If a record breaking 2017 for solar panel installations according to solar expert Alex Georgiou, is anything to go by, Australians are sick of skyrocketing electricity prices and are turning to the sun for their power.
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), we (excluding Western Australia and the Northern Territory) now pay 44 per cent more for electricity than we did a decade ago.
Australian electricity prices are currently one of the highest in the world. With the Australian head of global renewable firm SunEnergy1 saying they’re worse than some third world countries!
The ACCC also found Australian customers are paying between $100 to $200 more for electricity than what should be considered reasonable, while a recent McKell Institute report found this could rise by up to $430 more on average by the end of 2019.
With no relief in sight you’re not alone in looking for a better way to save on your power bills and thinking about solar panels as an alternative.
With so many options on the market, choosing the right solar panels for your house can be daunting so we’ve broken it down into eight easy steps for you.
How to get solar panels
Step 1: Do your research
Before buying a solar PV setup, it’s important to make sure the investment will be worth your while. That means finding the best type and size for your home, as well as looking into the government incentives available in your area.
Step 2: Contact your electricity company
Not all electricity companies offer solar-friendly policies. You’ll want to contact your electricity retailer to find out:
- How solar will affect your current rates
- What sort of feed-in tariffs they offer. A feed-in tariff is the amount an electricity retailer pays you for excess power generated by your solar panels. Find out more about switching electricity retailers here
Step 3: Find a solar PV installer and plan your system
It’s important to shop around when buying solar. Talk to different solar PV retailers about your options and obtain several quotes before you choose your solar setup.
You also want to make sure that the company you buy from is ethical, reliable and will be there if something goes wrong. The best way to do this is by choosing a Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer. Approved Solar Retailers follow industry best practice, use fully accredited installers and offer a minimum five-year guarantee on the entire system.
You can do all this research on your own, if you want help choosing the right solar setup and installer get in touch with one of our awesome consultants.
Step 4: Sign a contract
Once you've chosen your setup and accepted a quote, your solar PV retailer, installer or designer will provide you with a contract.
Before signing make sure you’ve read all the fine print and you’re happy with the contract.
Step 5: Install your solar PV system
Your solar PV company or installer will install your system and provide you with all the necessary documentation.
To be eligible for government rebates, your system must be installed by a Clean Energy Council accredited installer.
An Approved Solar Retailer will always use accredited installers. If you’re not buying from an approved retailer, ask to see your installer’s accreditation card or get in touch with our team who can help you find the right installer for you.
Step 6: Connect your solar PV setup to the grid
Your solar PV retailer will usually arrange for your solar setup to be connected to the electricity network on your behalf.
Grid connection processes will differ from state to state.
Step 7: Install solar monitoring
Getting the best from your solar panel investment - make the most of it with solar monitoring
The more energy you use from your panels, the more money you’ll save on your electricity bill. With a Reposit smart home energy management setup, you can monitor how much energy you’re using each day, from what source - your panels or the grid and how much you’re paying daily for your electricity.
Keep track of how much your electricity consumption is costing you and tweak how you use your appliances to get the best value from them by monitoring your electricity consumption.
The biggest financial benefit from installing solar panels comes via self-consumption – generating your own electricity and using - instead of purchasing it from the grid at a higher rate.
Accordingly, you should choose the size of your solar PV system based on the electricity consumption of your household.
Step 8: Use and maintain your solar PV system
Congratulations! Your solar PV system is installed, and it’s time to start saving money on your power bills.
To keep your system working efficiently and safely, you’ll need to make sure it is properly maintained.
By installing a solar PV system, you need to look after it and learn the basic safe operation and proper maintenance of your system. Ask your installer for a maintenance schedule.
Take note of the schedule and undertake regular maintenance of your solar PV setup. This is necessary to ensure that:
- It's working properly
- The system performance is maintained
Want smarter savings? See how much can you save by adding a solar battery.
Recent research from Solar Choice found that by adding a solar battery most people received between 9-16 per cent return-on-investment and an ABC article reported that a family of four in Sydney cut their electricity bill by 90 per cent after adding a solar battery setup.
Our customer Kim Loo loves how Reposit lowers her power bills.
“I’ve had Reposit at my house since May 2015 and have noticed a big reduction in my electricity bills. I just received my summer quarter power bill and it was only $24!”
The value of adding a solar battery to your solar setup - Reposit solar and battery solutions for cheaper power, cheaper power bills.
Adding a solar battery with Reposit to your solar power setup will ensure you’re only connected to the grid when you need to be and only when energy prices are at their lowest, saving money on your power bill.
When your solar battery is full and your solar panels are producing more energy than your household is using, any energy you use at home during this time is essentially free.
Regardless of where you’re up to in your solar journey, we’re here to help. If you’d like to know more about any of the information outlined, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our awesome consultants.