Most modern solar systems will come with a system for monitoring your solar production. But most will not come with a system for monitoring both production and household energy consumption on the same screen.
That's a shame because seeing how your solar and your consumption work together allows you to:
- identify appliances that can be shifted to daytime use to maximise self consumption
- identify high usage appliances which can be used less
- identify high usage appliances which can be upgraded to more efficient models
- get a much better feel for how you use energy
- avoid bill shock - if your solar stops working or your usage rockets you should be able to see in advance
Which 3rd party monitors do we recommend?
Cheap and cheerful
Efergy's Solar Kit ($239) :
and Smartnow's solar monitoring package ($220)
are both good budget options.
Expensive (but very, very good)
If you want something that is a more permanent and better featured solution, I’d recommend Solar Analytics. It costs about $500 installed and $6 per month thereafter but will tell you exactly how your system is performing and automatically warn you if the performance drops, among many other things.
Here is a screenshot from my system: