If you have solar panels on your home, you probably know that they can generate a lot of power – more than you need to run your household. So what do you do with all that extra solar power?
Here are some ideas:
- Sell it back to the grid. This is called net metering, and in many states, you can get compensated for the power you produce.
- Use it to charge up your electric car. Solar power is a great way to “fuel” your car, and it’s good for the environment too.
- Use it to power up your home’s battery backup system. This way, you’ll have power even when the grid goes down.
- Use it to run lights and appliances when the sun is out. This can help reduce your overall energy consumption.
- Save it for a rainy day – literallY! Charge up
Excess solar power: what is it and what can you do with it?
If your solar PV system produces more electricity than you need, you have ‘excess’ solar power. This can happen if your system is too big for your needs, if you produce more electricity than usual (e.g. on a sunny day), or if you use less electricity than usual (e.g. when you’re on holiday).
There are a few things you can do with excess solar power:
1) Use it to power electrical appliances in your home: If you have excess solar power, you can use it to run electrical appliances in your home. This could include things like your TV, washing machine or dishwasher.
2) Sell it back to the grid: You can sell excess solar power back to the grid, and receive payment for doing so. This is called ‘feed-in tariffs’. Check with your energy supplier to see if they offer this service.
3) Store it in batteries: You can store excess solar power in batteries, and use it at a later time when there’s no sun (e.g. at night). This option is often used by people who have ‘off-grid’ solar PV systems, as it allows them to use solar power even when there’s no sun.
The benefits of using excess solar power
If you have solar panels installed on your home, you may often find that you have excess solar power that you are not using. This can be a great opportunity to save money on your energy bills and help the environment by using this excess power to offset your energy use from the grid. Here are some of the benefits of using excess solar power:
-You can save money on your energy bills by using excess solar power to offset your energy use from the grid.
-You can help the environment by using excess solar power to reduce your carbon footprint.
-You can use excess solar power to charge electric vehicles or batteries, which can help reduce your reliance on fossil fuels.
-You can use excess solar power to run appliances or lights in your home, which can help reduces your home’s overall energy consumption.
How to make the most of your excess solar power
If you produce more energy than you need, you can either export it back to the grid or use it to power electrical appliances in your home.
Exporting to the grid
In most cases, you will be paid for the extra electricity that you generate and export to the grid. The amount that you are paid will depend on your electricity retailer and the type of tariff that you are on. For example, some retailers offer a ‘feed-in tariff’ where you are paid a set price for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity that you export.
If your solar system is connected to a ‘smart meter’, your retailer may also offer a ‘time of use’ tariff, where the price you are paid for exported electricity varies depending on the time of day. This means that you can earn more for exporting electricity during periods when demand – and therefore prices – are higher.
Using excess solar power in your home
You can also use your excess solar power to power electrical appliances in your home. This is often referred to as ‘self-consumption’.
There are two main ways to do this:
1) Use an inverter with a ‘storage’ or ‘battery ready’ function
2)Install aSolar batteryTo find out more about these options, see our page on solar batteries.
Tips for using excess solar power effectively
If you’re like many solar panel owners, you may find yourself with more electricity than you know what to do with on sunny days. Here are a few ideas for using that solar power effectively:
- Use it to charge your batteries: If you have a backup battery system for your solar panels, now is the time to charge it up! Excess solar power can help ensure that you have enough power stored away for those cloudy days.
- Use it to power appliances: If you have any appliances that run on DC power, such as a laptop or phone charger, plug them in and let the sun do its work!
- Use it to offset your energy usage: Many utility companies offer net metering programs that allow customers with solar panels to offset their energy usage. Check with your local utility company to see if this is an option for you.
How to store excess solar power for later use
If you have solar panels installed on your home, you may sometimes produce more electricity than you need. This excess power can be stored in a number of ways so that you can use it later, when the sun isn’t shining.
One option is to use a battery system. This involves storing the excess power in batteries, which can then be used to provide power when needed. Battery systems can be expensive, however, and may not be suitable for everyone.
Another option is to sell the excess power back to the grid. This is known as ‘net metering’, and many utility companies will offer this service. It allows you to sell your excess power back to the grid at a rate that is agreed upon in advance.
Finally, you could simply use the excess power as it is produced. For example, you could use it to run appliances or charge devices such as electric vehicles. This is generally the most efficient way to use solar energy, but it may not always be possible depending on your circumstances.
The best ways to use excess solar power
If you have a solar panel system installed on your home, there may be times when your system produces more power than you need. This surplus power can be used in a number of ways:
- Sell it back to the grid
If your solar panel system is connected to the grid, you may be able to sell your excess power back to the utility company. This is known as “net metering,” and policies vary from state to state. In some states, you may be compensated at the retail rate for the electricity you generate; in others, you may be paid at a lower “wholesale” rate.
- Use it to offset future energy costs
You can use your excess solar power to offset future energy costs by storing it in batteries or using it to power appliances during periods of high electricity rates (known as “demand charges”). This can help reduce your monthly electricity bill.
- Use it for emergency backup power
If you live in an area that is susceptible to power outages, you can use your excess solar power to provide emergency backup power for essential appliances like refrigerators and sump pumps.
The pros and cons of using excess solar power
No one wants to waste solar power, but what should you do if you have excess solar power? Here are some pros and cons of using excess solar power.
-You can sell it back to the grid: In many places, you can sell your excess solar power back to the grid. This can give you a little extra income, and it helps the grid because it reduces demand for power from traditional sources.
-You can use it to offset your energy costs: If you have a high electricity bill, using your excess solar power can help offset those costs.
-You can use it to power electric vehicles: If you have an electric vehicle, you can use your excess solar power to charge it. This is a great way to save money on fuel costs.
-It may not be worth the investment: Investing in solar panels and other equipment needed to generate solar power can be expensive. Unless you plan on using a lot of excess solar power, it may not be worth the investment.
-It requires maintenance: Solar panels and other equipment needed to generate solar power require periodic maintenance. This can add up over time and offset any savings you might realize by using excess solar power.
How to get the most out of excess solar power
If you live in an area with significant sun exposure, chances are you’ve considered solar panels to help offset your energy costs. However, even if you don’t live in a particularly sunny climate, solar panels can still be a great option, as they can generate a significant amount of power even on cloudy days.
Assuming you have the necessary permits and approvals, installing solar panels is relatively straightforward. The next step is to decide what to do with all that extra power. Here are a few options:
1) Use it to offset your energy costs: This is the most obvious option, and likely the main reason you decided to install solar panels in the first place. Any excess power generated by your solar panels can be used to offset your energy costs, either by selling it back to the grid or using it to power your home or business.
2) Use it to generate income: If you generate more power than you need, you can sell it back to the grid for a profit. This option is especially viable if you live in an area with high electricity prices.
3) Use it to power electric vehicles: If you have electric vehicles, solar power can be used to charge them up for free. This is a great way to save money on fuel costs, and it’s also environmentally friendly.
4) Use it for emergency power: In the event of a power outage, having solar panels can be a lifesaver. You can use the power they generate to keep lights and appliances running until regular service is restored.