
Change old halogen globes to energy-efficient L.E.D’s
Set the timer on your pool pump to operate between 8am and 4pm
Use energy-efficient appliances
Stagger consumption (Don’t turn all appliances on at once)
Note: If it generates heat it usually uses a lot of power!
You most likely shopped around for the best solar installer to suit your needs (if you chose us we are very grateful), just like shopping around for solar installers you should definitely shop around for different energy retailers, we find a lot of our customers are with the same electricity provider they have been with for years and often do not realise that they have been sneakily putting up the prices of electricity without the customer realising.
There is no reward for loyalty when it comes to energy retailers, if you find a better deal ask them to match it or beat it and if they do not come to the party give them the flick.
Here are some important things to look for in an energy retailer:
Daily Supply Charge: These can make up for a large portion of your electricity bill especially once you have had solar installed. If you are in the SE QLD region you want to look for prices certainly no higher than $1.20 per day.
Feed-in Tariff (Between 11c & 20c): Your electricity usage habits will determine how important your feed-in tariff will be for you, if you are a family who is home a lot throughout the day then a high feed-in tariff would be less important compared to houses where no-one is home during the day. The reason being is if you are home all day you can use your solar as it is being produced rather than selling it back to the grid.
Discount’s: Who doesn’t like a good discount? The good news for homeowners and tenants alike is that there are plenty of discounts to be found when searching for the right electricity deal. Some of the best deals I have found come in the way of a “Pay on Time” Discount, these can range from 15 – 30% off! Just make sure they are not making up for the discount by giving less than desirable supply charges, and tariffs.
We hope you enjoy your solar experience and if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below. If you are still looking for the right solar provider give us a call and we will happily arrange you an obligation free quote.
Many home owners are still asking us if purchasing solar is still worth it even though the FIT (Feed in tariff) has been reduced from 45c Per KW to 11c Per KW. It seems crazy doesn’t it? Why would you bother having solar installed when you are getting so little back from the energy companies?
How to save money on the OLD Feed in Tariff:
The tactic is simple…. Vacate your house during the day, have your solar produce as much power as possible without being interrupted and sell it all back to the grid at a rate of 45c Per KW…. Then come night time, you turn all your power-hungry devices on (Washing machine, dishwashers, pool pumps, ETC) and buy back all the power you sold during the day for a much cheaper 20-30c Per KW. If you are on the old FIT and you are not doing this, you need to start! There are huge savings available to you if you start. (SAVINGS PER KW 10-20C)
How to save money on the New Feed in Tariff:
This is where people are stuck in the past, if you stick to the above strategy for power usage there is no way you can take full advantage of the savings that your solar system has to offer, that is why you need to switch it up! Don’t use all your power-hungry devices at night that would be crazy! No you need to start using it all during the day instead, by doing so instead of selling your power to the energy company for 11c Per KW and buying it back later for 20-30c Per KW at night you consume the power as it is created and before it is sold to the grid! Doing this means that you save the 20-30c Per KW that the power companies charge! HUGE SAVINGS (More than OLD FIT that’s for sure)
Now you are possibly thinking “I work all day, I can’t just rush home to put my washing on when the sun comes out” and you would be right, that would be a pain in the backside… Not to worry though technology has you covered! Provided most of your appliances were not made in the 90’s there is a good chance that they all have built in timers meaning you can stack the dishes the night before set the timer for 8am and grab your clean dishes out the following afternoon with all power provided by your roof! The same goes for all major appliances, washers, dryers, pool pumps, even hot water systems (I will cover hot water in another post) these can all be thrown on timers for different parts of the day so you can reap the full benefit of you Solar.
In the past property investors all thought of solar on their investment properties the same way…. Sure it may make my house a little easier to sell… Sure I may be able to put the rent up slightly…. But is the outlay for a whole solar install worth these few benefits?
Now the game has changed… Property investors are actually using solar to generate a passive income that can be used to help offset their other costs associated with owning rental properties. Not only that, the cost of installing solar onto a rental property is totally tax deductible!
After years of experience in the Australian solar industry the founders of Yuma Energy asked the question “Why do rental properties so rarely have solar?” That question is easy enough to answer if you look at my earlier points, however the founders of Yuma Energy were determined to make installing solar onto rental’s a no brainer.
So what is the magic formula? Yuma Energy developed a process/system for monitoring the energy produced by the solar on investment properties and uses the data collected to bill the tenants for the solar power they have used rather than them purchasing power from the large electricity retailers.
The result for Australian tenants is electricity that is about 30% cheaper when they use the solar power. Not only does this allow the tenants to take advantage of renewable energy and the savings it provides, it also produces another form of passive income for property investors.
This passive income is also quite significant, working out to around $37 per week ($1,924 per year) into the investors pocket.
This quickly covers the cost of a solar install and starts generating real profit for the property investor.
To learn more about how solar on your investment properties get in contact with Yuma Energy today.
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Interested in finding out how solar can put money back in your pocket? Get in touch with one of our energy specialists today.