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You jumped on the solar bandwagon – and for very good reason. Packaged in an increasingly affordable product that boosts your ‘green’ credentials, the most attractive benefit to turning nature’s free energy into useable electricity is that your power bills can not only be slashed, you could even end up with a monthly profit!

You’d be justified to expert a reduction in your electricity bill after solar panels are installed. But what if that’s not the case? Or maybe you’ve noticed higher bills and suspect your solar performance has dropped? Let’s investigate the reasons why your power bill is high with solar panels.

So why is my electricity bill so high?

It’s obviously extremely disheartening, to say the least if your first electricity bill after having a solar power system installed is higher than you expected, or your bills are suddenly high with an existing system. But rest assured: There’s something wrong. Here’s what it could be:

1. It’s not switched on

It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised just how often a solar power installer will forget to either switch on the system before they leave, or forget to tell you to do it. Quite often, the system will initially be left off – for instance, if you’re still waiting for a new solar meter. And if it’s not on, it’s not going to be working its magic.

2. You’re using more power

“Woohoo! We’ve got solar power now, guys! Crank up the juice!” Unfortunately, if that’s your attitude, think again: just because you’ve had panels installed doesn’t mean you can use a lot more power than before and get away with it. Remember: once your system runs out of the power generated from the sun, it will simply start importing energy from the grid instead.

3. You’re using more power at night

Unless you’re also storing solar energy with batteries, you use the solar power as it’s generated – which means the sun needs to be out. When the moon is in the sky instead, you’re using normal power from the grid.

4. The weather isn’t sunny enough

If you’re in the middle of a cloudy, dark storm, that’s obviously not going to be generating a lot of energy from the sun. On the contrary, particularly sunny days mean particularly efficient energy generation, which means everything is likely to be hunky dory in the warmer seasons. When it’s particularly dark and drab, though – particularly for long periods of time – you’re going to notice the difference.

5. Shading from trees

The row of trees you planted as a privacy screen from the neighbour have matured, but are they now screening the solar panels throughout the morning as well? Keep tree’s pruned and clear for best performance.

6. Dust and dirt build up

Trees may reduce the sunlight hitting your panels, but look at the panels themselves. If there’s a build up of dust on them that will significantly reduce the output. The good news is a pro solar panel clean will have them sparkling in no time!

7. Reduced solar feed-in tarrif

A solar feed-in tariff is a credit for excess solar power that your system generates and exports back to the grid. Rates vary between 4c to 8.5c in Queensland but are determined by the arrangement with your electricity retailer.

8. Houston, we have a problem …

Did you know that only 1 out of every 5000 solar panels suffers a total manufacturing fault? Indeed, while new solar systems are extremely unlikely to be letting you down on the most basic level, it can’t be ruled out that something is wrong – and, let’s face it, it was probably an installation error.

If you’re thinking it can’t be a manufacturing fault, my system has been running fine for 10 years?? Solar panels have a limited lifespan, your panels may be deteriorating, a solar panel inspection will determine if that’s the case.

9. Solar Inverter Errors

Check if your inverter is displaying any error codes. Most common are no AC power supply, low solar panel insulation resistance, faulty solar inverter, DC isolator failure, or damaged MC4 connections. Depending on the inverter brand you have, we have created some detailed guides for error codes and troubleshooting.

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While these guides will help diagnosing a problem, be sure to call on a professional. Do not attempt to open and perform solar inverter repairs yourself!

Static Electrics will help keep your bills low

Even with all of our sunshine, finding a truly reliable and trustworthy Brisbane electrician or Sunshine Coast electrical services can be difficult. Especially with extensive solar experience. But you can trust the friendly team at Static Electrics – the family-owned and run solar, electrical, and air conditioning specialists that you can count on to rush to your suburb. Give the always-smiling team at Static Electrics a buzz today!