Does solar power work in the UK? Solar power has become a game-changer when it…
How to get the most out of your solar PV system
You might have opted for a solar PV system because you are environmentally conscious or just keen to make some long-term financial savings. Either way, there are several methods, whereby you can maximise your system’s potential.
Reduce your electricity use
Even on cloudy days, your solar PV system will predominantly generate electricity during the day. Therefore, in the evening time especially, you need to make sure that you are not using more power than your solar panels are generating.
By reducing your electricity usage, you can help to lower your energy bills and carbon footprint. Also, with the Smart Export Guarantee tariff, you will receive a payment for every unit of electricity you export back to the national grid.
Use more electricity during the day
Considering that your solar PV system will be at its most productive during daylight hours, it is wise to conduct domestic tasks like washing, dishwashing and ironing, within this timeframe. This will be straightforward if you are at home for most of the day. However, if not, then you can set timers for certain appliances, most notably your dishwasher and washing machine.
Insulate your home
With electric heating you can set your timers, to activate during daylight hours. To ensure this heat stays in your home for as long as possible, it is important that you have a good standard of insulation. This is true of any renewable energy technology, and solar panels are no different. As a high percentage of heat escapes through the walls in your home, opting for either solid wall or cavity wall insulation will enable your system to work more efficiently. The same thought can be applied to the top of your home, whereby insulating the roof or loft, will keep the heat trapped for longer.
Combine with other renewable systems
Quite often, a solar PV system works more efficiently, when it is combined alongside other forms of renewable technology. This is because a solar PV system can be set up to power a heat pump, or several renewable systems can be put together to feed into a thermal store.
Install a PV diverter
There is a possibility that your solar PV system is generating more electricity than the amount you need. If this is the case, then you could be receiving export payments through the Smart Export Guarantee. However, if you are not getting paid for these exports, then you might be looking for a way to use more of this additional energy within your home.
Instead of sending it back to the grid, your additional electricity could be used to power the immersion heater in your hot water tank, allowing you to store hot water for later use. If you have a hot water cylinder, you can make use of a PV diverter. In terms of initial cost, this is the cheapest option, especially if you have it installed at the same time as your solar panels. With this reliable and low maintenance component, you will be able to direct your excess energy to power your immersion heater, instead of exporting it to the grid.
Homeowners are still able to get a FREE boiler grant or insulation grant via the ECO scheme, which is still available to households that qualify. Warma UK are currently working throughout the UK helping privately owned and rented homes to improve home energy efficiency and save money on rising energy bills.
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