Plico Team 11/06/2024 13 min read

Why solar and battery is not set and forget: How to save more

As powerful as a new solar + battery solution is, it’s just the beginning of your savings! Of course, you could sit back and let your solar + battery solution save you the energy and money that it’s designed to - but why stop there?

There are loads of ways you can save even more - let’s check them out!

 

Get set up

Installing your solar + battery solution is a powerful way to access savings on energy and keep more money in your wallet. If you take a few more steps to set up your home to really maximise the savings, you’ll be even further ahead. 

Understand how your system works

The first step to supreme solar saving is getting to know how your system works. Sounds simple, right? And that’s why it’s so often overlooked. But you don’t need a degree to understand get your head around how a Plico system works. We break it down for you in three easy steps:

  1. Your solar panels produce solar energy during the day. This energy is used in your home. Any excess will be stored in your solar battery and when your battery is full, any excess will go to the grid. This is when you want to use most of your energy! 
  2. When the sun goes down or clouds roll in, your solar panels stop producing energy. Any energy in your battery will be used in your home. You want to conserve energy use at this time so your battery will last longer. 
  3. When your battery is empty and the sun isn’t shining (ie your panels are not producing energy), you will draw all your energy from the grid. This is when you want to use the least amount of energy, because it comes at a cost.  

How Plico works Alpha

Energy efficiency

It goes without saying that the more energy-efficient your appliances are, the less power you need to run them. The next time you’re shopping for an appliance (think fridge, washing machine, dishwasher, dryer, oven etc) look for the most energy efficient one you can afford. Then run on eco-efficient modes and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to get the most out of your appliances.


Insulation

Keeping the warm air in and cool air out in winter (and vice versa during the warm months) is a great way to maximise your home’s efficiency (and minimise energy use). Review your home insulation (walls and roofing) and upgrade it, if that’s an option for you. You might also consider installing reflective curtains and blinds, awnings or shutters to boost your insulation. 


Check your behaviours

Everyday behaviours may seem trivial, but the impact of lots of little things can really add up. Take a little time to think about those habits that come naturally, and whether a few tweaks might result in noticeable savings. 


Use the solar window

Want to have access to stored energy from your battery during the darker hours? Maximise the daylight hours, or the ‘solar window’ to use solar produced from your solar panels. 

What is the solar window?
The solar window is the time when your solar panels have the most exposure to the sun. This is usually from 9am to 3pm but can vary depending on the orientation of your solar panels, shading and the season. 

To use the solar window to your advantage, heat or cool your home slowly (depending on the season) during the day and switch off (or switch down) your heating or cooling as the sun goes down. Of course, having an adequately insulated home will ensure you get maximum efficiency from your heating and cooling systems, and allow your home to retain a comfortable temperature overnight. This will help you avoid a big uptick in your energy needs and prolong your battery during the evening and overnight. 

When you use electric heating and cooling, like a reverse-cycle A/C, you can be sure that your energy and costs are being covered by your solar + battery solution. Unfortunately, the sun can’t help you with your gas bill!

Run electric appliances (such as washing machines and dishwashers) during the day as much as possible, and ensure your pool pump and/ or irrigation systems are using the solar window too, so you can make the most of that self-produced, clean (and free!) energy. 


Work with the seasons

Being aware of what the seasons are doing beyond your four walls can inspire you to maximise the efficiency of your system. During winter, get energy savvy by staggering your morning energy use. For example, before the sun starts hitting those solar panels, use warmer clothing and bedding to stay warm and avoid switching all your kitchen appliances on at the same time. During the warmer months, you can afford to start your A/C a little earlier to slowly cool the house before the temperature really heats up.  


Get into the habit


Think about things you do around the home without thinking, and whether you could revisit how you could be more mindful. Which of these habits could you adopt?

  • keep curtains closed during summer to keep the warm air out and cool air in
  • switch lights off when you leave a room
  • set the A/C to no less than 24 degrees in summer and no more than 21 degrees in winter
  • turn appliances off at the wall when you’re not using them
  • charge phones and laptops during sunlight hours
  • use the timer on the dishwasher and washing machine so they’re operating during sunlight hours
  • put socks on to keep your feet warm, rather than turning to the heater
  • once a year, make it a practice to double-check the shading on your solar panels and make sure they’re capturing as much sun as possible
check the Plico app regularly to monitor your energy usage and battery performance

Get proactive

It’s one thing to install a solar + battery solution (yay you!) but by being proactive, you can uplevel your savings. 


Monitor your energy use

With your Plico system, we make it easy to check out your energy consumption on the app. You can also review how your battery is performing, whether it’s being used in your home or discharging to the grid. In fact, we’ve got a whole article about how to get the most from your Plico solar battery. Once you’ve got the data, you’ve got the power to adapt. 

Electrify everything

Now that you’re up and running with your solar + battery solution, how else can you take advantage of the sun’s glorious energy? By ‘going electric’ with as many appliances and devices around your home as possible, you’ll be set up to harness that solar energy rather than other energy alternatives. Next time you’re shopping for a new appliance, consider making it electric. Every appliance adds up! 


Review your tariff

With the added flexibility and control your solar + battery system provides, you could benefit from switching your electricity tariff. Time-of-day tariffs allow you to buy electricity at a lower rate during off-peak times and pay more during peak times. If you can manage your electricity use and behaviour to take advantage of these different rates, you could save even more on your electricity bill.  

Installing a solar + battery solution is a real way to maximise savings. Taking a few extra measures will ensure you get the most possible bang for your buck. For even more tips, check out our article on how to get the most out of your solar battery. 

If you don’t yet have a solar + battery solution, talk to the switched-on Plico team today on 1300 175 426 to see how much you could save.