Reducing power consumption – the basics
So with lots of discussion in this space there are a few important bits to understand. If we use energy we will need to pay for some energy. If we don’t use energy then we have no need to pay for energy. Duh! Reduce energy consumption.
Lets really think about what this means. With some high performance house design we could require energy to keep humans comfortable for as little as 5-10% of the time we are in the home. That is, if you can use the home to it’s potential. A really poor design will definitely need energy for almost 100% of your time heating or cooling the space, no matter how green or conscientious your behaviour is. All of us can recall that rental property where, no matter what we did, we just couldn’t get comfortable and the bills were through the roof. So even modest design ideas can have huge benefits. Lets also understand that you are paying for design already in almost any building work that you need done, why not start here to reduce your ongoing bills.
Good design pays dividends
The Nuts and Bolts of reducing power bills / Reduce energy consumption
Then consider the pieces that are being discussed. Batteries, panels and inverters. All of these components are great however, what do you need, and how much power do you use? These answer for different households would be vastly different even in the exact same house.
Consider a ageing or retired couple with kids (and grand kids) moved out. They are likely to be home during the day but unless their hobbies involve glass blowing, firing pottery in a kiln or some welding activity the power use might be quite low on a daily basis and mostly throughout the daytime hours.
An emerging typical Aussie family (does this even exist Mum, Dad and 2.3 kids) have early burst of activity then the school run, 2 jobs away from the house and almost no power consumption through the day. Then, bam! everyone arrives home at the same time to another flurry of activity, multiple screens for homework and youtube “research”, meals to prepare. Because the house was closed up all day the A/C is trying to overcome the heat load from a full day in the sun. Late into the evening you find yourself shutting down up to 15 internet connected devices and stumbling off to bed for some sleep. High power consumption largely outside daylight hours and in very specific patterns. Multiple users requiring their “must have” activities as the same time.
In each of these situations there are solutions available however they are going to be designed with quite a different outcome in mind. Some of the result we can address with behavioral change (just like that new years resolution we all kept) but far and away the best outcomes are found when success is engineered into the design without conscious human intervention required. Believe me this is possible for your house manage it’s own power requirements, without the intervention of a human, and learns to fine tune itself.
So sure look for a battery, or other specific component, to give yourself the sense of satisfaction of doing something to help, but better still design a better outcome for your specific household needs which will be quite unique to your family.
Who should I be talking to about he next steps? Perhaps asking the commission driven agent to advise you on the appropriate system for you may give you some interesting advice that offer a benefit, just to whom is the question.