How to save money on your energy bill with solar

It is widely acknowledged that solar panels can significantly reduce your energy bill as well as help you reduce your carbon footprint but there are a number of factors to think about that will directly affect how effective you may be with your financial savings.

Electricity bills

The primary reason that you and many other homeowners might consider purchasing solar panels is to generate energy directly, which will result in a reduction in your monthly energy bills.

Depending on the times you use your appliances the most, you can reduce your electricity costs even further. This is so that you can save more money whenever you consume less electricity than you would otherwise if it were fed into the national grid.

By using more electrical appliances throughout the day, when your solar panels will be producing electricity, you can reduce your energy consumption.

Additionally having a solar battery storage system, it is possible to cover your energy bills during the day or night and remove the need to consider your daily consumption habits.

Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) tariff

A Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) tariff allows you to receive payment for any excess electricity that is put back into the National Grid.

In contrast to the aforementioned feed-in tariffs, you won’t receive payment for all the electricity you generate, but you can still consistently reduce your energy costs. Energy suppliers can choose the pay rate, the contract’s duration, and whether the tariff will be fixed or variable with a SEG tariff.

For the contract duration, fixed SEG tariffs pay a fixed amount for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity exported.

A variable tariff, as its name suggests, will have varying prices that will reflect the situation of the market and prices. Due to the rising quantity of solar PV projects, it is fortunately in the interest of energy providers to lower SEG rates.

Because you can be agreeing to a fixed rate or being subject to price changes, it is a good idea to compare vendors before choosing one.

It’s crucial to understand that you cannot get SEG payments and a feed-in tariff at the same time.

However, if you submitted an application and were approved for the FIT scheme before the application period expired in 2019, you can still choose to withdraw from the programme and receive SEG payments in its place.

Battery Storage

Homeowners can install solar batteries to their solar PV installations as energy storage devices. They can store the electricity produced by your solar panels during the day and are often constructed of lithium-ion.

With their quick charge and high capacity, lithium-ion batteries are the most effective batteries on the market.

Solar energy can only be used during the day when it is available, so solar panels working without a battery connected are not operating to their full capacity. As the Sun is at its highest during the middle of the day, it should come as no surprise that this is the greatest time for solar panels to produce electricity.

The solar battery is useful in this situation. You will notice a considerable increase in the benefit from your solar panels by using this in the mix.

This is so that all of the electricity produced throughout the day that is not used can be stored in the solar battery and used later when it is needed.

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Gas Bill

Use gas often to cook or heat your home.

If the answer is yes, switching to a more affordable energy contract that emphasises gas use makes perfect sense because solar power generation will reduce your need for electricity.

Feed-In Tariffs

A Feed-In Tariff (FIT) compensates you for any excess energy your solar panels produce and feeds back into the UK national grid, reducing the load on the grid.

On March 31, 2019, the FIT scheme stopped accepting new applications. If you already had a qualifying solar PV installation, though, you may still receive FIT payments.

When should you switch energy providers?

Although switching to a different energy provider is always an option, depending on the company and tariffs you are using, you can be charged an early exit fee.

It can be wise to evaluate your current energy contracts to see whether you can save money, depending on the size of your solar installation. By meeting your daytime consumption requirements, you might be able to bargain for a contract with identical terms or one that is nighttime centred.

You will need to be aware of your metre reading if you switch energy providers and do not yet have a smart metre fitted.

You can locate the date on your most recent energy bill if you’re unsure when your annual metre reading is.

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Smart meters and solar savings

Installing a smart metre allows you to calculate your self-consumption rate by tracking how much electricity you feed back into the UK National Grid, which is a smart move.

The newest generation of gas and electricity metres, known as smart metres, are available at no cost upon request from your energy provider.

You should only be charged for what you use because your metres send information about your usage directly to your supplier.

Read our guide – How Solar Panels and Smart Meters work together