Some of us aren’t that smart when it comes to technology, but many of us have made the smart decision to add a solar battery setup or are thinking about doing so. But did you know you can connect your solar battery setup with smart home technology to make your power bill the lowest it can be?
Many Australians aren’t home during the day, so when your solar battery is full and your solar panels are generating ‘free’ electricity, all the hard-earned energy generated from your solar setup disappears into the electricity grid.
But, you can get better value by connecting your solar setup with smart plugs. It means you can sit back and let a computer do all the thinking for you - while you take all the credit.
But what is a Smart Plug, and what makes them 'Smart' and how can you connect them to your solar battery setup?
What is a smart plug?
A smart plug is like a powerpoint adapter – it fits between your power socket and the appliance you wish to plug in. Like a powerpoint, it simply turns things on and off. Most smart plugs communicate using your home’s Wi-Fi network. But, unlike a normal powerpoint, you can control your appliances from an app on your smartphone from anywhere.
When combined with some energy monitoring platforms you can setup your power hungry appliances to turn on automatically when your solar setup is generating lots of electricity.
How can you connect a smart plug to your solar battery setup?
Some monitoring apps can show you when you’ll have excess solar energy going to the grid. This means your battery is full and you are still generating more solar energy. You can take advantage of this cheap energy if you have smart home technology such as smart plugs at your home.
Every time you have excess solar you can automatically turn on your dishwasher, washing machine or even your pool pump, so you’re not wasting your solar power and making sure you’re getting the best value from your solar and battery setup.
Once you've set it up on each device you want to save energy on, you don’t have to worry! A good system will then work automatically and tell your power hungry appliances using smart home technology to turn on and off once they’re done or when you’re no longer using solar generated energy.
How you can use smart plugs with your solar battery setup
By now you must be excited to read about some practical and smart examples of how you could be using smart plugs with your solar battery setup in your home.
Washing Machine and tumble dryer
Next time your solar setup has created excess free energy set up your washing machine to do a load of washing or ask your dryer to make your clothes toasty warm.
For an extra tip use the cold cycle on your washing machine – washing your clothes in cold water can save you $140 a year. Most machines will use the same energy for a half load as they do for a full load, so try using it when you have a full load.
Pool and spa pump
Swimming pools are great for cooling off on a summer's day. They're also big energy guzzlers - the average swimming pool will cost between $800 and $1,200 to run annually – consuming between 2,000 and 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity. A pool pump can be the largest electricity costing culprit in your home, sometimes using more energy than your washing machine, clothes dryer and dishwasher combined!
Connect your pool pump to your home automation platform and watch your power bill reduce as your pool pump only turns on when you have cheap energy available.
Got an Electric Vehicle (EV)? You’ve probably noticed a rapid increase in your power bill. On average EV owners add $700 annually to their electricity bill by charging their car at home. Although, you’re no longer paying for petrol, servicing and general car maintenance you're now paying more for your electricity. But don't worry - charge your EV using a smart charger connected to your solar!
Dishwashers, vacuums, portable heaters and air conditioners all contribute to your power bill. Set your small appliances to charge or turn on when you have cheap energy available with Reposit.
Don’t forget to plug in and charge up devices that you may use at night, things such as laptops, mobile phones and any items which run on batteries!
With these little-known tips in mind, and a bit of time setting things up, you can save energy and get the most out of your solar power!