Australian home owners are freeing themselves from the grid by transitioning to solar, and significantly reducing their electricity bills in the process. Solar is a bright alternative to energy derived from fossil fuels, however many homeowners fall for common mistakes that are easy to avoid.
Here are five things every prospective homeowner needs to know before making the transition to solar, brought to you by Natural Solar.
Is it better to install on a new or an old home?
There is no better time to install solar than when building a new home. By installing solar from day one, owners can reduce their electricity bills as soon as they move in. Also, modern homes are more likely to be built with solar in mind. This isn’t to say that a solar installation can’t work on an older home, just that it you might encounter issues. Common issues we find include:
- needing to upgrade your distribution board or electricity meter – older homes may not have the latest technology. There are many ways to fix this, Natural Solar is happy to talk to you about your options, just ask.
- the battery may have to be placed inside a load-bearing wall or in your bedroom.If you’re building your home from scratch, positioning the battery won’t be a hassle at all.
- Installations on homes of two storeys high require scaffolding, which may add to the cost of your installation. Scaffolding may already be on site for new homes which will slash this cost.
Who will install my Solar Panels?
Solar Panels need to be installed by a qualified specialist.
Many ‘weekend tradies’ are buckling on the tool belt and having a go at installing solar panels themselves. Installing solar is a job that must be left to trained specialists.
Electriciansare qualified solar installers and understand what to look out for when installing. Many people claim to be ‘qualified’ but you can check qualifications by looking for the following:
- Clean Energy Council Solar Accreditation
- Clean Energy Council Battery Storage Accreditation
Natural Solar maintains a high professional standard in the industry with over 6,000 batteries installed in homes across the country, as recognised by the Clean Energy Council – it’s safe to say you’re in good hands with Natural Solar.
It’s flashy, it’s neat, but do I need it?
Solar batteries represent a captivating technology and provide households with the true ability to take control of when, how and why they use electricity. However, you must first dot all the i’s and cross the t’s before making the leap.
Most homeowners make the transition purely based on financial drivers, and so the investment needs to be calculated long-term. Returns on solar are seen as early as 6 years after installation, and so you need to commit to the long game before seeing results*.
Other reasons you may be opting for solar is due to common grid outages, or blackouts in your area. A battery with back up power will have every neighbour knocking on your door to charge their phone when the power goes out.
Make sure you opt for the size that suits you best
If you are choosing to install a solar system with a solar battery, it’s wise to choose a larger system to maximise the benefits. The sun shows up everyday, so with a larger system, the excess energy you produce can be stored in your home’s battery and used at night when most Electricity Suppliers charge peak rates.
If you’re not intending on installing a solar battery, you should calculate the size of your system by reviewing your electricity bills and seeing how much energy your home uses during the day when the sun is generating electricity. This way you’re maximising your solar installation as opposed to sending electricity back to the grid and buying it back for a higher price at peak time in the evening.
For those scratching their heads at these calculations, don’t worry. The team at Natural Solar will carefully assess your current or planned electricity requirements along with your objectives to design the right system for you. Just have a copy of your 4 most recent electricity bills on hand when starting your solar journey.
Predict the future
Installing solar panels in your home is planning for the future and so you need to take in account what your future may look like. Is your family growing? Downsizing? Are you looking to purchase an electric vehicle in the near future? Are you about to purchase a spa or install a swimming pool? How your energy consumption will change in the future will help you choose the solar system that’s right for you.
*Savings calculation based on information available to Stockland as at [#insert date]. Stockland does not give any warranty in relation to the savings calculation. Stockland does not accept any liability for loss or damage arising as a result of any reliance on this savings calculation.