So, you’ve got your solar panels and possibly your battery all safe and installed. That’s not the end of the story, though because you can make some adjustments and use some tricks to get even more out of them.
Reduce your energy usage
Swap out your old-style bulbs and halogens for LEDs and a lot of the average household energy budget goes on lighting. LEDs use 92% less power than incandescents and they last for way longer. You should also stop running your water heater off the grid and be vigilant against leaving appliances on standby. The less energy you use, the more likely it is your solar system will cover it and more.
About that hot water
You may have a dedicated solar water heater, but if you haven’t, you can still use your panels to warm up your bath. Ditch your gas boiler for an electric model so that at least some of its power comes from the sun. Your demand for hot water won’t change that much over the seasons, but in late spring and summer some household can heat all of their water with solar electricity.
Use power-hungry appliances during the day
If you have smart appliances, or even slightly dumber appliances with timers, you can set them to run during the day while you’re out. Your dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer use a lot of energy so if you run them at around noon, you may not pay a cent. You can also try to do ironing and baking during the day when you’re home at weekends.
Use solar in the garden
Luckily, spring and summer, when there’s more power coming into your panels, is when you do most gardening. You could run hedge trimmers and even lawn mowers and hot tubs from your panels. If you have a battery, you can use it to run lights at night.
Use smaller heaters during autumn
If you have a battery, or if you’re at home over weekends in the day, then you can run smaller, less hungry heaters from your panels or storage. They won’t kick out a huge amount of heat, but they’ll provide a nice warm glow on autumn evenings or even winter daytimes to take the chill off.