Power shifting

Central Coast SolarShare lets people without solar panels buy cheap electricity from people with solar panels.

However, that cheap electricity is only available during the daytime when the panels are generating. So the key to cutting your electricity bill is to shift as much of your electricity use as possible into the daytime.

The basic rule is, whenever the sun is shining, you’ll be saving.

No-one expects you to shift all your energy use to the day, but the more you shift, the more you save.

By using less electricity in the evening, when it still comes mainly from coal, you will also help speed up the energy transition away from fossil fuels.

Here are some ways to “powershift” your electricity use into the day.

Dishwasher and laundry
Run your dishwasher and laundry during the daytime. Maybe you work from home a couple of days a week – make these washing days. If you are rarely at home during the day, see if your dishwasher or washing machine has a delay – most newer models do.

Hot water
Hot water is the single biggest opportunity to shift your power use to the daytime. If you have a heat pump or electric hot water system with an inbuilt timer, set it to run during sunlight hours. If your hot water system doesn’t have a timer, you can install one (or get a qualified electrician to do it). If you are buying a new hot water system, get a heat pump (4x more efficient than a normal electric hot water system) with an inbuilt timer.

Cooking during the day
While most people do most of their cooking in the evening, you can prepare meals in advance during the day then put them in the freezer or fridge to reheat. (Reheating in a microwave generally takes less energy than the actual cooking.) Or you can use a slow cooker to prepare meals during the morning/day and leave them to cook slowly all day.