1. Make the most out of your daytime power
As solar absorbs its energy from the sun, make the most of your electricity by using it during the daytime.
Start by using your most energy-intensive appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine during the day. With the development of smart appliances, it’s now possible to schedule wash cycles to start and stop automatically if you're not home during the day. By maximising your solar electricity throughout the day, you can reduce or avoid the need to buy energy from your retailer at night.
2. Invest in a solar battery and store your unused solar power
Solar batteries work by storing energy produced by your solar panels for later use, this means it keeps excess energy at your home instead of sending it back to the grid. If your solar panels produce more electricity than you need, the excess energy goes towards charging the battery. Later, when your solar panels aren't producing electricity, you can draw down the energy you stored earlier in your battery, to use electricity and appliances at night.
3. Share your excess renewable energy through virtual power plants and get rewarded
Virtual power plants (VPPs) allow households to share excess renewable energy stored in their solar battery.
When a group of households have solar batteries, they can network together through a VPP provider, using smart technology to create a clean energy grid. When demand for electricity is high, the excess power from solar batteries can feed into the VPP network, and the savings feed back into participants’ pockets. As you own your clean energy, it’s like renting it out when you don’t need it.
As a result, eligible households will benefit from smaller energy bills, payments for sharing stored energy and increased energy independence. Benefits will vary between different VPP providers so householders can compare programs to find one that suits them.
Virtual Power Plant (VPP) pilot program
The VPP pilot program has helped Victorian households create and share power, save money on energy bills and reduce reliance on the grid.
4. Consider your future plans when selecting a system
Are you planning to have children? Renovate your home? Purchase an electric vehicle? While you will see benefits of solar as soon as you install the system, your solar system is an investment for the future too. So, it's important to factor in your future plans when selecting the right system for your household.
Your solar retailer can help you understand the best system for your home now and into the future. They can provide you with a customised solution which includes advice on how many panels you should have and how they should be positioned on your roof.
If you are eligible, you can apply for a Solar Victoria Solar Battery rebate and arrange to have your solar PV panels and a battery installed at the same time. If you’re looking to install solar PV only at this stage, then a battery could always be an option for the future.
You can also use the Victorian Energy tool to check that you’re on the right retail energy plan for both your home and lifestyle.
Solar battery rebate
Rebates of up to $2,950 are available to support eligible Victorian households to install a solar battery.
5. Maintain and take care of your solar system
Even if your system is performing well, it’s a good idea to get your system professionally checked at least every two years. You can contact your original installer or look for a specialist to provide this service. Regularly check your energy bill and inverter to know how much energy is generated and track this against expectations for your system and the weather conditions.
If you think that your system might be underperforming, you can check our helpful hints for getting the most from your solar system.
How Virtual Power Plants can impact the environment and community
Virtual power plants (VPPs) are a way for you to get great value from your solar energy system by sharing excess power stored in your solar battery.
The financial benefits of Virtual Power Plants
We are making it easier for Victorians to make the most of renewable energy through the Virtual Power Plant pilot program.
Reviewed 30 March 2023