Blog Posts

How to Get the Most Out of Your New Solar and Battery System

Maximising your savings with solar used to be simple. You would use as little electricity as possible during the day so you could export your solar electricity to the grid and get high feed-in tariffs in exchange.   

Unfortunately, things have changed over the years, and high feed-in tariffs are now a thing of the past. Therefore, it’s important to think differently about how to get the most out of your solar and battery system today.    

The good news is that by getting smarter about your home electricity usage and actively changing your habits during certain times of the day, you can significantly reduce your electricity bills over time.   

At LPE, we’re here to help you do just that, and we’ve compiled our top tips for getting the most out of your solar and battery system below.    

So if you’re serious about taking control of your future by becoming self-sufficient and further reducing your dependency on the electricity grid, read on!   

Tip #1: Make Headway While the Sun Shines   

It used to be that you got paid high feed-in tariffs for exporting your solar electricity to the grid. But with feed-in tariffs so low (or even non-existent), it makes far more sense to use as much solar electricity as you can during the day. After all, it's free!   

Try capitalising on using household appliances while the sun is shining, and your solar panels are actively generating electricity. This could look like:   

  • Doing your washing during the day.   
  • Turning your dishwasher on in the morning, rather than at night.  
  • Setting up a slow cooker meal to cook throughout the day, (so you can come home to something warm and delicious in the evening).  
  • Running your pool pump between 8am and 4pm.
  • Installing or turning on a timer for your electric water heater.

Tip #2: Keep Tabs on Your Electricity Usage at Night 

While your battery, which is charged by your solar panels during the day, can support your home during the night, it's still important to be mindful about how much electricity you’re using at any one time.

This is because of the local network providers introducing “demand charges”, which apply to new homes and businesses, and anyone with a smart meter installed. You can learn more about these changes to network charges here, but what’s important to remember is that if you happen to drain your entire battery between the hours of 4pm and 9pm, your home will have to draw electricity from the grid instead, putting you at risk of incurring demand charges and reducing the savings opportunity.   

To avoid getting yourself into this position, we suggest getting into the habit of staggering the use of appliances across 30-minute increments between the hours of 4pm and 9pm, and avoiding using any heavy energy devices during this time. Examples of how you could do this include:  

  • Not running the dishwasher, washing machine or clothes dryer in the evenings
  • Making sure you have a timer on your electric water heater
  • Turning on your aircon earlier, to cool your house down before 4pm (then turning it off)
  • Waiting to switch on other non-essential appliances, such as your pool pump until after 9pm (or better yet, setting them to run while the sun is shining, as mentioned in Tip #1)  

Tip #3: Clean and Shiny is Best   

While solar panels are pretty robust, they’re not invincible in the elements. Things like dust, mould, and even bird droppings can reduce a solar panel's ability to absorb the sun's light. 

The dirtier the solar panel, the less electricity it's able to generate.   

We recommend cleaning your solar panels every 6 to 12 months, as well as pruning any trees that have grown to block the sun's light from shining directly on to them. 

Both jobs do have some risk involved, so if in doubt, please hire a professional.   

Tip #4: Come Home to Cool   

There's nothing worse than coming home from work, opening your front door, and being hit by that wave of heavy Queensland heat. 

In summer, try programming your aircon to turn on an hour before you are due home — that way you can cool your home with the power of solar electricity while the sun is still in the sky.   

Tip #5: Make Your Home Smart   

Smart home tech has become much more affordable in the last few years, and a lot of it can help you reduce your electricity usage.   

To get even more out of your solar and battery system, consider automating your home with smart appliances and lighting. 

The more you can automate your home, the less electricity you'll use, and the more money you can save.      


We hope we've helped you think of new and interesting ways to get the most out of your new solar and battery system, and further reduce your dependency on the grid. If you have any more questions, please call us on 1800 040 168, or contact us here.