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How to Conduct Business Energy Audit 

How to Conduct Business Energy Audit 

The electricity prices in Australia have been rising unabatedly. While large businesses typically have the pricing power and staying ability to either absorb or pass on the rising energy costs, most small and medium enterprises are unable to do that. A small or medium enterprise is defined as one that employs up to 200 people and has an annual energy consumption of up to 16 Mwh. If you are a small or medium-sized business owner, conducting an energy audit can help you discover ways to cut down on electric consumption and save money. 

What is Business Energy Audit?

The goal of a business energy audit is to get a bird’s eye view of the current energy usage across the organisation and discover inefficient energy habits. An energy audit need not be time-consuming. The eventual goal is to discover areas where more efficient ways of using energy, such as solar power, can be implemented thus resulting in cost savings and a reduction in your carbon footprint.

An energy audit focuses on every single thing including the exterior of the building, interior, fixtures used inside and outside as well as ways systems interact with each other.

Why Carry out an Energy Audit for Your Business?

Here are a few reasons why every business should carry out an energy audit:

  • Reduction in energy expenses
  • Identification of malfunctioning equipment
  • Enhanced employee comfort
  • Know about more energy-efficient systems
  • Reduction in carbon footprint
  • Enhanced equipment service life

One of the most obvious benefits of carrying out an energy audit is saving money in the long term. There have been several reports suggesting that an energy audit can help an organisation bring down their energy usage by up to 30% with the use of more energy-efficient business practices and technologies. It also helps you in identifying problems early. For example, if your HVAC system is leaking air, an energy audit can help you discover and fix this problem thus saving you a ton of money in the long run. It also helps in enhancing employee comfort by creating a more balanced working space for the employees.

Innovation is always happening in the energy space as more homes and businesses look for ways to save money on energy costs but most business owners usually aren’t aware of the latest innovations. With an energy audit, it is likely that you will become aware of more energy-efficient technologies available in the market. 

It will also help you reduce your carbon footprint which is becoming a big factor in terms of consumer preferences. Increasingly, consumers prefer to associate with businesses that care about their carbon footprint and take action to reduce their energy usage. Investing in more efficient systems also allows you to enhance the useful service life of the equipment as it doesn’t have to work as hard as older units.

Tips to Conduct Energy Audit for Your Business

An energy audit can be conducted in many ways. First and foremost, you should know that every business is different and their energy needs are also different. Ideally, you should engage the services of a professional energy auditor but there are ways to get started on your own. Here are a few tips to help you with the same:

  • Check the maintenance schedule of various equipment and whether you are following the maintenance instructions provided by the manufacturer
  • Check whether the equipment is serviced regularly
  • Find out the age of your heating and cooling appliances and whether they need replacement
  • Check whether only the rooms that are being used are being heated or cooled
  • Check whether timers are installed in various parts of the building
  • Check whether there is any air leakage
  • Check if a programmable thermostat is installed in your heating and cooling system
  • Set the temperature of your heating or cooling appliance between 24 and 27°C in the winter, and between 18 and 21°C in the summers
  • Make sure thermostats are installed in proper places and there is no direct sunlight or other heat sources nearby
  • Check whether the ductwork is insulated to reduce energy loss
  • Check if it’s possible to replace constant speed motors with variable speed equipment
  • Check if something is obstructing airflow across the building
  • Check how much energy is being spent on water heating and whether it’s in line with expected usage
  • Engage the services of an expert to figure out whether appropriate lights are installed at appropriate places
  • Check whether task lighting can be used to avoid unnecessary lighting in large areas
  • Make sure you are using LEDs across the business
  • Check if there are ways to maximise natural sunlight in the building.

These are some of the ways for you to get started with a DIY energy audit. However, it’s always better to engage the services of a professional to carry out a thorough check of all the equipment and appliances being used in your business. Professional services do cost money but you will come out on top in the long run. Interacting with the experts will also help you learn more about other energy-efficient equipment available in the market and how it can help you save money in the long run.

How to Conduct Business Energy Audit 

Best Practices for Business Energy Audit

If you are planning to conduct a DIY energy audit for your business, here are a few tips to help you cover almost everything and save more money:

  • Begin by establishing benchmarks. Gather information about your energy consumption, energy bills and other things into a spreadsheet. Try to include as many metrics as you can.
  • Make sure to check for the presence of any air leaks. Just put your hand in a place to feel for any airflow.
  • Make sure you check your insulation levels as low insulation levels are synonymous with energy loss.
  • In most cases, heating and cooling account for almost 50% of energy usage. This is why you should check the accuracy of thermostats as well as their positioning to ensure accurate capture of data.
  • Take a close look at the lighting. Make sure you are using energy-efficient LEDs in place of fluorescent or incandescent lighting.
  • HVAC systems, as well as lighting, should have timers.
  • Engage the services of a professional to identify inefficient energy habits across the organisation and to get recommendations for replacements.

The goal of a business energy audit is to figure out how the energy is being used across the business and whether there are more efficient solutions that will help you save money in the long run. These tips should help you carry out a thorough energy audit and discover ways to make the system more energy-efficient.

Final Thoughts

On average, a business can expect to bring down its energy usage by around 30% with a thorough energy audit. Smart business owners are always looking for ways to cut down costs and energy usage is one of the more significant costs for businesses these days, especially with the rising electricity prices. If you cannot afford to engage the services of a professional to carry out an energy audit, you should seriously consider doing it on your own. Even a cursory walk-through audit might help you discover inefficient energy usage practices across your business.

Save Money for Your Business with Solar Power Systems

Solar power systems have already changed the residential energy usage landscape across the country with Australia becoming one of the leading countries in rooftop solar installations. Businesses too can take advantage of the ongoing solar power resolution by investing in high-quality and high-efficiency solar panels.

GCR Electrical Systems has been at the forefront of solar panel installation, repair and services in the Hervey Bay area. Our experts can help you find ways to keep your energy costs down. 

Please contact us today on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.

6 Reasons Why Your Electricity Bill Is Higher than Usual

Reasons Why Your Electricity Bill Is High

Do anxiety and stress kick in at the thought of receiving your monthly electric bills? An unexpected high electrical bill can cause a huge shock at rattle most household budgets. Perhaps your savvy lifestyle choice is contributing to these high bills. For example, relying on heating and cooling systems to regulate the temperature of your house may significantly be increasing your bills. Typically, heating and cooling systems account for 50% of the energy consumed in an average Aussie home.

This article will analyse six significant reasons you are experiencing high electrical bills in your home. We will also look at three essential tips that you can apply to cut your monthly billing costs right down including the use of solar energy. However, let’s first outline the steps for analysing your electricity bill.

How To Analyse Your Electricity Bill

You need to apply a little modern technology to account for your home’s energy consumption accurately. Besides, you will also have to do some calculations to get a decent estimate using simple old-school arithmetic. You require three figures to effectively estimate a particular gadget’s electric energy usage. 

These figures include the average hours the device is used in a day, its wattage, and the price charged for electricity per kilowatt-hour. The kilowatt-hour rate is always printed on your electric bill, and the number of hours in which you use a particular gadget for a day is pretty easy to figure out. The only technical thing to figure out is the wattage of the device. The wattage is usually printed with a W at the end at the back or bottom of most appliances. If you cannot find the figure here, you can search online for its specs or consult its original documentation if you still have it.

After gathering this information, it’s time to calculate and analyse your electricity bill. First, multiply the wattage of the gadget by the number of hours it is used in a day. Divide the answer by 1,000 and multiply by the kilo-watt rate. 

Let’s say that your 200-watt oven is used for four hours daily. That means it consumes 800 watt-hours in a day. Dividing 800 with 1,000, we get 0.8. If your kilowatt-hour rate is $2 per kWh, the oven consumes a total of $1.6 per day and $48 per month. You can use this formula to calculate the electricity billing of every appliance in your house and analyse the whole electricity bill.

Top Six Reasons Why Your Electricity Bill Is High

1). Most of the modern appliances we have in our homes today tend to draw energy even when switched off. The chances are that your electricity bill is higher than the previous billing because you leave the devices plugged in even when not using them.

Let’s say you press the power button of your TV, DVR, or computer; this will transition the appliance into its standby mode. The problem is that this device will continue sucking energy out of your home until it is properly turned off. You should also always disconnect appliances that have clocks, such as coffee-makers or microwave ovens. 

2). Secondly, you might compare your bill to your previous billing despite seasonal changes that impact your power bills. If the bill is higher than the previous one, you might rush to conclude that you are paying more for your bills. Instead of a monthly comparison, consider comparing the bills yearly. 

When doing the comparison, ensure that the number of days of the billing period in each year is equal. Also, check if a discount or concession has been applied to your bill.

3). Another reason why you may receive costly bills on your electricity usage is because of big appliances such as air conditioners, clothes driers, and dishwashers. 

An average Australian family will do over 200 loads of washing annually. This will undoubtedly result in a bill that is much higher than expected. Another thing to look out for is misusing the lights in your house. Maybe you are using them to light up entire rooms instead of lighting the specific places where the light is needed, like workspaces, couches, and kitchen tables. 

4). Also, leaving the ceiling fan on will only snowball your estimated bill. Since fans are meant to affect the temperature in the rooms where they are installed, it is wise to leave them switched off when no one is in the room.

Old appliances can also increase your meter readings more than the previous billing. These appliances tend to draw more energy than their new counterparts, which are more energy-efficient. For instance, fridges made after 2000 are 40% to 60% more energy-efficient than their predecessors. Your retro kitchen might look trendy with that old-school oven, but you will have to pay extra bucks at the end of the billing period.

5). Lastly, suppose your home houses different technologies that use chargers, such as portable game systems, electric toothbrushes, iPads, smartphones, tablets, electric razors, PCs, and MP3 players. In that case, you might be required to dig deeper into your pockets to pay your bill. The worst scenario happens when you are too oriented on these gadgets and technology that you have them constantly plugged in, draining your electricity. To avoid this, you can incorporate a smart meter into your energy plan or even spend more time away from these gadgets.

Reasons Why Your Electricity Bill Is High

How To Lower Your Bills Cost

1). Purchasing energy star appliances is among the most effective energy-saving tipsYou can significantly cut your higher bills by using devices that save power since these gadgets account for almost 50% of the energy usage of an average Aussie home. Energy star-rated fridges, dishwashers and washing machines will save you a ton of money on electricity bills and water bills, which provides more significant savings benefits in the long run. 

2). The second significant way of lowering the cost of your bill is turning off gadgets when they are not in use. Your PC, stereo, or TV are usually massive energy vampires when not being used but left switched on. You can use a shared power strip to quickly turn off your DVR, PC, TV, or other equipment and save even more on your household energy consumption. 

If you have gadgets such as Roku and intelligent TVs which require you to stay on for regular software updates, consider enabling the power saving mode when leaving them switched on.

3). The last tip for ensuring that you reduce your energy bills is switching to LED bulbs to conserve electricity. Any average 60-watt LED uses only nine watts, while a CFL of the same rating uses around 13 watts. This difference might seem negligible, but remember, this could still lead to a 10% reduction on your electrical bills. Considering the number of light bulbs used on your premises, this little amount is not negligible.

Final Thoughts

Different appliances contribute to the overall energy consumption in your household. Sometimes, monthly electricity bills can go extra higher due to excessive consumption. Perhaps you left your lights on a little longer than usual, especially during winter. Or maybe you are using appliances that are not energy efficient. It’s hard to pinpoint any one thing for causing high electrical bills, so sometimes it’s just a matter of process of elimination until your usage comes down.

Luckily, you can cut these costs by using newer more energy-efficient appliances. In addition, you should consider purchasing devices that are rated Energy Star. You can also uninstall all CFLs in your house and opt for LED instead, as they are energy-saving and long-lasting.

Save Energy With Solar Power

However, if you want to get rid of your electricity bills altogether, there is an answer. Installing solar power in your home is an intelligent way of doing this. Luckily, GCR Electrical Systems has got you covered. We are fully accredited Solar Design and solar PV installers. We ensure that your solar PV systems operate well while keeping your family safe. In addition to high-quality solar installations, we also assist in maintaining pre-installed panels. Give us a call today to have a taste of our services.

Please contact us today on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.

Energy Saving Tips: How To Save Energy In Your Home With Solar Energy

Energy Saving Tips at Home

Energy costs continue to rise, the more you use electricity. The average rate of home energy consumption will continue to rise as people continue to get more gadgets and devices designed to make life more convenient and comfortable. 

However, if you are looking to reduce your energy bill, there are a few practical steps you can use to make this happen. In fact, a few small changes here and there can actually create significant energy savings, and with it, reduce your electricity bills. 

To find out more about how to reduce your energy bill, as well as how to use solar energy to produce bigger energy savings, read on below. 

Ways To Save Energy At Home

The Living Room:

  • Stereos, TVs, computers, gaming consoles and DVD players all continue to draw power even when they are on standby mode. Prevent this by making a habit of switching them off at the wall. To make your work easier, use a power board that allows you to switch off the power to multiple appliances from one place. 
  • You should also switch to more energy-efficient lighting. And, only use the lights you need instead of turning all of them on.   

The Kitchen:

  • For starters, to save energy in the kitchen, you should only buy/use appliances that have the best energy star ratings.
  • When preparing food, always remember to thaw it in the refrigerator first to reduce the amount it takes to cook. It is also worthwhile to remember that your microwave oven consumes less energy than a normal oven. However, if you do decide to use a stovetop, be sure to keep the lids on the pots throughout, as it reduces cooking time and the energy used. 
  • Only use the dishwasher when it has a full load, and run it on economy mode during daily use. 
  • Choose a cool and well-ventilated spot for your fridge. Set the freezer temperature to between -15 and -18 degrees and the fridge to between 4 and 5 degrees.      

Cooling And Heating:

  • To reduce the amount of energy you use to cool or heat your home, start by ensuring that your air conditioner is running optimally through regular maintenance. You can also keep the doors to unused rooms closed to reduce the area you need to heat or cool, and also add an extra blanket, hot water bottle or electric blanket in bed instead of heating your bedroom every night.   

Laundry:

  • Washing machines also consume a lot of power. You should only run your washing machine when it has a full load. Furthermore, make a habit of using cold water.
  • If possible, avoid using the dryer, and dry your clothes off on a clothesline outside. If you are going to use the dryer, make sure that you wring the clothes properly first.    

Outdoors:

  • You can improve the energy efficiency of your home by choosing energy-efficient outdoor lighting. Separate the lighting to make it possible for you to choose the areas you want to light.  

Energy Saving Tips at Home

How Can Solar Power Help You Save Energy 

  • Installing A Solar Power System: If you live in an area that gets a lot of sunshine, you can install a solar power system and use it to reduce your monthly energy bill. By installing residential solar panels on your property, you will be able to produce your own free renewable energy. What’s more, any excess solar power can be exported to the grid in exchange for credits from your utility company, depending on where you live.  
  • Using Solar Heaters: You can reduce your energy consumption and save money by installing a solar hot water system on your property. With a solar water heater, you will be able to heat all the water you need using the sun’s free energy. You can also use solar hot water panels to heat your pool’s water.  In addition to heating water using the sun’s energy, you can also heat your home through passive heating. To heat your home during winter using the sun’s rays, just open the curtains on any windows facing the sun.
  • Solar Lighting: Consider replacing some of your home’s lighting – especially outdoor lighting – with solar lighting fixtures. Solar light bulbs are as energy efficient, or even more efficient, than regular light bulbs.  
  • Solar Chargers And Power Banks: If you want to power your numerous devices and gadgets without increasing your energy bill, consider using solar chargers and power banks. Since these solar chargers are portable, you can even use them while travelling.  
  • Drying Clothes Outside: Using a dryer to dry your clothes not only increases your energy bill but also increases the temperature of your home; thus, making your air conditioner work harder during hot weather. Consider drying your clothes on an outdoor clothesline and save a significant amount of energy as a result.  

Final Thoughts 

With the above tips in mind and in practice, you can be able to increase the energy efficiency of your home, and with it, save a lot of money that would have otherwise been spent on energy bills. 

Save Energy With Solar Power  

If you are looking to reduce your energy bills without giving up the many conveniences of modern life, you should seriously consider going solar. At GCR Electrical, we can show you how.

Please contact us today on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.

 

How To Avoid Power Outages: 4 Tips

How To Avoid Power Outages

Are you looking for ways to prevent power outages in your home? Some power outages are a serious inconvenience and may even result in losing lives and property. There are various ways to prevent power outages and prevent damage. 

This blog article will focus on how you can avoid power outages in your home, particularly through the use of solar energy. In addition, we will also outline the methods of preparing for a power outage and the various precautions to take after a power loss. 

Between 2020 and 2021, solar energy contributed around 10% of the total electricity in Australia. 

What Is A Power Outage?

Sometimes referred to as power failure, a power outage refers to a momentary loss of electric power in a particular area. It usually affects single houses, buildings, or even cities, depending on the outage cause.

The various types of power outages are:

  • Blackout: a total power loss in a particular region due to a damaged power grid. Depending on the damage extent, it may last from minutes to days or even weeks.
  • Brownout refers to a drop in system voltage causing the lights to dim. It also causes specific electrical equipment to perform inappropriately.

How To Prepare For A Power Outage?

A power outage is almost easy to predict, especially during the warmer months around November to February, when there tend to be more electrical storms. Therefore, you should always keep an emergency kit on standby if you suspect that a power outage can happen. The kit should include a torch, candles, batteries, a first aid kit, matches, bottled water, and non-perishable foods. 

You should also make sure that you maintain your front and backyard by pruning trees to prevent the branches from damaging any overhead power lines. If you require electrical medical equipment, ensure that you have a backup energy plan when blackouts occur.

You should also keep your electrical outlets safe by installing a surge-protected power board in your home. It would also be diligent to collect all the emergency numbers you might need during a power outage. This may include the contacts of your power provider, local SES, and energy distributor. 

If there is a weather warning, ensure that your phone is fully charged and remove all outdoor furniture and equipment. In addition, consider leaving at least one light turned on during the entire outage to determine when the power is back on. You may also need a safety switch to disconnect your home from the power grid if the outage seems malicious.

How To Avoid Power Outages

What To Do After A Power Outage?

Assume you’re watching the footy or a movie on your TV, and the lights suddenly go out. 

1). First, you should consider locating the source of the outage. The problem might only be in your house. Perhaps there is a faulty appliance or a blown fuse. Or maybe the main power supply has been turned off. 

2). Check the trip switches and fuses to determine if there is a fault with the wiring or the TV or cable box. 

3). The next important thing to do during a blackout is to switch off all the electrical gadgets in your home. Ensure that the electrical cooking appliances are off and clear debris like towels and papers that could ignite from a spark. 

Most of these gadgets will be fine even in the absence of electricity, but the freezer and fridge may start thawing. Keep fridge and freezer doors closed to avoid this while keeping the contents cool for long periods. Once the power is restored, ensure that the foods in the fridge are in good condition before consuming them.

4). If you are not adept at handling such situations, you should seek assistance from qualified electricians. 

How To Avoid Power Outages

There are different steps to ensure that severe power blackouts do not hit your home in the first place. Installing a solar panel is the obvious choice in helping to avoid a power outage crisis in your home. There are two types of solar installation processes, grid-connected, and off-grid:

Option 1: A grid-connected solar panel usually switches itself off during an outage to prevent energy from flowing into the power line, causing damage. Consequently, an off-grid system independent of the power grid remains unaffected by a power outage. Another way of avoiding a power outage is using a generator, especially a diesel generator. 

A generator will supply electricity to enable you to run some of your appliances even when there are blackouts. You might also want to get a blackout stopper to program your grid from switching itself off during a power loss. A blackout stopper is a new type of inverter in the market today that ensures you still use your solar panel energy even during grid downtime. Adding this feature to your solar energy system will ensure that your day to day activities remain unaffected by a blackout.

Option 2: The final solution to avoid a blackout in your home is installing backup batteries. Consider backing up your solar system with a battery bank to fully use your electrical gadgets even when the power is down. The extra energy produced by the panels across the day is accumulated in the batteries and then sent to the battery bank. You can later consume it when the panels are not producing any energy, especially at night.

Final Thoughts

Power outages can be fatal and drastically affect our day to day lives. They most happen during storm seasons which makes them relatively easy to predict. If you suspect the possibility of a power outage, it is essential to prepare yourself as you face the blackout. You should ensure that you have basic materials, such as a torch, bottled water, and non-perishable food.

There are various ways you can ensure that the power outage does not hit you. The first way is to use solar energy by installing solar panels in your residence. If your solar panels are connected to the grid, use a blackout stopper to ensure that you can use the solar energy even during blackouts. Failing this, a less environmentally friendly alternative is a generator, which is cheap to buy and maintain, especially a diesel generators

Prevent Outages With Solar Power

Solar power is the absolute best way of curbing power outages in the future. A solar panel can be designed to work when the power is down, when there is power, and when the solar energy is unavailable. This makes solar panels the best solution for power losses.

At GCR Electrical Systems, we deal in residential and commercial power installations. We can install you with a grid-connected or off-grid solar system depending on your needs. Contact us now and get a free instant solar quote.

Please contact us today on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.

5 Home Appliances To Run On Solar Power

Solar power Appliances

As more and more businesses and homes join the clean energy revolution, solar energy is quickly becoming the preferred method of generating electricity. Solar energy is seen as the best way of producing clean and affordable electricity. However, if you wish to get the most out of your new solar power generation system, you will need to find the right appliances to pair it with.

Can Solar Power Run Home Appliances?

You can use your solar energy system to power all sorts of electronic equipment and appliances if you have the right set-up. However, you need to note that each appliance comes with its own power requirements.

To power your appliances using solar power, you will need to have the right inverter. While an all-in-one inverter is both cheaper and easier to set up, it comes with some significant drawbacks. For starters, such an inverter requires more power at idle. Furthermore, it’s hard to get these inverters approved for connection with the grid. On the flip side, this means that you can store excess power for use when the solar panels are not producing power.

Lastly, if you truly want to get the most out of your solar energy set-up, it is recommended that you use energy-efficient appliances – preferably those that are Energy Star certified.

5 Best Appliances For Solar Power

During the day, your solar power system is continuously generating free electric power for your home or business. During this time, you can get the most out of the system by hooking it up to the following appliances.

HVAC Systems: Cooling and heating systems are one of the biggest energy consumers in both domestic and commercial settings. Fortunately, you can minimise the amount of energy needed to power your air conditioner by choosing the most energy-efficient variant. Your options, from the least efficient to the most efficient, include central AC/furnace, standard heat pump, mini-split heat pump and geothermal heat pump.

Water Heater: A water heater also ranks among the hungriest energy consuming appliances in today’s homes. Fortunately, you can find highly energy-efficient water heaters, thanks to the integration of various innovations in some of the best options available. A Heat Pump Water Heater (HPWH) mostly uses heat drawn from the ground or air to heat the water it uses. In addition to looking for an Energy Star Certified water heater, you can also pick one that features smart connectivity – which enables you to control it from anywhere.

Solar power Appliances

Pool Pump and Filter: If your home has a swimming pool, you can use the solar power system that powers your home to also meet the electricity requirements of the pool as well. For instance, you can set the pool pump to circulate the pool water through the filter during the day, when the sun is up and solar power generation is at its peak.

Lighting Systems: Up to 15 per cent of the world’s electricity consumption is attributed to lighting. You can decrease the amount of power that is used to power your home’s lighting in a number of ways. For example, you can switch to energy-efficient lighting fixtures, LED bulbs and install a remote-controlled lighting system that makes it possible for you to turn the lights on and off, from anywhere. Furthermore, solar-powered outdoor lights can be used in place of regular perimeter lights.

Washing Machine: Just like the other appliances mentioned above, you can get more out of your solar power system by getting an energy-efficient washing machine. With it, you will be able to clean your laundry during the day using solar energy.

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need To Run Home Appliances?

If you want to avoid generating too much or too little solar power, it is important that you find out the amount of energy you need, before the installation of solar panels. For peak optimisation of your system, it is best for you to ascertain your home’s energy requirements using an energy monitoring device/system. Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to set up a system that perfectly matches your exact needs.

Do You Need Solar Batteries?

You don’t need to have solar batteries to use solar power. However, if you want to continue using solar energy even when your panels are not producing power (after the sun has gone down) you will need to have solar batteries.

If you want to use solar batteries to save money, you will only need to use a few batteries – that minimise your reliance on grid power without being too costly. However, you will need more batteries if you want to off-grid completely.

Lastly, you can get a single battery if you only want to use it to guard against power blackouts.

Finals Thoughts

Solar energy can power just about any electrical appliance. To avoid having to buy more solar panels than necessary, and save on energy consumption, it is recommended that you make your home energy efficient by using the most energy-efficient appliances.

Make Your Home Energy Efficient With Solar Power

Solar energy can help reduce your energy bills and preserve the environment, all while you continue enjoying the conveniences of modern living. If you are looking to install a solar power system at home or business, feel free to contact us at GCR electrical systems to learn more.

Please contact us today on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.

How Can Solar Energy Help Your Commercial Business?

How Can Solar Energy Help Business

The solar power industry has grown rapidly over the last couple of years, making solar technology a relatively affordable energy option. Solar energy is sustainable, and businesses can benefit from solar significantly while reducing their carbon footprint. 

Commercial businesses often pay high electricity costs, but you can save considerably on your energy costs with a solar installation. If you are a business owner, you can be sure to get a return on investment over a reasonably short period of time when you invest in solar energy. 

There has never been a better time for businesses in Australia to invest in commercial solar power. Now that you have decided to take the next step and turn to solar energy, here’s everything you need to know about solar energy for businesses. 

What Is Solar Energy?

Solar energy is a renewable source of energy coming from the sun. Unlike fossil fuels, solar energy is a green energy source and is affordable. It requires minimal maintenance and can make a world of difference when used to power your business. 

Benefits of Commercial Solar For Businesses

There are multiple benefits of commercial solar energy for businesses. Solar energy allows you to save money and run your business more efficiently. Advantages of solar power include:

  • Reduce your carbon footprint: Solar energy is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint, as even a small panel will significantly reduce your carbon emissions.
  • Demonstrate social responsibility: More customers like to work with businesses with green credentials, and what better way to display your business is socially responsible than investing in solar energy? This can help your business build trust while enjoying multiple benefits of commercial solar.
  • Reduce operational costs: Commercial property owners spend a significant amount of money on their electrical bills every month. With solar installations, you will save money and use it on other aspects of your business. You can also generate income from the feed-in tariff by selling the excess energy you generate to the grid.
  • Adds value to your business: Rooftop solar panels are a great selling point if you ever choose to sell your commercial property. 
  • Long term energy production with minimal maintenance: Solar panels require minimal maintenance after installation and have an extended life span.

Is Solar Power Right For Your Business?

Your business can enjoy multiple benefits when you install solar panels. Apart from solar energy powering your business, you can get business tax credits and other government incentives when you install solar panels. 

Solar energy is a reliable source of energy, and you can use it as your primary source of electricity or as a backup source. According to EnergySage, the average commercial business saw a 75% drop in their monthly electricity bills after converting to solar energy. It will be best to assess your specific situation before investing in commercial solar energy for business.

How Can Solar Energy Help Business

How To Find Solar Power Company For Your Business

It is vital to work with a credible solar company. It can be challenging to decide which installer to work with, so ensure you do your due diligence before choosing your solar installer. Here is how to find a solar power company for your business:

  • Identify the type of solar company: There are multiple types of solar installation companies in the market offering commercial business solar installations. Some full-service solar providers will take care of every aspect of your solar process. Conduct thorough research before deciding what solar company type you want to partner with for your project.
  • Get quotes from different companies: You should get installation quotes from at least three solar companies. Getting different quotes helps you establish the average price and decide what company offers the best service at the most competitive price.
  • Choose a reputable company: Ensure you choose a reputable company that is an expert at installing solar systems with several years of experience. 
  • Confirm that the company is insured and certified: It is essential to work with a fully insured and certified solar company as it confirms that they can handle your system’s electrical and wiring parts.
  • Check their experience and track record: It is essential to work with a reliable company. Ask them to show you the clients they have worked with and check their reviews from past clients. It is best to work with a credible company with a vast experience installing solar systems.
  • Check their solar warranties: Always check a solar company’s warranty and steer away from newly established companies that offer extended warranties. A solar company should have a workmanship warranty that covers any issues that may arise due to a wrong installation.

Final Thoughts

Solar is an excellent investment for any commercial business. It is a renewable energy option that will allow your business to save significantly on operational costs. Solar energy is also sustainable and low maintenance. 

Reduce Your Energy Bills With Solar Power Systems

GCR electrical systems are fully trained and licensed to provide a wide range of electrical services. We are accredited solar specialists offering solar installation and maintenance services. Whether you need residential or commercial solar installations to reduce your energy bills, we can help.

Please contact us today on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.

 

How To Make Your Home Energy Efficient 

Energy Efficient Home

Who doesn’t like to save money? Would you like to save money by making your home energy efficient? The thing is that not many people are aware of some easy things they can do to make their home more energy efficient and save quite a bit of money on electricity bills.

With an energy-efficient smart home, you will not only be saving money but will also be playing an important role in keeping our planet green. Here’s everything you need to know about making your home energy-efficient.

What Is an Energy-Efficient Home?

Modern-day homes are full of creature comforts. It’s difficult to imagine life without modern-day appliances but the extreme dependence on those appliances has also resulted in huge carbon emissions that threaten the fragile ecosystem of our planet.

Thanks to the increased awareness of environmental damage caused by high energy usage, homeowners are increasingly looking for ways to make their homes energy-efficient.

The goal of an energy-efficient home is to minimise energy wastage and keep greenhouse gas emissions to a minimum. An energy-efficient home is not only environmentally friendly but also pocket friendly.

It will not only save you money and lower your carbon footprint but will also increase the value of your property. And making your home energy-efficient isn’t that expensive if you ask the right questions and use the right materials and appliances.

Benefits of Building Smart Homes

There was a time when smart homes were considered a luxury but these days, they are within the reach of anyone willing to put in a slight effort. Here are a few reasons why you should consider making your home a smart home:

  • High energy efficiency
  • Add convenience and comfort to your life
  • Rule your appliances and not the other way round
  • Complete customisation ability
  • Save money

Smart homes are much more energy-efficient compared to traditional homes as smart control systems allow you to keep your heating and cooling systems running at optimum efficiency. There is a lot of added convenience as you are able to control all the gadgets in your house from anywhere in the world. And with so many electronic devices and appliances in use today, controlling them all has become an additional headache. 

With a smart home, you will be back in control and rule your devices. A smart home gives you complete customisation ability. For example, you have complete control over your thermostat settings. You can save quite a bit of money by programming drawing shades at a particular time and adjusting outdoor as well as indoor lighting.

Energy Efficient Home

How to Make Your Home Smarter and More Energy-Efficient

Making your home smarter and more energy-efficient doesn’t have to be expensive or cumbersome. Here are a few tips to help you bring down your energy bills:

  • Invest in energy-efficient lighting
  • Try to insulate everything
  • Invest in a smart thermostat
  • Replace your hot water system with an energy-efficient system
  • Get a standby power controller
  • Use blinds or window films or double glazed windows
  • Install solar panels

Replace your energy-guzzling lights with LED bulbs that are not only cheaper in the long run but also much more energy-efficient. If you need to heat your house, you need to make sure the floors, walls, and ceilings of your home are properly insulated as most of the heat loss happens through walls and ceilings.

Buy a smart thermostat to get complete control over the temperature settings of your home. Make sure your air-conditioners are set between 24° to 26°C. Most people don’t realise the amount of energy wastage that happens through standby power. If you are not in the habit of switching off your appliances at the wall, invest in a standby power controller which will cut off the power supply of appliances that are typically kept in standby mode.

One of the best ways to make your home energy-efficient is to install solar panels. The cost of solar panels has come down dramatically and with attractive rebates being offered at federal and state levels, it shouldn’t take you more than 5 years to make your money back. A 5 kW system has the potential to save, on average, more than $1,100 annually.

Final Thoughts

Overall, making your home smart and energy-efficient is one of the smartest things you can do. It also makes financial sense. Smart home not only saves money but also helps in keeping the planet green. Smart appliances put you back in control of your life. 

Make Your Home Energy-Efficient with Solar Power

Australia is leading the world in rooftop solar installation. With falling solar panel prices and attractive government rebates, Australians are increasingly opting for larger solar power systems. Bigger solar power systems are not only capable of taking care of all of your power needs but also allow you to save a substantial amount of money on your electricity bills. 

GCR Electrical Systems is a leading installer of solar panel systems in the Hervey Bay region. With over 20,000 successful solar panel installations to our name, we take pride in our timely, reliable, transparent, and affordable services. We are approved and accredited by the Clean Energy Council and our customer service is second to none.

If you are looking for a trusted local solar company in Hervey Bay, please contact us today at GCR Electrical Systems on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.

How Does Solar Energy Reduce Your Power Bill 

How Does Solar Energy Reduce Your Power Bill 

The quarterly average electricity bill in Australia ranges from around $340 in Western Australia to more than $450 in South Australia. The electricity prices have been going up for several years and there is no respite in sight. Fortunately, you have the option of investing in solar energy to bring down your power bill substantially.

Australia is one of the leading countries across the globe when it comes to rooftop solar panel installations. There are close to 3 million installations in Australia and this number is fast increasing thanks to the historically low prices and ample incentives at the federal and state government levels.

What Is Solar Energy?

The sun is a massive nuclear reactor that continuously releases energy in the form of photons that travel around 150 million kilometres to reach Earth. These photons are captured and converted into electricity with the help of solar photovoltaic panels. Currently, the efficiency of these solar panels ranges from 15% to more than 21%.

When these photons strike the photovoltaic panels, the electrons in the panel move around and produce a direct current (DC). This direct current flows to the inverter which converts it into alternating current (AC). Alternating current is the type that is used in household appliances.

Average Energy Consumption in Australia

The average energy consumption in Australia varies a lot and depends on the climate in a particular region. For example, Tasmania residents have the highest average energy consumption, especially during the winter months whereas Melbourne and Sydney residents have one of the lowest rates.

In terms of numbers, Tasmania residents have the highest average annual electricity consumption at 8,619 kWh whereas residents of Victoria have the lowest annual average consumption at just 4,615 kWh.

How Much Do You Save with Solar Panels?

If you’re wondering how much money you can save with your solar panel investment, here is everything you need to know about solar panel savings:

First and foremost, you should know that savings vary with region and the pattern of electricity consumption. The savings will also depend on whether you invest in a solar battery or not. To better understand the expected savings, you need to know how the solar power system works.

Your solar panel system will produce electricity only during daylight hours. If you do not have a solar battery, all the electricity consumption in your house will be powered through the solar electricity generated by your solar power system. Any excess electricity will be exported back to the grid and you will make money through feed-in tariffs. 

How Does Solar Energy Reduce Your Power Bill 

If you need any excess electricity (more than the power being produced by your system), that will be taken from the power grid and you will pay the regular retail electricity rate for the power. For power usage during the night, you will pay the retail electricity rate as all the power will be taken from the electricity retailer in your location. 

If you have a solar battery, it will be charged directly by the solar electricity produced during the daytime and if there is enough battery capacity, it might be enough to power all the appliances in your home through solar energy. In short, you might not need any electricity from the power grid.

Residents in Queensland can expect to save more than $1,100 each year with a 5 kW solar power system. The average credit on quarterly electricity bills in Queensland is around $271 as per a Canstar Blue survey in November 2021.

Things to Check to Save Energy

There are several things you can do to save energy. Here’s a quick list of ways to save energy:

  1. Make sure your fridge and freezer are set at the right temperature. Recommended temperature setting for the fridge is between 3 to 5 degrees and for the freezer is -15 degrees.
  2. Keep your air conditioner temperature between 23 to 26 degrees and try to only cool the rooms that are used frequently.
  3. Insulate the roof to save up to 20% on your heating and cooling costs.
  4. Using cold water for washing has the potential to save up to $115 each year.
  5. Make sure you are using energy-efficient lighting in your home.
  6. Do not put all the appliances on standby power as it wastes a lot of energy.
  7. Invest in a solar power system along with a solar battery to maximise solar power potential.

Using energy-efficient appliances around your home and investing in a solar battery along with solar panels has the potential to save a lot of money on your electricity bills.

Final Thoughts

Due to the consistently falling prices and attractive government rebates, the payback period for an average 5 kW solar power system in Australia has come down to around 4 years. A good quality 5 kW solar power system is expected to last more than 20 years and over its lifetime, is expected to save more than $50,000.

Don’t worry about the cost of installing a solar power system. With attractive financing options and rebates, you will be able to make your money back in less than 4 years.

Contact GCR Electrical Systems for Your Solar Energy Needs

At GCR Electrical Systems, we have successfully installed more than 20,000 solar panels across the region and have been active for more than 10 years in the community. We are a Clean Energy Council approved and accredited solar panel installer. We have partnered with the top-rated solar panel manufacturers across the globe to provide the very best to our customers.

If you are looking for a trusted local solar company in Hervey Bay, please contact us today at GCR Electrical Systems on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.

Brief Guide to Buying Solar Power Systems

Guide Buying Solar Power Systems

Solar energy is free, clean and easy to tap. It involves harvesting the energy produced by the sun and converting it into electricity for use in our homes and businesses. A complete solar power system includes individual components such as solar panels, a solar inverter, storage battery, cabling, frames, mounting stands as well as measuring and monitoring devices.

Solar has become far more accessible to consumers in Australia, considering prices of solar power systems have dropped by over 60% in the last 5 years. If you are thinking of investing in a solar power system, you’ll probably want to learn more about how solar works, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy before making a final decision.

How Does Solar Energy Work?

Basically, solar power is generated from the energy that is tapped from the sun and is converted into usable electricity for industrial, commercial and residential purposes. Solar technology relies on solar panels that are made up of a combination of silicon cells, metal frames, glass casing and appropriate wiring to transmit power. 

Solar power technology is constantly evolving, but it’s important to consider the orientation of your home before buying a system. You can install solar panels on your roof, or you can choose ground mounts in places that get direct sunlight.

Solar Power and Grid Connection

Most solar power systems in the country are connected to the main electricity grid. With a grid connection, you don’t have to solely depend on your solar power system for your power needs. Off-grid systems are more common in rural areas where connecting to the grid is not viable.

If your system is connected to the grid, any excess electricity you generate can be fed back into the grid, and you’ll earn a discount from your power company.

Advantages of Solar Energy

  • Long-life cycle
  • Renewable
  • Save on bills
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Diverse applications

Disadvantages of Solar Energy

  • High initial cost
  • Dependent on weather
  • Requires space

Guide Buying Solar Power Systems

Solar Power Systems: What Do You Need to Buy?

A typical solar power system includes a variety of components like solar panels, a battery, and wiring. What’s included and what you need to buy depends largely on the size of the application of the system.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

When deciding on your system size, consider what goals you want to achieve – saving money, maximising your ROI, reducing your carbon footprint or anything else – and consider your circumstances. Your circumstances include the availability of sunlight in your region, available roof or ground space, how much energy you use and your budget.

Solar power system sizes are described using their capacities as opposed to the number of solar panels they have. In Australia, a typical household can use an average of 20 kWh every day. A 5kW solar power system can comfortably match this level of consumption. The best way to establish the best solar power system for you is to find out your usage by checking your electricity bill and dividing it by 4 to know the appropriate system capacity for you.

Choosing Solar Panels: What To Consider Before Buying

When choosing solar panels, you need to consider factors like specifications, manufacturer, warranty, quality, accreditation and efficiency levels.

Energy Savings

How much you save on your electricity bill will depend on a wide range of factors including; energy-use patterns, energy consumption, feed-in-tariffs with your power company, size of the system, location (amount of sunlight). Factors like inverter type and panel configuration can also affect efficiency and hence, savings.

Investing in a solar power system is excellent to secure your future energy consumption needs. Solar is a renewable and reliable source of power for both homes and businesses in Australia.

If you are looking for a trusted local solar company in Hervey Bay, please contact us today at GCR Electrical Systems on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.

Tips for Choosing the Best Solar Panels

Choosing Best Solar Panels

Are you tired of the increasing electricity bills in your household? Have you been thinking about going green but feel overwhelmed about finding the best solar panels?

There is so much information out there regarding solar panels and solar energy that it can be overwhelming. Beyond choosing the right panels and systems for your house, you will need to pick the right company for the installation. If this sounds like you don’t fret. In this article, we are going to help make this process as smooth as possible by discussing tips that should help you pick the best solution.

1. Determine the Right Panels for the Home

There are several different kinds of solar panels, each with its unique advantages. They include Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline, and Thin-Film Amorphous. Each has its pros and cons, but all you need to know for now is that monocrystalline and polycrystalline are the most common.

A reputable solar installation company should help you pick the best option based on your location and budget. Buying an off-grid system is another important thing to consider. That’s because the systems allow you to be completely off the grid and depend on just solar for electricity.

2. Determine Whether Your House is Ready for Solar

Once you have come up with a budget and decided on a system, the next step is to ensure your home is ready for a solar system installation. Some houses are more capable than others, but yours may call for some improvements for the ultimate efficiency.

Your roofing condition and what supports it are the most important things to consider in this regard. Solar panels are not heavy, but in some cases, an engineering study is required. The age of the roof is a primary consideration as well. If it needs to be replaced in the next few years, then it’s advisable to have it replaced before installing a solar power system.

Getting a ground system is an alternative to installing panels on the roof. It may not be the best option in regards to visibility and can consume a lot of space in your backyard. However, if you have an abundance of land, a ground system can be an appealing option.

Choosing the Best Solar Panels

3. The Capacity Level

The capacity level of the panels is another vital factor in picking the right system. Keep in mind, however, that the capacity you ultimately pick depends solely on your requirements. For instance, you should expect a solar panel with a capacity of 300 watts to deliver electricity of this amount. Also, bear in mind that your selection will ultimately affect the price of the panels.

4. Longevity/Durability

The longevity or durability of a solar power system warranty is vital for a variety of reasons. First, it’s an indicator of the manufacturer’s confidence in their products and services. Ideal solar panels tend to have a performance warranty of at least two decades. However, it is imperative to note that a warranty can only be honoured for as long as the company remains in business. This is another reason to go for a well-known module brand instead of an obscure cheap brand that may disappear into the unknown.

Since you will most likely not be able to purchase solar panels straight from the manufacturer, your choice of a retailer and installer is also imperative. It is advisable to pick an installer that’s a service agent for the solar panel warranty job for the manufacturer you pick. This means that if you come across an issue, the resolution turnaround time will be way faster.

Conclusion

With the above simple and straightforward tips, the only thing left is to enjoy your green home. You not only get to save money on electric bills but also reduce your carbon footprint.

If you are looking for a trusted local solar company in Hervey Bay, please contact us today at GCR Electrical Systems on (07) 4120 7004 or leave an enquiry if you would like more information about our solar installation services.