Hi, Tom from Solaray here.
I’ve been helping Aussie households go solar for over 10 years now, and to be honest with you, ever since Enphase hit the market I’ve been trying to get as many people as possible to pay a bit more and go for what I consider to be the best system on the market.
If you need a refresher on the main benefits of an Enphase system, check out this post we have that goes through the top 10 benefits of Enphase vs a standard system.
But today, I want to share with you what I consider to be the most important reason everyone should choose Enphase over a standard inverter.
You decide that you are going to go for a ‘good value’ solar system. You’ve read a bit about Enphase but you decide you want to get the fastest return on your money and buy what you think is a mid-range system. The panels are tier 1 and all the warranties seem to be in place. Happy days.
The installation goes off without a hitch. The guys do a good job, clean up after themselves and give you a quick demonstration of the inverter. Apparently, it comes with wifi monitoring so you can keep an eye on things.
A few months after giving the installer a 5-star review the first power bill arrives… and your heart drops.
The power bill is bigger than it was before you went solar!
What happened? How is this possible!
When I first started in solar, the truth is I’d get calls like this all the time, because we also only installed ‘standard’ inverters. There was no other option available.
It was very distressing having to try and explain to people that you can’t triple your power usage and expect a smaller power bill. It was an important part of my job in sales to help manage people’s expectations.
“But that’s why I went solar”, they’d say.
Lower Power Bills Come From Smart Energy Management
After the realisation sinks in that to reduce your power bills, you need to manage your power consumption in line with what the solar system is producing, the obvious next question is:
“How do I do that?”
And that’s why I wish more people would go with an Enphase system.
You see, it’s great that the inverter comes with wifi monitoring that can tell you how much power the system has produced ‘this week’, but a number of ‘125kWh’ means nothing to the average Joe and Jane if you can’t compare it to how much power you are using in the home.
Enphase Changed Everything With Their Enlighten Monitoring Platform
It’s no wonder a lot of Enphase branding is around the feeling of getting a power bill. It’s smart advertising because this is actually how so many of our customers feel each quarter. It’s such a great feeling knowing that the power bill isn’t going to be a shocker, and it’s great to feel like you are in control.
It was a revolution when Enphase came to Australia. An Enphase system includes not only panel-level monitoring but also consumption monitoring.
This means that at any given time or time period, you can see how much solar power the system is producing and compare it to how much power you are using in the home:
Surely I’m not the only one that thinks this is just the coolest? You can literally turn on the air conditioner and watch the graph spike on the Enphase App.
Obviously, I’m not, because in the years after we started installing Enphase the horrible phone calls I had to take from new system owners dropped to zero.
Why? Because people were given back full control of their solar system. They can see what’s happening on the roof and in the home, and then compare it all on the one graph.
You can see in the example above:
- the blue is how much electricity the solar system produced
- the orange is how much solar power was used in the home
- the grey is the room for improvement -how much electricity was either bought from the grid or sold back to the grid
I chose to show you this particular solar system because it’s an example of a question we get asked a lot: what do I do if I use a lot of electricity at night?
You can see in this example the household is only 30% energy independent, with almost the same amount of power being bought from the grid and then sold back to the grid at different times across the day: 17.5kWh imported and 17.9kWh exported.
This household has room for improvement, and two main options.
Firstly, they could try to use more power during the day when they aren’t home, such as running the dishwasher on a timer etc. By doing this they will use more of the solar power during the day, and hence not need to buy it from the grid in the evening, directly saving them money.
But the option many of our customers are now choosing is to add a battery to their system.
Tesla Powerwall has 13.5kWh of capacity, which would be a great fit in this example. All that excess solar power that is being sold to the grid could be fed into a battery, where it can then be used in the evening.
If you haven’t installed solar panels yet, battery storage allows you to size up a system based on your 24-hour energy usage. This means you can run on solar power almost entirely, and without too much effort have your power bill close to zero, or at least under $100 a quarter. More info on that here…
Some people want a power bill under a certain number, others are just happy to take a big chunk out of the bills and are happy with that.
It’s Not One Size Fits All
When deciding what solar system to install, it’s important to know that there is more than one way to approach solar power. You can concentrate on a quick payback, or you can aim to minimise your power bills, and you can do both with or without battery storage.
That’s where we come in. The Solaray Team can help you find the right system for your needs, at the right price.
For more information, fill in your details below and we can give you a call at a time that suits you. We’d love to hear from you: