Barbara lives in Melbourne’s outer east with five children. She increased the capacity of her pv solar system to manage her spiraling electricity costs. However, her electricity bill remained the same. Barbara was convinced that her solar panels weren’t working.
Barbara wanted to understand how this was possible after all the solar capacity she had invested in. She called her solar company and they suggested she install carbonTRACK, so she could keep see what was really happening with her solar.
What she did
Barbara’s solar provider installed carbonTRACK to reassure her that her system was working, and to map her solar production against her family’s consumption.
With carbonTRACK installed, we took a look at the data. carbonTRACK showed that Barbara’s system was working and had decreased her grid energy use by over 50%. But, we noticed that she was using quite a lot of energy at night, when everyone was asleep (see graph).
Barbara explained that her power company had advised her to run the pool pump from midnight to 3:00 am to take advantage of the Off-Peak tariff. Barbara’s electricity fees were 30 cents/kWh for energy used during peak times, and 17 cents/kWh for off-peak (and ‘shoulder’) electricity. Her solar feed-in tariff was only 8 cents/kWh – so it made more sense for Barbara to use as much of her solar during the day as possible.
“We are actually looking forward to our next power bill.”
We helped Barbara to identify what was increasing here electricity bills, and she was able to implement a new schedule for her pool pump. Using carbonTRACK, Barbara shifted her pool pump schedule from a night off-peak tariff to the middle of the day to take advantage of excess daytime solar production. By running the pool pump from noon until 3:00 pm Barbara avoids paying 17 cents/kWh and uses more of her solar. This simple change saved Barbara 10% on her bill.