So you made the environmentally and financially sound decision of going off the grid, now what? If you’re wondering how to make the most of converting to the wonderful renewable resource that is solar power then you’ve come to the right place. Solar power is a fantastic and eco-friendly alternative to using fossil-fuel-based electricity but it does take some work to get it running optimally. If you didn’t know this then don’t feel bad, consumerism is largely based on overconsumption and, ultimately, wastage – that is what has been drilled into us over the years. Here are a few tips for getting the most from your new solar power household or workplace.
1. Reduce Your Consumption
It’s no good converting your home or office to solar power if your appliances are electricity guzzlers. Start by replacing the most power-hungry models first, these will be a massive drain on your power supply and that is simply not sustainable when you’re running off of solar power alone.
If you can’t replace those older appliances for their newer and more energy-efficient counterparts then you should at least only be using them once a day and one at a time.
2. Replace Obsolete Lighting
Do a lighting audit on your solar-powered home, vacation home or office and replace all of the lights that use the old type of energy-hungry bulbs, or if you can, replace just the bulbs with more energy-efficient ones.
Lighting is one of the biggest contributors to power consumption when the bulbs are all filament globes. Filament globes produce heat as a by-product of creating light and this heat accounts for almost 90% of the total energy wasted by these bulbs. Take advantage of solar incentives in Oregon and get rewarded for living more responsibly.
3. Invest In a Gas Geyser
Your solar power system was not cheap but it will never be able to keep up if it is expected to run your electric water heater all day, every day. Invest in a gas geyser that will not use the stored energy from your solar panels but instead use gas.
The other benefit of gas geysers is they give you instant hot water so you will reduce your water consumption at the same time as reducing your power consumption.
4. Take Advantage of the Daylight
Use appliances that require the most energy during the day when your solar power is in full swing. Stagger the usage of these appliances because if you try and use them all at once they will drain more power than your solar power system is capable of producing because your energy requirements will be too high.
5. Invest In Solar Batteries
Installing solar power is just the first step in investing in a total solar energy system. The best way to make the most of your solar system is to buy solar batteries to go with it. These batteries will maximize your solar consumption by reducing the amount of electricity you will need to purchase from the grid.
They do this by providing a safe place in which to store the solar energy collected during the day for use later in the evening. Solar batteries are a necessary upgrade for homeowners with solar-powered systems.
6. Cancel Standby Modes
A lot of electrical devices like TVs, laptops and Wi-Fi’s use electricity even when they’re not in use. It might not seem like much at the time but all of that extra power consumption adds up every year and it is completely wasted. You can save on the power drawn from your solar-powered system by unplugging those devices when they are not in use.
The same applies to charging your devices, make the most of the sunlight hours by putting these devices onto charge during the day and unplugging them in the evenings. You can also charge things like power banks during the day so that you can use them to charge your devices at night instead of conventional electricity.
7. Get a Gas Stove
Cooking is one of the biggest power-draining activities around, especially with a fully electric stove and oven. Switch to a gas-powered stove and watch your electricity consumption drastically reduce.
Gas stoves, like gas water heaters, provide an instantaneous flame, so your pots and pans will heat up so much quicker than a conventional stove. This will save your solar power system from the massive evening drain that comes with making dinner, as well as have your dinner cooked much faster than normal.