Creating A Greener Office Enviroment

New studies show that companies adopting energy-efficient practices have more productive employees. They’re 16% more productive than average employees. Adopting energy-efficient practices isn’t just good for the environment, but also for your staff and bottom line. Changes that lead to better energy efficiency and water conservation boost customer comfort and staff efficiency.

 

Here are the changes that create positive environmental impact while you’re in a highly restricted workplace:

Think Of The Small Things

Keep air vents clear of papers and office supplies, as they consume more energy to pump air through blocked vents. During cold weather, stay away from cold windows and dress in layers so you can adapt to the office temperature.

Replace Your Regular Centralised Air-Conditioning With Solar System

Solar air conditioner absorbs solar heat through an evacuated tube-type solar collector, reducing electricity consumption during peak period. This utilises solar energy to make air-conditioning cycle up to 50% more efficient, conserving electricity at the time when the cooling load requirement is at the highest. This makes it more efficient in saving energy than a regular air conditioner, and results in a more harmonious and sustainable living.

Reduce, Reuse, And Recycle

Recycle everything possible – from empty ink cartridges to batteries. Set up recycling stations throughout your workplace with boxes for aluminium, plastics, and papers. Keep a box of unused papers near the copier or fax machines. Avoid printing emails unless necessary. Use recyclable cups, plates, and utensils when possible.

Bring In Daylight With Commercial Skylights

Commercial skylight systems turn your dark, damp office into a healthy, sun-filled, and welcoming environment. These systems utilise the sun’s power, while blocking the harmful UV rays to provide a pleasant, bright office for your employees. Commercial skylights are great for schools, day care centres, corporate offices, or any dark workplaces.

More businesses have been conserving energy to help protect the Earth. Going green, though, isn’t just being environmentally friendly; it also boosts business productivity. With all these green practices, you can stay waste-free at work and cut environment footprint in half. Contact us for more cost-cutting green practice for workplaces.

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8 Tips To Keep Your Energy Bill Lower During Winter

As the winter months approach and the days get shorter, it’s a good idea to start thinking about your home’s energy efficiency. During winter, with the majority of us spending more time at home, energy use can spike. As a result, our power bills can skyrocket. Therefore, it’s important to consider your energy consumption and the potential for reducing your power costs. Even small changes can lead to helpful savings, so here are a few tips on how to keep your energy bill lower during winter.

Understanding Your Energy Use

When trying to find ways to reduce your energy consumption, it can be useful to understand how much energy your home actually uses. Knowing exactly where in the home the most energy is consumed can help you determine the focus of your energy-saving endeavours.

The average Australian home consumes energy:

  •         Heating and cooling – 40%
  •         Appliances – 33%
  •         Water heating – 21%
  •         Lighting – 6%

With these figures in mind, it’s easy to see that heating and cooling have a significant impact on your power bill, with appliances and water heating close behind. Therefore, making some changes in these areas can have a positive effect on your overall energy costs.

1. Only Heat The Rooms You Use The Most

Consider which rooms don’t get much use during winter and keep the doors closed as much as possible. Drawing heat into unused areas is a huge drain on energy, so save on heating costs by only providing heat to the rooms you need.

2. Optimise The Efficiency Of Your Heat Pump

Your heat pump runs most efficiently between 18°C and 20°C. Blasts of high-temperature heat may seem like the most effective way to heat a cold room, but in fact, using your heat pump in this way won’t heat your room any faster and will increase your energy use dramatically.

For the most economical results, use the timer function on your heat pump to pre-heat your space for 15 minutes before you intend to inhabit the room and set it to turn off automatically when it’s no longer required.

3. Maximise Heat Retention

During daylight hours, your windows allow winter sun to heat your home. However, once evening falls, those same windows can also let more than 40% of the warmth escape. That’s why it’s important to close your curtains as soon as the sun disappears to retain the heat.

Additionally, draught-proofing your home can be extremely effective in keeping your home warm. Use weather strips to block off gaps under external doors and ensure the seals around your windows are sound.

4. Take Advantage Of Free Clothes Drying

Whilst clothes dryers are a convenient and fast way to dry your washing, they are also costly energy consumers. An alternative to using power-hungry dryers is to hang your clothes outside on a clear winter’s day.

If you don’t have access to an outdoor line, think about hanging your washing on a clothes airer located in a sunny window.

5. Install A Water-Saving Showerhead

With water heating accounting for 21% of your home’s energy consumption, changing your showerhead to a water-efficient model will not only save you water but will reduce your hot water costs considerably.

6. Make The Change To Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

During the winter months, we become more dependent on artificial lighting to illuminate our homes. Making the switch to energy-efficient LED light bulbs can save you money in both energy and replacement costs.

LEDs use around 75% less energy and last between 5-10 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs.

7. Replace Mechanical Whirly-Bird Roof Fans With A MaxBreeze Solar Roof Fan

The old whirly-bird mechanical roof fans suck the air out of your roof cavity any time the wind is blowing. On a windy, cold winter’s day, you will be trying to warm the inside of your home with heating. Meanwhile, on the roof, the old whirly bird will be turning in the wind sucking this warm air out of the house and roof, making your heater work harder and increasing your heating costs.

The SolarBright MaxBreeze solar fan is a smart modern version of the old school whirly-bird. It is solar-powered and thermostat-controlled. On a sunny, cold winter’s day, it won’t start to operate until the roof cavity temperature is about 37°C, helping preserve the warmth in your home. And in summer, it works to help cool your home.

8. Make The Most Of Your Solar

If your home is fitted with solar, you have the advantage of energy-saving benefits thanks to your ability to harness the power of the winter sun (or, more specifically, ultraviolet light). To get the best results from your solar in winter, however, the following factors are useful to consider:

  •         Most solar energy is generated throughout the day, so it’s best to operate appliances during daylight hours.
  •         Schedule high-energy appliances, such as your dishwasher and washing machine, to run at different times. Again, daytime is always best.
  •         Charging your electrical devices should be done through the day when energy generation is at its peak.
  •         Switch off any appliances or devices that are not in use and replace any older appliances with energy-efficient models.

Reduce Your Winter Power Bill With Solar

For further tips on how to save energy this winter, SolarBright is here to help. Our solar solutions have been helping Australians reduce their energy costs for over 14 years. Offering a wide range of energy-saving solar panel products from leading solar providers, we are committed to finding the right high-quality solar solution to suit your home.

Contact the expert team at SolarBright to arrange a free consultation and start saving on your energy bill today.

 

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Why Solar Power Is The Healthy Choice For Your Family
How To Choose The Best Solar Panels

How To Reduce Your Power Usage – And Your Bill – At Night

Solar energy is a great way to save money and slash your power bill. However, most residential solar systems without solar battery storage only power your home during daylight hours. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your energy usage at night and save even more.

Explaining On-Grid Solar Systems

Most solar installed in Australia is “on-grid” solar. When you have an on-grid solar power system, you are still connected to the main electricity grid. Solar energy produced from your panels needs to be used immediately, as your solar inverter converts it to standard electricity. If you produce more than you use, the excess is exported back to the main electricity grid.

This means at night, or other times when your system isn’t producing enough solar energy, you’ll draw electricity from the main grid. Your electricity retailer will charge you for the electricity provided.

Tips For Reducing Your Power Usage At Night

Needless to say, it’s wise to use more power during the day – when it’s free from the sun – and decrease your consumption at night when you need to pay for it. Here are some tips to help you get the most savings out of your solar energy system.

Schedule Appliances To Work During The Day

Many household appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines can be programmed to start at a future time. Coincidentally, these appliances are some of the most power-hungry in the home. So, rather than putting the dishwasher and washing machine on in the morning or night, set them to start during the middle of the day. That way, solar energy will power them completely, as long as weather conditions are optimal.

If you’re concerned about not generating enough power during the day, make sure your scheduled appliances aren’t running all at the same time. This should ensure you don’t pay a cent for power during the day.

Turn Off Non-Essential Appliances At Night

If you’re not using appliances during the night, turn them off. It sounds simple, but so many people neglect to do this, and they’re missing out on energy savings. Remember, you pay for all the electricity you use at night, so being careful with consumption can save plenty of dollars.

If you don’t need to run something during the evening, don’t. Wait until daylight when your solar panels can give you all the free power you need.

Use Showers Earlier In The Day

Hot water is always a killer when it comes to the monthly energy bill. Many people love having a shower in the evening before bed, but this is the least economical way to use your shower. The same goes for early in the morning when your solar system isn’t producing energy yet. Of course, when you shower is largely guided by your work schedule. If you work from home, try to wait until after 10am.

If you’re a fan of the evening shower and you get home from work around 5-6pm, in summer, your solar system may still be producing energy. Take that evening shower as soon as you get home, and the hot water may be powered with free solar energy.

Turn Off Air Conditioners At Night

It’s always tempting to leave heaters or air conditioners on overnight. It’s nice to wake up to a warm home in winter or a cool home in summer. But unfortunately, even the most economical air conditioners are likely to be the most expensive appliances in the house.

One smart way to manage cooling and heating is to leave the systems running through the day and turn them off when the sun goes down. That way, you’ll come home from work to a nice warm house, and assuming you have good insulation, your home should stay at a comfortable temperature overnight.

Make The Solar Switch Today

If you want to start saving money, there’s no better time than now to switch to solar energy. The Federal Government offers the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, which can drastically reduce the upfront cost of an NSW solar installation. SolarBright can give you all the advice you need, and we only stock the most reliable, high-performing solar energy products. Book a free consultation today and find out how much money you could save every year with solar energy.

Who Thought Solar Panels Would Be An Investment Decision For Business Owners?

 

By examining variables like “a client’s energy profile” and “a clients site & location” , and then listening to their financial goals, Solar Bright is able to calculate the size of commercial solar power installation most appropriate for the client and map a time-line for realising a return on investment (ROI) for the money you invest.

The Background

The business is Owned by Paul Wakeling Motor Group. Solar Bright was challenged to design and install solar power that would achieve a reduced energy cost for Paul.

The Challenge

The task given to Solar Bright was to positively impact the workplace environment and reduce the green house gas emissions and electricity bill.

To reduce power consumption from the power grid, which was 27,003 kwh before solar power

The Solutions Provided

Solar Bright conducted a Carbon Management study and worked out 100kw solar PV system to make the company more self-sufficient.

We based this on the assumption that 60% of the solar energy generated, would be used up during office hours.

We have achieved reduced power consumption to 17,061 Kwh (down from 27,003 kwh)
Or a $76.00 / day reduction in energy costs

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How Long Will My Solar Panels Last? 4 Main Considerations

Solar panels are becoming more and more popular as they become cheaper and offer greater efficiencies. But as technology advances, this means there are multiplying options available for solar panels in Sydney. With that in mind, one of the key things you should look for when purchasing them is longevity. The longer your panels remain in good working order, the longer you’ll enjoy free solar power without having to replace your panels.

Here’s what you need to know about how long your solar panels will last.

The Three Main Types Of Solar Panels

While technology is always advancing, there are three common types of solar panels available in the Australian market. These are usually grouped as follows:

  • Monocrystalline: The pure silicon in monocrystalline panels allows electrons to move freely, and therefore they provide a higher level of efficiency. These are now the main type of panel installed.
  • Polycrystalline: Previously the best option, and certainly the cheapest, polycrystalline panels aren’t as efficient as monocrystalline, and therefore have fallen out of favour. However, some are still available and are usually lower priced than mono panels.
  • Thin-film: These are made with a thin photovoltaic film. These panels are flexible. They have a lower efficiency so require more roof space to achieve a desired output compared to conventional panels. Thin film panels are rarely used in residential solar systems.

Understanding Solar Panel Degradation

Performance degradation occurs in all panels, no matter how expensive they are. As the panel ages the power out decreases each year. As mentioned above, though, better-quality panels are expected to last longer. After 25 years, good-quality panels will still be producing around 85% of the original power rating.

All panels sold in In Australia must have a performance warranty covering this. We discuss this in more detail below.

There are several factors that cause efficiency to decrease over time. These include rain, hail and other forms of weather damage, but UV exposure, thermal cycling and certain weather conditions can also affect them.

Typically, efficiency degrades by between 0.5% – 3% per year. If you look after them and you’ve invested in quality panels, you would hope this stays towards the lower end of the scale.

So, How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

Solar panels are one of the most durable components of a solar power system. They can last for 25 years or more if you take care of them properly. We’ve explained efficiency degradation above, but that doesn’t mean your panels stop working. They just produce a little less solar energy each year, and in most cases, you won’t even notice the difference.

When you consider that you can get a 25-year product warranty on many offerings, you can assume that they will last at least this long. We’ll talk about warranties next because this is another key factor in determining how long they should last.

Understanding Solar Panel Warranties In Australia

Warranties are a great way to ensure that you get the most out of your investment. But you might be surprised to know there are two different types of warranties available. These are:

  •  Product warranty: This covers defects in materials or workmanship for a period of time after delivery. The length of the manufacturer’s warranty varies depending on the brand, but it’s usually somewhere between 10 and 25 years. This might also be known as a manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Performance warranty: This guarantees that your system will produce at least 80% of its rated capacity after 25 years. If, at any stage during this period, your panels stop producing 80% of their capacity (in normal solar-generating conditions), you may be eligible for a claim.

So, in most cases, you’ll be covered for 25 years, and there’s no reason your panels can’t last beyond that period.

Looking After Your Solar Panels

Solar panels don’t need a lot of attention, but you should be giving them a quick clean at least every six months. Don’t use any abrasive chemicals, but a simple wipe-down with warm, soapy water is fine. As always, ensure you are safe on your roof while cleaning them, and if you need to, call in the experts for a scheduled clean instead.

Looking For Quality Solar Panels In Sydney?

SolarBright is a leading supplier of high-quality, long-lasting solar panels in Sydney. If you’re keen to join the green revolution and start saving on energy bills today, we’d love to hear from you. Check out our range or contact our friendly team today.

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Solar Panels For The Home: The Top 5 Installation Considerations
Energy Star Rating & NFRC Standards For Skylights

Solar Panels For The Home: The Top 5 Installation Considerations

A new solar installation at your home is a great way to save money on electricity bills. With energy prices rising, there’s never a bad time to make the switch to solar. Plus, you get to be part of the green revolution and do your part for the environment. Whatever your motivating factor is, you should consider everything before purchasing solar panels. Of course, working with a reputable solar retailer and installer makes the process a lot easier. But for those who like to do a bit of research first, here’s what you should consider for a new solar installation.

Understand Your Energy Requirements

Before you even start looking at local solar installation providers, you need to understand what your energy requirements are. The best way to do this is to look over your previous energy bills. You’ll be able to identify what times of year you use the most energy, and your bill also provides detailed energy consumption data.

When you book a consultation with Solar Bright, we help you assess your energy needs based on the size of your home, your family circumstances and your historical energy usage. You can leave the in-depth analysis to us, and we will suggest the solar panel system size that would best suit your needs.

Consider Your Roof

Every roof is a little different. You may have a sloped roof or a flatter roof. Neither of these precludes you from having solar panels, but certain installations can cost more depending on complexity.

Firstly, there needs to be enough room on your roof for the number of solar panels you wish to install, and the roof needs to support the weight. This is usually not an issue, but on some older homes, it doesn’t hurt to check.

Also, check that your solar retailer will visit your home prior to preparing a solar quote for you. They will take the time to understand your energy needs, check your roof condition and the main switchboard. This will ensure all is OK for a solar panel installation.

Be aware that many installers will only do business over the phone and online. Take this as a warning sign. In this instance, the only person you will ever see will be the unknown man in the white van who turns up on the day of installation. If they perceive any “site issues”, they will demand extra payments on the day prior to starting work.

Solar Panel Positioning

For maximum solar efficiency, your panels should be facing north. This ensures they capture as much sun as possible during daylight hours. However, you also need to make sure your panels aren’t obscured by shade. So, if north-facing panels aren’t possible, east or west-facing is also fine.

In every state, there is also an ideal tilt that your panels should be installed with. Typically, the tilt angle should be around the same as your location’s latitude. See the table below for ideal solar panel tilt angles across all capital cities.

  • Sydney – 33.9 degrees
  • Melbourne – 37.8 degrees
  • Brisbane – 27.5 degrees
  • Adelaide – 34.9 degrees
  • Perth – 31.9 degrees
  • Darwin – 12.5 degrees
  • Hobart – 42.9 degrees

Choose The Right Type Of Solar Panel For You

There are several types of solar panels out there, and even more brands. The key is finding the best quality solar panels at the most reasonable prices, rather than simply looking for the cheapest. Generally, you get what you pay for with cheap solar panels. If you want them to last and continue offering good output for years to come, it’s important to choose from reputable manufacturers.

Make sure the panel They should also be made from Dual Glass to ensure they don’t suffer from moisture ingress and other problems in future.

Choose Licensed Solar Installers

When choosing a solar panel installation company, make sure they are licensed by the Clean Energy Council. This will ensure that they have met all of the requirements for a professional installer and have also gone through an extensive training program.

It’s also important to note that some states require additional licenses for electrical work and HVAC systems. So, ensure your solar installer has all the relevant certifications allowing them to work in your state.

Be aware that one of the most expensive parts of the solar system is not the panels or the inverter, but the technicians on the roof. Many solar companies can offer appealingly cheap solar systems as they cut corners on the installation. Again, you get what you pay for.

Learn more by reading our blog on the dangers of cheap solar.

Looking for the best solar installation in Sydney?

SolarBright is your trusted provider of solar panels and solar installations in Sydney. If you want to know more about how solar can benefit your family, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today for an obligation-free consultation. We will assess your home’s suitability for solar and even tell you how much money you can expect to save on energy bills.

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