Buy a system that is suitable for your household size and needs
Solar feed-in-tariffs offered by retailers vary and often do not pay very well, meaning that the most effective way of getting value out of your solar PV system is using the electricity yourself! If your system is too large, you will find that you’re feeding a lot of electricity back into the grid but not getting a lot of money for it. When organising to get a system installed, one of the consultants at Huglo Energy will use your usage data to determine what size system you require. We call it the “Goldilocks Zone” – not too big, not too small.
Consider adding storage to your solar PV system
As one of the most effective measures for getting the most from your solar PV system, battery storage can further reduce your reliance on the electricity grid. Essentially instead of sending the electricity you generate back to the grid, you store it in your battery and then use the electricity when you are not producing. However it's a trade-off as the upfront cost of getting a battery installed can be prohibitive, and might be more expensive than the cost to buy electricity from your retailer.
Use as much as you make, as you make it
If you don’t have the facility to store your electricity, one of the best ways to make the most of your solar PV system is to use electricity-intensive appliances during the day when you are producing it.
This is because any electricity you need to buy from the grid will cost considerably more than you will get selling back to the grid. Peak solar generation windows can vary from 2 to 8.5 hours a day depending on a number of different factors including location and time of year. There are a number of apps that you can link up with your solar PV system in order to track optimum electricity generation times, otherwise using electricity-intensive appliances like your dishwasher, washing machine or dryer around midday is a safe rule-of-thumb. If you have an appliance that doesn’t have a start delay, consider purchasing a smart plug that will allow you to do so.
Sell back to the grid but look for the best feed-in-tariff (FiT) rates
If the aforementioned options are not appropriate for your situation, use an electricity comparison service such as Huglo’s Electricity Comparison web app in order to compare all deals available in your area from all retailers. Be careful of competitors who do not compare the entire market and only include retailers who pay them a kickback, this may not be in your best interest or be the best plans available.
Compare rates and compare them often
Not exclusive to electricity, the best way to make sure that you’re getting the best deal is to check regularly as to whether better deals have hit the market. Retailers rely on the set-and-forget customers (most of us!) to make their money and often only improve their FiT to attract new customers. Checking regularly will mean you can take advantage of any better deals that come along, and be prepared to move to a different retailer if your current retailer won’t match the better option.