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Getting more out of your solar panels

If you’ve got solar panels, you’ll know that the way to get maximum savings is to use electricity when you are generating it yourself, and cut down on what you use when you’re consuming power from the grid.

However, in practical terms, that’s not always easy. The inverter (the gadget that converts the current from the solar panels into energy for your home) generally has a display on it, but is usually installed in an out of the way spot like the garage or the attic.

Although the theory is simple – when the sun is shining, you are generating energy – you may still not be making the savings you could be, if you can’t identify exactly the times when you are generating free energy, and when you are taking it from the grid at a cost. 

As the Feed in Tariff pays 50% of your energy usage, regardless of how much you actually use, Wattson Solar Plus can show you if you’re not using all the free solar electricity that you could be.

We’ve had a lot of emails on this subject from our customers, looking for an energy monitor that can measure generation as well as consumption. We’ve really happy to have finally found one, the Wattson Solar Plus. Wattson Solar Plus is an energy monitor that shows how much energy you are producing and using, displaying this information with a very simple colour coded system.

When the box is glowing green, you are exporting energy which means it is essentially free. This is the time to stick a load of washing on, or charge up your mobile phone or laptop. And when it glows red, you’re using more energy than normal, so it’s a gentle reminder to check that nothing has been left on when it shouldn’t be.

The Wattson Solar Plus energy monitor has a transmitter and a wireless display that you can carry around with you and position in your home wherever it will catch your eye and give you a nudge, either to make the most of the free electricity, or have a quick look around the house and see what you can turn off.

And for those who love a bit of number crunching, there’s some clever software that allows you to analyse your energy usage over time, and upload your data to an online community where you can compare usage with other members, and swap tips for further energy saving.

Oh, and did we mention that it looks pretty sleek too?

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About Nigel Berman

Nigel Berman is the founder and MD of Nigel's Eco Store, a resourceful retailer with eco friendly and energy saving products for the home, work, garden, and school. ... read more