Solar PV, hot water and a battery: advice from Solar Analytics

What to do when you've got it all!

Mike Deagle

10 March 2023

Brett and his family have a 3.5kW solar system together with solar hot water and a battery. Discover how some changes could still help them save more on their bills.

This article has been contributed by Solar Analytics.

Brett’s family have a large solar system with battery storage and solar hot water on their home in Glenhaven, NSW. Brett has been using energy monitoring for over 4 years and uses only electric appliances.

Brett was aware of how shading impacted his home when installing solar, and has tried to position panels with the goal of minimising shading in mind.

Monitoring has helped Brett track how shading impacts his system: “The data is so detailed that when I noticed a dip in our solar production at the same time everyday, I was able to pinpoint the exact tree that was causing it.”


Brett recommends monitoring individual loads to gain better insight into energy usage. By separating the monitoring of important loads, Brett has been able to find faults and act on them quickly:

""While at work I picked up on strange patterns in our hot water on the Consumption graph on my Dashboard. I called a plumber and he worked out that water was leaking from the hot water tank. Without monitoring, it could have taken me months to realise.""
Glenhaven, NSW


Brett and his family have all the tools to monitor their energy and use effectively. The biggest suggestion Solar Anlytics had therefore is to start using timers on large appliances (washing machine, dishwasher etc.), so
these can be consistently used during solar-producing hours.

  • Consider investing in ceiling fans to reduce reliance on air conditioners
  • Turn off spa heating in periods where usage is low, such as winter
  • Use timers to use large appliances during the day to make the most of solar when its available


Recommended Tariff

The majority of Brett’s family’s electricity usage occurs during the evenings and on weekends so Solar Analytics recommended using a flat rate tariff to ensure electricity used at night isn’t charged at peak rates.

As with many other solar homes finding a high feed-in-tariff is not as important as finding a low energy usage charge and daily connection charge.

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