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What is the role of a consumption monitor?

You have read numerous solar reviews and gathered multiple solar quotes from the best solar companies in Australia – basically done your homework for your home solar project. There is now a series of choices you got to make from choosing from the best solar inverters in 2022 to the best quality solar panels in Australia, and getting one of the best solar companies in Gold Coast to do a professional installation for you.

Once the system is up and running, you can sit back and relax and let your solar garner you the savings you have made the switch for.

What is a Consumption Monitor?

A consumption monitor is an optional device and not an essential component of your solar system. A solar system is complete and functions perfectly without a consumption monitor. However, it helps you save more money from your solar by bringing you closer to your usage.

Better awareness of your devices helps you save much more on your energy bills. When you get complete clarity of what amount of energy you are using in your home, and at what time, you will be much more capable of cutting your bills affecting maximum overall financial benefits through savings.

What is the importance of consumption monitoring/metering?

Consumption monitoring assures you that your system is functioning optimally. It helps in the maintenance of your solar and helps you in keeping tabs on its financial yield. Consumption monitoring helps you to observe the production over a period of time (to facilitate comparison in its performance).

What is the function of a consumption monitor/smart meter?

1) Your system’s production

A consumption monitor tells you how much your solar system is producing. When your panels receive sunlight, they generate electricity from it in DC form which is then supplied to your solar inverter that converts it to usable AC electricity. The amount of electricity your system is generating is reflected on your inverter as well as your consumption monitor. But the consumption meter has more functions than that.

2) Your usage

A consumption monitor not only shows you the output of your solar but also how your home is using the energy. For example, you might be used to doing laundry in the late evenings after returning from work. But a smart meter helps you realize that you are using a heavy appliance on grid electricity as the kWh units soar on the meter with that usage. When you change the usage timings of appliances like tumble driers and washing machines to the morning hours when you have ample solar power supply in your home, you can reduce your electricity bills even further.

3) Excess power to export to the grid

The consumption meter shows you how much solar power is in excess and can be exported to the grid. If your State allows Net metering you can get paid by your utility company for the unused power you send them.

4) Battery decisions

Going forward, when battery prices will fall, as they will, you might want to add one to your system. Gauging the amount of excess energy your system produces over a specific period will help you better assess if making a battery purchase is worth it or not.

If the amount of excess energy your solar is producing is substantial, then adding a battery to the system makes sense. But if your home consumes most of the power your system produces, and there is not much surplus remainder, then adding a battery is not of much use to your household.


Consumption monitoring is important for making the most out of your solar. Though it comes at an added price which is usually between $200 to $500, a smart meter is well worth the investment for the financial benefits it adds to your overall savings.

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