The voices of inspiring and courageous climate-activist youth like Greta Thurnberg combined with the latest daunting reports on the implications of unfettered global warming have brought an even-keener public focus on the need for finding and implementing solutions for what may be the greatest crisis facing humanity. One of the ways that individuals, families and businesses can make a difference is how we optimize the energy usage and production in our homes and offices. In other words, we need to take self-consumption to the next level as part of the renewable energy transition.
The concept of self-consumption -that is, using the energy that one has produced- has been a part of the conversation since the early days of grid-tied residential and commercial solar. It’s simple: any energy produced by a photovoltaic system should power the appliances or other devices operating within the home during daylight hours. Any excess energy (the glorious sight of the meter spinning backwards) is sent back to the grid. Feed-in tariffs, net metering and other incentives made it attractive to generate more power than was needed, as a way to use public policy to accelerate solar adoption and counter the then-high costs for an installed solar system.
Since the price of solar has dropped dramatically, the use of incentives has become more limited and, in some cases, eliminated—with some countries penalizing people for overproducing energy. The increasingly rapid adoption of energy storage batteries, electric vehicles and electric heat pumps has softened the blow of these new ‘self-consumption’ taxes (or also called ‘prosumer’ taxes) and provided another way to efficiently use the energy generated, paving the way for what we’ll call Self-Consumption 2.0.
Self-Consumption 2.0 combines the full optimization of home or business solar energy production with batteries, with energy-efficient appliances and electric vehicles, and with smart home energy management platforms such as Smappee Infinity acting as a sort of energy traffic controller. The goal is to produce the exact amount of energy needed and to utilize that energy as efficiently and smartly as possible, increasing the user’s energy self-sufficiency and reducing their environmental footprint.
One of the key factors is the right-sizing of the home solar and battery storage systems so that they have just the right amount of capacity to accommodate the energy needs – current and future – of the household or business. The solar installation should provide enough juice to power the various and sundry appliances during the day while producing enough excess capacity to store in batteries and keep the lights on and the computers humming during the evening. With an energy manager like Smappee Infinity, the monitoring, control and optimization of both consumption and production can be achieved.
Not only does Self-Consumption 2.0 provide a way to be part of the climate solution, it also reduces or even eliminates the utility bill. Saving money while helping save the planet sounds like a good plan, doesn’t it? Find out here how Smappee enables users to optimise their self-consumption.