Solutions To Summer Spikes in Electricity Bills

Don’t Let Power Bills Be a Bummer This Summer, Get On Top Of Your Use Before It Goes Overboard

watermelonIt’s approaching summer and as the weather gets warmer you’ll find yourself and the family reaching for that air-conditioning remote. Ah, some relief from the sticky humidity and sweat. That is until you see that your latest power bill has shot through the roof! Now it comes down to the choice of taking on the heat or the financial strain of pricey power bills.

Whether you’re renting, buying or building a home we all have the dreaded arrival of power bills, that just seem to be getting more expensive every year! Although air-conditioning can be a serious contributor to the pesky power bill spikes, it’s not the only factor and sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what caused the increase and how to get your bills back down to a more manageable state.

 So, What’s Causing The Power Bill Rise?

School Holidays & Visitors

familyonbeachIf the kids are on holidays and they’re spending more time at home playing video games, watching tv or even just having the lights and air-conditioning on more often, this is going to increase your homes energy use and bills. The same goes for having more people staying at or visiting your household over the holidays.

Keep the use to a minimum with these tips:

  • Get the kids outside and playing
  • Unplug unused electronics
  • Use your oven sparingly; if you’re entertaining or cooking for more people try having a BBQ or even making a big batch in a slow cooker
High Temperatures

Unless your willing to accept constant sweat, sleepless nights and the horrible smell of body odor, you’ll want to cool your household this summer, despite what it does to your power bill. Air conditioning is one of the highest energy consuming major appliances, especially when used carelessly.

So how do you stay cool without running the air-conditioning non-stop?

  • Close your curtains during the day to keep rooms cool
  • Wear breathable clothing
  • Make sure your windows and doors are sealed (so the cold air from your air-conditioning doesn’t escape)
  • Use a fan when possible
The Pool

If you’re lucky enough to have a pool to cool down in this summer, you may not be so lucky with your energy bills. Having an electric pool pump or heater can cost you big time if left running 24/7, but you can’t let that stop you from taking a dip! Invest in an energy-efficient pool pump model and keep your pool filters clean to stop the pool from costing you more than it needs to this summer.

Solution to Reducing Electricity Bills Before Summer

solarhomefamilyRenewable energy like Solar is a growing trend in Australia and can save you up to $2,000 in power bills annually. Over the past few years, there has been a serious increase in Australians investing in solar systems after seeing their neighbours, friends and peers decrease their power bills by installing a solar system. In Australia, we’re lucky enough to have an abundance of sunny days and this is optimal for a solar system to generate energy.

The best thing about having a solar system is that once the system is installed whatever energy is generated is yours to use for free and any excess energy is automatically sold back to the grid (household receives a payment called a Feed-in Tariff) or you can store it for later use if you have a battery system.

The Federal Government in Australia currently assists households to pay for the initial costs of installing solar systems, which can knock off approximately 40% of the systems cost and installation. This is called the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). The SRES assistance means your system could be paid off by the savings of your power bills within 3-5 years. Some states in Australia also offer other incentives on top of the SRES in the form of interest-free loans, additional subsidies and payment plans.

Installing a solar system means not only will you see a huge reduction in your power bills, but you’ll also increase your property value and sleep easy knowing your home has reduced its harmful emissions that affect our environment.

You can see your predicted savings by using tools such as our Solar Savings Calculator

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Beginners Guide to Solar Power

If you’re considering solar for your property or just looking to maximise the savings for your solar system, download a FREE copy of our "Beginner’s Guide To Solar Power".

Become an expert and better understand the ins and outs of solar power and solar PV systems for your property.

Includes detailed explanations and diagrams of the various types of solar systems and their parts, solar battery storage systems, Government incentives, expected ROI periods, finance, energy saving tips and more!

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.