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Solar electric panels, often referred to as photovoltaic panels or PVs for short, convert daylight into electricity. More light means more electricity, so the greatest output is on a sunny summer’s day. The panels do not work after dark, so you may want to organise certain household tasks during daylight hours, for example running the washing machine or vacuuming.
Electricity from your solar panels flows through a meter before being used in your home. This meter records the amount of energy which passes through the system and sends the information to Edison Energy, who own the panels. Edison paid for the installation and so receive the Feed in Tariff income from the electricity these panels generate. However, you can use any electricity they generate at the point it is generated free of charge.
If you are not using electricity during the day (although in reality most people do, even if just a fridge or a freezer), or if the system is producing more electricity than you are using, the electricity simply flows out of your home through your mains electricity meter. Unfortunately, this doesn’t run your meter backwards, in fact it has no effect on your meter at all. This is called “exporting to the grid”.
You save money by using the electricity that is generated before it is exported to the grid. This is why it is not possible to say how much you will save by having these panels installed, as everyone’s use will be different, but checking the weather forecast and planning your electricity use around it where you can, should help you make bigger savings.
If you would like more information about the power your solar panels generate, you can request a report by contacting our Asset Management department.