Martin and his family have a small solar system on their home in an inner Sydney urban area. They are a busy family with two kids at school and most energy usage is at night for family meals, heating, cooling, laundry and cleaning. Heating in winter using oil heaters is the largest use of energy in the home.
Martin's panels are unobstructed and well positioned; on a clear day they generate power from an extremely early 7am until 4:30pm in Winter and 7am until almost 7pm in Summer.
Martin is currently the only person in his household who looks at his Solar Analytics monitoring, but he checks it weekly - mostly the Consumption Page to see how much energy they have used during the week.
"When I know how much energy we are using, I'm less likely to be shocked when our electricity bill comes in."
When Martin notices an anomaly, he's quick to get on top of it.
"I realised that our stand-up oil heaters are drawing a huge amount of energy. We're planning to ditch them, use our reverse cycle air conditioning earlier in the evening, and add an extra blanket to our beds at night."
We recommend that Martin shifts some of his family's largest energy-using appliances to their solar producing hours during during the week, to take advantage of their 'free' energy.
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