Energy prices are increasing and will only increase from this point in. Local electricity prices have risen sharply recently and are expect to continue to rise sharply for the next couple of years at least. Having recently completed a solar water heating system we have a massive sense of self satisfaction at the moment, mainly whilst sat in a steaming hot bath heated from nothing other than daylight!
We would like to generate our own electricity and reduce our power consumption from the grid. For me this is a journey from the idea to the final installation. I need to figure out what we want to power and how to go about choosing the correct products and fitting in with local planning law’s and requirements to connect the system to the power supply.

These are the steps I believe we need to go through.

• Understand our total electricity usage
• Understand the running load of the house during the day
• Understand what is in use during the day
• Understand local planning requirements
• Understand requirements to connect the system to the grid
• Identify the products we will need and the reason for needing them
• Identify variations in the products from various manufacturers
• Sizing the system
• Costing the system
• Installation

Quite allot to consider really.

Where to start?
We have gained allot of experience and knowledge from the Solar Hot Water system we installed recently, I also have a reasonable amount of experience with solar Photovoltaic panels as I have been playing with them on a hobby basis for 12 or so years. Currently I have a mixed collection of 5 panels that I use to charge an electric bike. These panels will not be suitable or powerful enough to connect to the grid system so new panels are needed.

So first things first I’ll get on with understanding our consumption.