FAQ

[learn_more caption=”What is solar power?”]Solar power is electrical energy produced when converting solar radiation from the sun. [/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”What is the government rebate?”] The Australian Government provides an incentive known as the ‘Solar Credits’ scheme.
From 2011 this scheme has 2 classifications:

STC, or Small Technology Certificates are offered on smaller PV Solar Systems.
LREC, or Large Renewable Energy Certificates are created on larger commercial systems.

As of January 2013, this scheme offers no multiplication. STC’s are valued on a ‘one to one’ basis.

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STC values though the REC traders fluctuate depending on demand and have dropped from $35.00 each at the start of April 2011 to currently between $28.00and $31.00/ STC.

[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”What is an STC/SREC?”] These are a financial incentive created by the Australian Federal Government to help meet the 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET).
STC/SREC’s are a commodity, on-sold to wholesalers for a financial benefit, and commonly offered as a point of sale discount when purchasing a system.

So what does this mean?
REC’s are created by installing a small scale PV system and on sold.

This reduces the initial cost of your system, making it financially viable to install PV in your home.

Please note, you can refer to-
“What is the Government rebate?” to help explain the rebate calculation.
[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”What is the NET tariff, & how long will my system take to pay off?”] The initial STC’s will pay for a portion of your system.
Your electricity retailer pays you a Feed In Tariff for the power exported through your electricity meter to the electricity grid.
This amount depends on your consumption of power during daylight hours.

Victoria operates on the NET system.
Simply put, Victorians get credited for excess power exported to the grid.
This rate is 8 cents (plus GST) per kilowatt hour.
This amount accumulates and is deducted from your following power bills.

You are currently looking at 8-12 years payback on a household system.

This equates to an 8-10% return on your investment.

We educate our clients on how to maximise their systems potential!

[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”How long does a system take to install?”] This of course depends on the size, orientation and difficulty of the installation.
You should allow approximately one to two days to install an average sized system.
Allow up to 10 working days for the independent inspection.

The inspector signs off on the installation once the system has been installed.
The Installation agreement, Certificate Of Electrical Safety and Electrical Work Request are sent to your Retailer, who then sends a request to the Electrical Distributor for the
meter change over. The meter change over can take from 6 weeks to 3 months.
[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”How many panels do I need?”] We will need to inspect your home or buildings before a decision on a solar system can be made.
Your power bill and average daily consumption will be a guide as to the appropriate size of the array.
The size of your system will depend on your budget and your expectations.

The number of panels we can install is dependent on the size and area of your roof.
Often a solar system will not be the only course of action for your circumstances.
Lifestyle change can often be the most cost effective way to lower your power bills.

Our team is more than happy to consult with you to obtain the optimal solution.

[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”Can I add more panels later?”]

Depending on the operational range of the inverter, you can add more panels later.
The number of panels is often only limited by available roof space and the inverter size.
Different brands of panels can only be matched together, if their operational parameters
are within 3%.

Note: Your inverter choice has to be carefully considered for correct system performance.

Inverters will only work properly if matched correctly to the output

of the panels and the configuration of the total solar array.
[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”Do I need to clean my panels?”] Yes. They do need cleaning.
They will require an inspection as mono and poly panels are significantly affected by dirt, bird droppings, shading, etc.

You must follow the SHUT DOWN PROCEDURE when isolating a solar array.
Clean the panels as per manufacturers’ specifications.
Turn on the system as instructed- the reverse of the
Shut Down Procedure.

ALTERNATIVELY, we can organise a clean and a documented operating and safety check to make sure the
whole solar system and components are operating correctly, and generating to maximum capacity.

We can also upgrade systems to current electrical standards and Clean Energy Regulator guidelines.
[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”What warranty/guarantees do I have?”] With every array we install, we endeavor to maximise the life of the system and offer a 5 year installation warranty.
For an additional fee,we can provide an on going system service.
This involves an inspection and cleaning of the panels and equipment, testing the output of the system, measurements and calculations to check the system is functioning correctly.

Panels

Most panel manufacturer’s have a reducing 25 year output warranty.
eg: 100% of output up to 10 years, reduced to 80% after 10 years.

Some manufacturers offer a linear warranty which calculates to 0.7% reduction per year.

Inverters
Most inverter manufacturers offer a 5-10 year warranty.

This can be extended to 10+ years at additional cost to the owner.
[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”Is solar power similar to solar hot water?”] Both harness the energy of the sun.
There is a common misconception that solar hot water and solar PV (photo voltaic) panels are one and the same.
However this is not true.
Solar PV (Photovoltaic) panels produce electricity.
Solar Hot Water systems use solar radiation to heat water.
[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”Who is my power distributor?”] Electrical distribution companies own and manage the power grid that connects electricity to the
homes and businesses across the State of Victoria.

Your electricity distributor is dependent on where you live – you cannot choose your distribution company.

There are five electricity distributors and they are each responsible for their own geographic region of Victoria.
[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”How do I choose my energy retailer?”] The contact details of all the energy retailers are available from the Essential Services Commission web site.
[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”What equipment do you recommend?”] Solarworld, REC, Bosch, Solon & Schott modules have been our Tier 1 panels of choice.

There is a large choice of second tier modules also available.

We use a number of racking components, sourced from different companies such as Schletter (Germany), Arrid (Australia) and Grace (China).

As we custom build to suit each client, we match the system to offer the best outcome for price and longevity.
Along with SMA, AURORA (Power One), FRONIUS, KACO and DIEHL AKO, these European manufactured components WILL last the distance.
Remember the old saying- ‘you get what you pay for’.
Solar equipment definitely falls in this category.
Check the independent laboratory PHOTON for their test results.
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