Now that you’ve embarked on your journey towards solar, you might be wondering if it is still possible to go the extra mile to save even more on your electricity bills (the short answer is, yes!). These are 5 of the best tips & tricks shared by some of our current homeowners & our team on how to save on your solar panel system.
1. Explore peak & off-peak electricity plans by other OEM electricity retailers
The main gripe some might have with a solar panel system is that while the cost savings of solar are the most evident during the day, one would still have to incur some cost when drawing electricity from the grid at night.
Fortunately, this can be easily mitigated by exploring peak & off-peak electricity plans by other OEM electricity retailers. The idea behind this is that since you would only need to draw electricity from the grid at night, signing an electricity plan which has a night-time electricity rate that is cheaper than that of SP Group’s will eventually allow you to make bang for your buck.
The best example of this would be PacificLight’s 9 to 9 Electricity Plan.
The beauty of this plan is that they have a night-time electricity rate of 16.05c/kWh and 42.8c/kWh, which is the perfect match in heaven for solar homeowners since we’ll only be drawing electricity at night. It does not come with a contract as well, so you are able to terminate it anytime you wish!
P.S This is NOT a sponsored post (although we wish it was).
P.P.S Thank you Kevin for sharing this plan with us! This electricity plan was introduced by Kevin from our Telegram Group for solar homeowners, Solar Kaki. Click here to meet other like-minded solar homeowners in our group & learn from their experiences!
2. Optimize on solar export rebates by switching retailers
One of the best things about being on solar is that should you have any excess electricity, they can be sold back to the grid, thereby accelerating your payback period.
To maximise the unit price of electricity sold, you can consider switching to an OEM retailer. By doing so, you will be paid at prevailing half-hourly wholesale energy prices under the Enhanced Central Intermediary Scheme (ECIS) rather than the Simplified Credit Treatment Scheme (SCT), which pays you at prevailing tariff charges minus grid charges. (you can read more about the different payment schemes here.)
The upside of the ECIS over the SCT is that wholesale energy prices are dictated based on market demand & supply. Hence, there will be periods where energy prices can be much higher than that of regular tariff prices, which you can easily take advantage of as a solar panel owner under an OEM retailer.
Observing just the first 3 days of November, you can immediately notice that prices from the wholesale market have actually peaked on 3rd November, at 380.10 cents per kWh, about 10 times that of tariff prices.
While you might say that this is only a brief occurrence of inflation in price, do keep in mind that this only accounts for the first 3 days in November.
If we take a look one month earlier in October instead, this is what you would see:
As you can see, the scenarios where wholesale prices are folds higher than those of tariff prices are aplenty. While there are indeed periods where wholesale prices are lower than that of tariff prices, periods where wholesale prices exceed those of tariff prices are also during the day, where we expect the quantity of solar exports to be the highest in the first place.
Likewise, periods where wholesale prices dip relative to tariff prices usually occur during the night, when the quantity of solar exports naturally falls anyway.
Therefore, switching retailers is definitely something you can consider doing to maximize the returns of your solar panel system, in light of recent trends in the wholesale market.
3. Monetize Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)
As a solar panel owner, you also have the privilege of selling RECs, which are basically credits that you can sell to companies for every megawatt-hour of electricity your solar panel generates. (You can read more about what RECs are here.)
For an average solar panel system, you can expect between $120 to $500 of additional cash per year, just by registering and selling RECs. Selling RECs, however, can be a rather complicated process with many hidden costs that might affect your profits.
Do you have a solar panel setup and want to acquire and sell RECs? Don’t have the time to do so on your own or sell enough RECs to cover all the registration and transaction costs? Let Solar AI help sell your RECs.
We simplify the long and tedious REC sales process into 1 simple step. All you’ll need to do is provide us with authorization to sell your RECs on your behalf and you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy consistent cash payouts of $120-$500 from your REC sales!
4. Get an electric vehicle (EV) and optimise with day-time charging
If you are already deciding on purchasing your first car, or are planning to purchase another, this is the perfect time to consider purchasing an EV!
The rationale behind doing so is that as an environmentally conscious individual, having an EV will definitely greatly reduce your carbon emissions relative to a conventional car. In fact, an electric car saves 1.4kg of CO2 emissions per kWh on average!,
However, with a solar panel system, you are effectively able to utilize the excess electricity generated from your solar panel system during the day to charge your electric vehicle. This savvy charging routine will help you save hundreds more on electricity, given that your profit from selling solar energy to the grid (after grid charges) usually amounts to approximately 75% of what you pay to consume. Not to mention the assurance that you’ll be driving your EV on 100% renewable energy!
5. Clean & maintain your solar panels annually
It has been shown that solar blockers, such as leaves, bird droppings and more, if left to accumulate on your solar panels, can actually reduce efficiency of your system by up to 25% if left unattended!
Therefore, it is optimal to have an annual routine to clean & maintain your solar panel system, so that you can ensure your system is of tip-top condition year round. Unsure about how to go about doing maintenance for your solar panel system? Read here to learn more!
Alternatively, if you are in the midst of deciding whether or not to purchase a solar panel system, and are worried about maintenance costs building up, why not check out Singapore’s first Rent-To-Own model, where servicing & maintenance is automatically taken care of for you?
While a solar panel system by itself is already an extremely cost-saving investment, these small tips & tricks can serve as a useful checklist to further optimise how much you can save.
Still have any questions regarding your solar panel system, but unsure who to approach? Do join our Telegram group, Solar Kaki, where you can talk to like-minded solar homeowners and discuss anything solar related!