Wednesday, 17th April, 2024

Recently signed up to Octopus agile which is electricity tariff that gives you 30 minute interval pricing just like how the national grid does. The upsides of this is that I charged our EV car and actually got paid to do it the other night. It was pretty much less than one pence per hour the whole night there were several periods of zero pence and even one period of negative pence. Downside is between about 4 and 7 pm. The making get up to 35p or more which is higher than I would’ve been paying on the flatmate tariff today is one of those days and even overnight it was still 15p however that’s a lot cheaper than the fix rate so even if I don’t change my usage it still should save about 30 to 40% my electricity bill a month.

Given now have a reason to change my usage I’ve started to set timers on tumble dryers and washing machines and dishwashers to try and utilise the cheapest periods particularly overnight and starting down the rabbit hole of home storage.

If you use Home Assistant and storage systems that integrate, then you can choose when it charges and discharges to maximise the value. You don’t have to go to the extent of installing solar on the house.

My only frustration is that our fuse box is under the stairs and is really impractical to add things to it. When we got the EV charger installed we had a cable cut through the ceiling and another room to get out to the garage. We’ve since plastered it all back up and painted it again, but now I’m worried that to add anything gonna have to cut through them again. I wish I’d done some kind of future proofing and installed two cables or a bigger one or whatever but at the time, with a fixed tariff, a battery didn’t really seem worthwhile on its own and would need solar as well and they had a 15+ year payback period so I wasn’t that excited about it.

Not the end of the world to cut through the plaster again and I am wondering if we could squeeze some storage under the stairs but then I worry I’m just setting myself up for difficulties if we do want to install solar in the future although maybe future me can worry about that.

It would be fun to install a home storage system myself, and a lot cheaper, but I don’t think I know what I’m doing so it’s probably not a good idea. Maybe I could get an electrician to install the fuses and things and I could do the battery part. If I’m trying to fit it under the stairs, I want the smallest system possible and that’s probably a commercial solution.

What I could do myself with install a Wi-Fi relay on the electric immersion heater on the hot water tank and I’ve seen people configure Home Assistant to turn stuff on when it’s the zero/negative pence periods and so they could make use of that free electricity to heat the water.

I’ve also thought about setting a small off grid solar/ battery system to power some radio SDR and receive antennas so I could have a little offgrid receive station and maybe learn a bit about inverters and using Home Assistant and things without spending too much money.

So many projects so little time.

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