Installing a solar power system can slash your electric bills because you’ll be generating your own home energy and won’t need as much electricity from the utility grid.
However, even if you live in a state with net metering, your utility bill may not disappear entirely. That’s where load shifting comes in.
Load shifting, or readjusting your home electricity use to consume more during the daytime, is a smart strategy for solar-powered homes. Making some simple tweaks can help minimize your electric bills.
Why Load Shifting Makes Sense for Solar-Powered Homes
Solar panels don’t work at night — they can’t harness any energy when the sun isn’t shining.
So once the sun goes down, any electricity used by solar-powered homes comes from the utility grid. And users pay the full retail rate for this energy.
With load shifting, the solar power generated by a home PV system can be put to use as it is created so that less electricity is needed at night. Using less grid energy at night is the key to minimal electric bills.
Ways to Put Solar Power to Work in the Daytime
Getting started with load shifting is easy — even if you aren’t home during the day. Try the following tricks to put your solar power to use in the daylight hours:
- In the winter, set your heater to warm up the house before you get home and before the sun sets. Do the same in the summer with your air conditioner, cooling down the house while the sun’s still out.
- Put your dishwasher on a timer and schedule it to run during the day while you’re at work.
If your hot water heater is electric, shower in the morning after the sun rises instead of at night.
- Save energy-intensive jobs — like laundry — for the weekend when you’re at home in the daytime.
What if Your Electric Bills Have Demand Charges?
If your utility company has demand charges, a single spike of energy use during one 15-minute period could make the next month’s charge higher. Regulating your household electricity usage and ensuring that your solar power system produces enough energy to cover the times of peak demand can help, but you might also want to invest in a battery storage system with demand response. These battery systems can eliminate or reduce high demand charges — and, of course, they provide a source of power for use at night, which can further cut the amount you have to pay the utility company each month.
If you’re ready to minimize your electric bills, meet with the professionals at Intermountain Wind & Solar. Our expert solar power contractors have over a decade of experience in helping Intermountain West homeowners reduce their dependence on the utility grid.
To learn more about load shifting for solar-powered homes, or to find out how much you can save with solar power in Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada or Wyoming, contact Intermountain Wind & Solar and schedule a consultation today.