Solar Energy in Australia today is one of the fastest-growing industries. However, solar energy is still a relatively new concept among mainstream consumers, which poses a challenge. Buying solar panels for your roof is like buying a car, as pricing is similar, and so is the high involvement nature of the product, but there is a catch. The number of people who have purchased solar panels is still relatively low, so the buying process is unclear to the sceptical, price-conscious new buyers.
Customers who already own a solar energy system through its entire lifecycle are even more scarce. Besides, with solar panels usually rated to last for 25 years, making a mistake during the buying stage can leave you with buyer’s remorse for a very long time. Making it more complex are various incentives and subsidies, with their conditions, that toughens the decision-making process.
Here is a quick checklist one must follow before going solar!
Eligibility of your roof: Ask these questions to yourself.
Can my roof take the extra load of the solar energy system? If you have a tile roof, the 6.6kW solar system and racking systems are around 500 kg. When you have a tin roof, then 6.6kW solar system with racking system is about 450 kg.
However, it is still recommended to have a professional inspect your roof.
Are there any significant obstructions leaving their shadow on my roof for a big part of the day?
Solar panels must be placed specifically without a shadow on them to generate maximum power during the day. Australia being in the southern hemisphere of Earth, solar panels should be placed facing north. Regardless, make sure you clear these things during the site survey. Many solar panel installers offer free site surveys.
2. Search for the solar panel installers carefully
Getting a solar panel system for your home is a purchase of a lifetime. It is both a home improvement product as well as a clean energy resource. Therefore, it becomes more important that you look for solar panel installers who are best in class. A solar installer you think will be around, in the long run, is also an important point to consider. The solar installer should be available to fix anything that doesn’t work under the warranty period.
3. Check whether you need grid-connectivity
In addition to the structure of your roof and solar panel installers, you also need to consider whether to have a grid-tied connection with net metering or a stand-alone solar energy system with rechargeable battery storage. It is very convenient and cost-effective if you have a grid-tied connection with net metering. Batteries, though they give you freedom from power outages, are expensive as of now and may not give you an attractive RoI and short payback period that you are looking for. Ensure the solar panel retailer you choose takes care of all kinds of permissions required for a net-metered connection.
4. Warranty management
A solar energy system consists of various components such as solar panels, inverters, mounting structures, and electrical components, which different companies often manufacture. Therefore, different solar panel warranties exist, for all other solar equipment, and solar panel installation.
Typically, solar panels have a product warranty covering manufacturing defects for ten years and a performance warranty that the manufacturer provides that guarantees a certain power generation for about 25 years.
The solar panel installer puts together all components into a solar energy system and provides a workmanship warranty on installation for a period ranging from 5-10 years. This warranty should always be considered while finalising the installer. It covers the repair and replacement of defective parts.
Furthermore, the solar inverter also comes with a warranty. An inverter is generally covered by a manufacturer’s warranty of 5 to 10 years.
5. Check for Product Insurance.
The right insurance policy must be in place to cover any damage done to electrical and mechanical equipment during the solar panel installation. Many potential problems can arise while installing solar panels. Also, once they are installed that you may not notice until they occur. As natural disasters, hailstorms can damage your solar panels. Insurance will protect your solar panel system in such scenarios.
6. Check for solar panel incentives in your state.
The government is trying to get people interested in investing in solar energy. Therefore, Australian government offer solar panel incentives known as STCs which you can benefit from when you install a solar energy system on your roof. STCs are available only for consumers installing solar energy systems up to 100kW. Homeowners can also take advantage of Feed-in tariffs, which are credit scores you receive when you send back excess energy to the grid.
7. Check for the maintenance packages.
Proper solar panel maintenance is important to keep your solar panels functional and in good condition. Ensure you find out what these maintenance procedures are from your solar panel installer before the installation begins. If you cannot meet those maintenance requirements on your own, your solar panel system may not last for its complete lifetime. And even the solar panel warranties will not be able to cover your maintenance.
Rooftop solar panels for power generation for homes is becoming increasingly popular because it’s a renewable source of energy that the government is promoting heavily. However, it needs careful planning and research before you finally decide to invest in a solar panel system. With this checklist, you can have a chance at a lifetime supply of free electricity at minimum recurring expenses. Contact AYKA Solar today and start your seamless solar journey with CEC Accredited Solar panel Retailer in Australia.