Know your energy use:
Use instruments to measure how much power you use at different times of day, and what uses the most
power. Most people underestimate their use, Phil says. Hint: Small, always-on things add up.
Have a backup plan:
There will be cloudy stretches when solar power dips (although even in clouds some power is generated.)
A backup generator can get you through until the clouds break.
Create a “power budget:
From your records, map out what you expect to use in a given day. Also look for ways to cut back –
turning off lights, buying more efficient appliances.
Size your solar:
In sunny climes, you can have as much power as your budget for solar panels will allow. Match it to
your budget with a little surplus, and install batteries to save excess sun-power to use at night.
Use power-hungry appliances during daylight:
Simple timing makes a difference. Run the dishwasher and laundry during the day. Wait to use heating elements like coffee pots and electric skillets until the sun is up.