Solar homeowners dream of warm summer months with longer daylight hours – in Australia, a great time for solar generation and keeping energy costs under control. But what happens during the other half of the year when the sun seems to hide behind clouds all day and the temperatures drop?

Let’s bust together some myths around solar during winter!

The energy is free because you are not buying it from your retailer, you have prepaid this service by installing your PV system. And as a solar battery owner, you increase your home’s energy self-reliability even further.

Winter Solar Myth #1 – Solar doesn’t reduce my energy bills in winter

It is true that the demand of energy during the colder months – especially when we factor heating in, can get out of hand easily. Less daylight hours and worsened weather conditions point most of us to think that our solar won’t produce enough to help us save some money in our winter bills. This is not true.

The most important thing to remember is that although there is indeed reduced generation when we compare to summer, all of the power you do generate is free. Instead of always buying from the grid, you can use as much as you produce and not pay a cent.

The energy is free because you are not buying it from your retailer, you have prepaid this service by installing your PV system. And as a solar battery owner, you increase your home’s energy self-reliability even further. During optimal conditions, your solar will charge your battery, which will allow you to maximise how long this free energy will get you. Even after your system has achieved its full ROI, you and your family will still enjoy free energy, come hail or shine!

 

Winter Solar Myth #2 – Solar batteries are not a viable investment yet

Solar technology has come a long way since first introduced to Australia. We have the highest solar production per capita in the world, much of this attributed to higher efficiency levels, consistent solar subsidies and incentives, cheaper costs of installation and a drive for renewable energies.

Solar batteries are one of the newest introductions to this market, but they have been around for a few years now. Storage capacities have improved. Prices have stabilised. Most modern brands now include monitoring capabilities via the Internet. More importantly, solar properties without batteries still depend on the grid when the PV system has finished generating for the day. Batteries work by storing any excess energy produced, so you can self-power your home with free energy at otherwise impossible times, like throughout the night. With the advent of Virtual Power Plants, batteries make a lot of financial sense too, as they open up energy trading possibilities that are simply out of reach for other solar homeowners.

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Winter Solar Myth #3 – I cannot use my heating in an overcast day

It is essential to keep your home comfortable for your family, especially when some of us are still working from home and temperatures reach their coldest. Solar generation can assist in keeping heating costs down by following some simple rules:

  • Have a look at your energy monitoring platform. If you have the Evergen app, you will know in real-time what your total house load is, and how it varies as you switch the heating on. Understanding how the load changes and how much power you are producing keeps us aware of energy consumption patterns.
  • Don’t turn on your heating full blast! Try heating your home slowly, setting the temperature between 18-20°C. Remember that every degree above 20°C can add 10% to your energy consumption (and potentially to your energy bill).
  • Try zoning off areas – close doors, shut the blinds, stop draughts and add insulation as necessary to ensure the heat stays where it’s most needed.
  • If you have ceiling fans, set them to spin clockwise – which will move the warm air downward toward you.

 

Winter Solar Myth #4 – I will only know how effective solar is until I get an energy bill

This one is easy to bust! Modern solar PV + battery systems – like Eveready, Hive Solar, Tesla Powerwall or Alpha ESS, come with Energy Management Systems (EMS), which help you monitor how and when your home consumes energy. At the palm of your hand, you have a tool that’ll help you stay on top of your usage in real time.

Members Energy customers have an extra level of visibility through the Evergen app. Through the Intelligent Control, you are able to set up energy-saving goals and look how you’re tracking to achieve them for the current billing cycle. You are in control when you choose how conservative or aggressive you want your savings to be!