How monitoring solar energy consumption can maximise savings

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In this ever more energy efficient era, people are increasingly looking at ways of saving energy in their homes. Good insulation, A-rated appliances and the well known energy saving tips are great for reducing fuel bills and reducing the carbon footprint of a home. But there are other ways to ensure that your home is as green as possible.

Solar panels provide the home they are installed on with free energy, all year round. Harnessing the power of sunlight, they convert the sunís rays into usable electricity instantly, allowing the home owner to reduce the amount of mains electricity they use. Also, when the panels produce more electricity than the house is using, this power can be fed back into the mains supply, and can even make the owner of the panels money through a feed-in-tariff.

One way to maximise the potential of a solar installation is to use an energy monitor to work out when solar energy production peaks, and also to work out when the household uses the most electricity. Using this equipment, the owner of the home can establish when and why energy consumption peaks in the house, and take steps towards making their home a greener place to live.

For instance there may be specific appliances that are particularly wasteful, or perhaps certain members of the family needlessly leave electrical equipment turned on or on stand by. By being vigilant, it is possible to ruthlessly slash energy bills, saving an untold amount of money in the process.

Often, when people use the energy monitor for the first time, they are surprised by the results. In almost every home, there are certain appliances that seem to use an unreasonable amount of energy. But through something as simple as altering a setting, or the way in which an appliance is used, the energy consumption can sometimes be drastically reduced.

With an energy monitor, the user can see how rudimentary and easy to implement energy saving tips, such as using less water in the kettle or switching the television off at the plug socket, can reduce the overall energy bill for the household. Many homeowners are now choosing to purchase energy monitors and monitor their energy usage, which can, according to the Energy Savings Trust, typically save 5-15% on annual electricity bills.

In the near future, the demand for sustainable energy sources will increase exponentially. With all the new gadgets coming into our lives in recent times, electricity usage will continue to increase in our homes. In 2011, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said that electricity bills are expected to rise by up an estimated 40% by 2020. The energy giants continue to increase their fuel prices every year and as the earthís fossil fuels begin to run out, fuel prices are bound to rise even further.

Therefore installing solar panels and an energy monitor is an investment in the future, reducing your carbon footprint and saving you a great sum of money in the long term. Be smart, invest in solar and monitor your electricity consumption. On a personal level it really is the best thing for you financially. And youíll be safe in the knowledge that you are playing your part in the fight against climate change.

Written by Dr Toby Ferenczi, Chief Technology Officer of Engensa. Founded in 2009, Engensa is a leading provider of home energy generation, including the solar panel installation and maintenance. Engensaís expert team works closely with homeowners to design, finance, install and maintain both free solar power and investment solar power for homes.

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