Switching to solar is a great way to reduce your electricity bill. Typically, solar systems produce the most energy between 9am to 3pm, with more power being generated during the long days of summer compared to the much shorter days of winter. With solar panels, the yearly electricity production graph usually resembles a bell curve. The low end of the curve represents the winter months and the peak is reached during summer.
By aligning your electricity consumption to your solar generation you will maximize the savings potential of solar. The first step is to understand how much power the solar system is generating and how much power your electrical appliances are using. To calculate how much the solar system can power in your home at any one time, start by listing the appliances that run continuously such as your fridge and the freezer. This is called the base load. You can then add other appliances that are used intermittently.
Take for example a household with a 3kW solar system installed. The kW figure is important as it is the maximum amount of power your system can produce when the sun is shining. If you have installed a 3kW solar system and run a 2kW dishwasher and a 2kW washing machine at the same time, you will need more power than the system can supply even in perfect, sunny conditions. This means the 1kW shortfall or more, depending on what other appliances are being used will automatically come from the electricity grid. It is therefore wise to stagger the use of high wattage household appliances, like the dishwasher, dryer and washing machine, otherwise you may exceed the system's capacity and start using grid power as well.