Solar Power

If you’re thinking of installing solar panels get started here.

  • Solar Panels - General Information

    With the escalating cost of electricity, consumers across Australia are looking for ways to save money on their power bill.

    However, with the abundance of choices and schemes in place to incorporate renewable energy technologies into your home, the renewable energy landscape is fast becoming a complex arena.

    What technology is really going to give you the best return on your investment both in the short and long term?

    The quick answer is every property is different. It depends on when and how you use your energy. The best way to find out is to engage a specialist energy auditor who can provide you with a detailed assessment of your property and provide recommendations that will have an immediate impact.

    Who can I contact for the detailed audit?

    A Master Electrician is the best person to perform your energy audit assessment as every Master Electrician has been trained to provide specific energy efficient solutions as a holistic approach. Simply contact a Master Electrician.

    I’m interested in solar panels, how do they work?

    Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels generate clean electricity by converting the energy in sunlight into energy you can use in your home. The solar PV panels are generally fitted on the roof in a northerly direction at an angle to maximise the amount of sunlight that hits the panels. From there, electricity is captured by heavy duty wires and fed back into a box called an inverter which transforms the energy into a format that is usable in the home.

    So are solar panels the best choice for me?

    Solar panels can save you money in one of two ways. They can help to reduce your energy usage which will equate to a reduction in your power bill, or they can produce excess electricity (Renewable Energy Credits) which you can feed back in the electricity grid for a tariff. Every state has a different system in place for feed-in tariffs, for more information visit Your Energy Savings

  • What You Need to Know Before You Buy Solar Panels

    Harnessing solar energy to produce power is an important tool in the arsenal against global warming and is rising in popularity in Australia. But before you get on the road to generating your own electricity at home, there are a few things you should consider.

    Things To Ask Your Installer

    • Are they a Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited installer? Check the CEC website
    • Are they using CEC approved products? Check the CEC website
    • Is the inverter the right size for the number of panels? The kW rating of the inverter should be equal to or greater than the solar array output in kW
    • Will all the panels they are selling you fit on the north-facing roof of your house? This should be assessed by a designer before any work is done
    • How much warranty will you have? You could have anywhere between 1 to 5 years on inverters and up to 25 years on panels (however the output rating may decrease by up to 25% over this time).

    Things That Will Affect Your Maximum Power Output

    • Location and orientation of the panels. Panels should ideally be installed on a north-facing roof to help achieve the maximum output. Panels can still be installed facing ENE, NE, N,NW, WNW and be angled to gain maximum benefit
    • Weather conditions. Your theoretical maximum power output is calculated on the sunniest of days. Different locations will have different power outputs. For example, Brisbane is based upon an average daily value of 5.6 hours. Long periods of cloud cover also reduce output
    • Shading from trees or other buildings. This should be determined by an on-site inspection by a designer before work is commenced
    • Dust or dirt build-up on the panels. This will affect output so regular maintenance is required by a qualified tradesperson.
  • Solar Power Panels - Before You Ring For Help

    Harnessing solar energy to generate power is an important tool in the arsenal against global warming and is rising in popularity in Australia. But while thousands of home owners are happily saving money on electricity bills while saving the environment, there are a few who are not reaping the benefits they should be. This fact sheet was designed to help those people determine what the problem is, whether it’s related to incorrect installation, over-use or natural elements.

    If your solar panels aren’t saving you as much money as you expected, there are a few questions you should be asking:

    Did You Get What You Paid For?

    Make sure the number of panels supplied is what you discussed as most appropriate for your energy needs.

    Are The Panels Facing The Right Way?

    Panels should face ENE, NE, N, NW, WNW and be angled to gain maximum benefit.

    Have You Received A Smart Meter (Multi-Function Meter) From Your Electrical Retailer?

    If your meter hasn’t been upgraded you won’t receive the maximum benefit and be paid a feed-in tariff for power you put back into the grid.

    Are You Maximising Your “Feed-In”? 

    Most states and territories provide a net feed-in tariff. This means you will only get paid a bonus for the unused portion of your solar power.  If you use it all, there will be no rebate. For more information on feed-in tariffs contact your relevant state government department.

    Are You Being Energy Efficient?

    Check that your lights, appliances, computers, and TVs are as energy efficient as possible. You may be running your pool pump or air conditioning too much and using up the solar power during the day.

    System Not Producing Power?

    Check your user manual for instructions on how to reset the system, contact your installer and ask them to come back and inspect the system, or call a Master Electrician or CEC accredited electrical contractor to ensure your system has been installed properly and is working.

    Safety Information

    Even on a cloudy day, your solar panels are producing electricity:

    • DO NOT climb on to the roof to check their operation
    • DO NOT wash them with your hose
    • DO engage a Master Electrician or CEC accredited electrical contractor to clean and inspect panels.