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  • Writer's pictureRichard Percival MSci

Solar PV In The Age Of Lockdown

It goes without saying that many people are now spending a lot more time at home during the day, whether that means working from home, shielding or looking after children who aren’t at school. As a result, many of us will be seeing our home energy bills start to rack up. Solar PV could provide a solution.

One feature of Solar PV (and I may be stating the obvious here) is that it tends to generate power primarily during the day. Traditionally, the government subsidised users who could export this surplus power to the grid using the Feed-in Tariff, but the scheme stopped accepting new applications in March 2019. An increasing number of energy tariffs offer a small payment (about 5p per kilowatt-hour) for electricity exported to the grid but this is quite a bit lower than the cost of buying power from the grid (about 15-20p per kilowatt-hour). That means it’s much more cost-efficient to use the energy you generate yourself if possible.

Spending time at home allows us to adjust or make the most of our solar power by using energy-intensive appliances like dishwashers, washing machines and ovens during the day, using more of the energy you generate yourself instead of exporting it to the grid. By doing this, you can greatly increase the savings you get from your Solar PV system. The lack of pollution and sunny weather has also made 2020 a great year for solar power, with record-breaking solar power generation in April.

Home-working is being increasingly touted as ‘the new normal’ but, if you do find yourself spending increased time away from home in future, a Battery Storage system is a great way to make the most of the energy you generate during the day. These systems can charge during the day and discharge during the evening, allowing you to run your home on solar energy even in the evening and night. Over the past 2 years, the price of these systems has fallen substantially, making them commercially viable for even smaller Solar PV systems.

You could also supplement these systems with a Solar Hot Water Immersion Controller, which uses excess electricity generated during the day to heat your hot water tank. If you have an electric car, an EV charging point is also a cost-effective way to charge your vehicle if combined with a Solar PV system. The smart algorithms in these systems allow you to prioritise the way that you use your surplus power to maximise the cost-effectiveness of your Solar PV system. These can be configured to meet your specific needs and can learn the best way to make use of the energy being generated from solar PV.

Solar PV can be a great investment, which helps you to reduce your energy costs while helping the environment at the same time. Our team of consultants can support you through the process, from designing the right system to maximise Return on Investment (ROI) to installing the system safely and professionally. If you’d like to explore how solar PV can help you, we’d love to hear from you. You can get in touch here.



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