Australia has seen a solar revolution in the last few years. With more and more people opting to go solar, renewable energy is booming.
For those of you still sitting around the fence, this is the right time to get solar into your house. The environment will benefit a lot along with your diminished electricity bills.
We understand with all the options available, it does become difficult to make the right choices. So here’s your all-in-one guide, if you wish to switch to solar soon.
Is there value in getting solar power into your house?
Sure the initial investment is something to think about, but you will notice its worth after a few years when the system starts to pay for itself. Soon you will be able to calculate your savings too.
It takes about 5 years for a solar power system to pay for itself. This is largely dependent on your electricity consumption, your location, how much you paid for the system, the size of your system, and so on.
How much will it cost?
To promote solar energy, the government has provided good incentives to the people. There are rebates in the form of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs). There are also Feed-in Tariffs that earn you money on the excess electricity you send to the main grid. Thus, getting a solar power system now is the best option considering the fallen prices and these incentives.
That being said, a 6.6kW system would cost you roughly between $5200 – 9600. This cost will vary depending on the location and the components you choose.
The cost can be determined by knowing what size, i.e., the capacity of the system you require.
Is solar the best choice for your house?
The next question that you need to ask before you go ahead with the process is whether your house is suitable for solar or not.
Solar usually works everywhere well in Australia, but there are a few things to consider:
Roof: A north-facing roof is the most suitable for solar power generation as it catches maximum sunlight. Roofs facing other directions also work but the overall efficiency might decrease.
Location: Northern areas in Australia receive more sunlight in comparison to Southern areas.
Shade: You need to make sure that the shading of panels is minimum to make the best use of your panels. In an ideal situation, it is best to avoid trees and other structures shading your system.
Permissions: In some cases, there are regulations in different localities. It is best to check with your local council in case you need any approvals.
What components will be required?
The two most important parts of a solar power generation system are: solar panels and the inverter.
Other parts of a solar PV system are:
- A mounting rack to mount panels on the roof.
- A monitoring system to track your power consumption. This is optional.
- A solar battery. This is also optional.
What number of panels you need and what capacity you require is all based on your electricity consumption needs. An average house uses about 20kWh of electricity per day and this could be fulfilled by a 5kW system.
It is recommended to go for a larger system keeping future needs in mind. A larger system is also better for the environment.
While getting your solar panels to keep warranties in mind too. Panels usually have two types of warranties- a performance warranty which is mostly for 25 years and a product warranty which is for about 10-15 years. Make sure you clear it with the retailer which warranty you’re getting. A 25-year warranty does sound better but what will you do with it if the product itself is faulty?
A solar inverter is a device used to convert direct current (DC) from the solar energy generated by the panels into alternating current (AC). This can then be used to power your house and all electric appliances. The inverter is usually a box on the wall or could be also installed on the roof itself.
A solar storage battery helps you with electricity even during an overcast day and at night time. All the excess power generated by the solar PV system can be stored in a storage battery.
Sending electricity to the grid will earn you feed-in tariffs, but to be honest, those aren’t that generous anymore. You could save a lot more by using electricity from a solar battery as this will be cheaper per kilowatt-hour in comparison to grid electricity.
Although, getting a battery at the moment does not make complete sense. It is a huge investment. But you can watch out for a price drop and get one when your pocket allows.
Things to keep in mind while choosing your installer
Now that you have your components sorted, another important aspect is finding a good solar installer. Here are a few points that can help you make your decision:
- Always go with Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited installers
- Opt for companies that have been in business for five years and more
- Opt for companies that have their physical presence in Australia for all sales, installation, and after-sales support
- Go with companies that cater to your personal needs and have a good customer service reputation
Now that you have made up your mind and done your research, it will be good to get some quotes from multiple retailers and installers. Look out for reviews and take your time before you make the investment.