Along my blog hopping journey, I have read quite a lot of great energy saving tips. This got me to thinking about "Peak" and "Off Peak" times and how it relates to us out here and how would be the best way to utilize our power consumption now that our solar panels are connected to the grid ??????
I got to talking about just this with another person in the area who has had their system up and running for a while now. Their advise, use your power during the day when the sun is shinning and the panels are working for you. Sound advice, but what of "Peak" and "Off Peak" ??
When all else fails, call the source! So I had me a lovely chat with our energy provider with my quest in mind. The gentleman I spoke with advised that in our situation we don't have "Peak" and "Off Peak" times (solved that mystery - but how to save on power consumption and money???) We have two tarrifs, the first being our main supply and the second being for the hot water. Presently we are purchasing power to supply our daily needs at 22.75 cents and 13.67 cents for our hot water. All the power that we generate, when the sun is shinning, first feeds into the house and any not utilized feeds into the grid and is brought from us by the energy provider at 44 cents.
With this new found/gained knowledge we set about a plan to save on our energy costs. Firstly (apart from the fridge and freezer) we now use the bulk of our energy when the panels are not generating power - at night. This includes, the laundry, ironing etc, allowing all the energy produced during the day (assuming its sunny) to feed into the grid. Why do it this way I hear you ask? Simple, it comes down to dollars and cents. We are buying the power during the night (my new "Off Peak" time) at 22.75 cents. During the day when the panels are working at their "Peak" the energy provider is paying us 44 cents.
It's a goal of ours to go solar with the hot water system as well, but alas one thing at a time, so in the meanwhile the hot water system gets turned off in the morning once the sun is up and switched back on when "Home and Away" starts. My biggest concern when DH said we would be doing this until a solar system was installed was "What if we forget to turn it on and run out of hot water????" his reply "We would only forget once!" OK, well...... hmmm.......probably got a point there.......