Reducing your cooling costs with solar power

Already have solar power on your home? Congratulations – you’re one of 1.9 million homes across Australia that is benefitting from free electricity from the sun.

Our summers are becoming hotter than ever, which means many of us are needing to use our air conditioner to cool down our homes. If you are not at home during the day, running your air conditioner when you get home in the evening can put a strain on the electricity grid, because lots of other people are doing the same thing. This can lead to black outs. Luckily, there is a simple trick you can use to help slash your cooling costs and it’s all a matter of timing (kind of)!

Your solar power system generates electricity during daylight hours. Which means that you can make the most savings from your solar system by using as much of this power as possible during the day. So, instead of running your air conditioner in the evening when you get home from work, use a timer to turn it on during the day while your solar power system is generating free electricity and then come home to a wonderfully pre-cooled home.

Many air conditioners come with built in timers, which will allow you to set them to run during the day. If you have west facing panels, they will generate more power in the afternoon which means you will be able to time your air conditioner to go on later in the day.

Some things to keep in mind

First make sure your home is well insulated and draught proofed. If your home is leaky or doesn’t have enough insulation, your home is unlikely to maintain the cool temperature by the time you get home, as the cool air will leak out and the warm air will leak in.

If your home is poorly insulated and does not have draught proofing then it is not recommended to pre-cool your home when you are not there. Luckily, it’s easy to fix this! Learn more about insulation and draught proofing.

Understand how much power your air conditioner uses.

It’s a good idea to check the power consumption of your air conditioning system and size of your solar system to see if you will generate enough electricity to run the air conditioning. For example, if you have a large ducted air conditioning unit, it may consume more power than you generate. However, if you have a smaller energy-efficient split system, it’s likely to be entirely offset by your solar power system.

Check the Power Input label to understand how much power your air conditioner uses.

Source: Energy Rating

To understand how much electricity your other appliances draw, have a go at our Your Energy Profile activity.

If you don’t have solar, join the other 1.9 million homes in Australia benefitting from solar power! Get an obligation-free quote from our vetted suppliers.