5 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE GOING SOLAR
25 May 2017
If you’re thinking about solar electricity as an option for your home or business, here are some things you should consider.
1. You’re not just buying hardware
When considering making the switch to a renewable energy source, it’s important to not only focus on the solar panel cost associated with the hardware. There are many additional benefits included in the cost of solar energy, such as having a supplier who understands energy and the impacts of new technologies like battery storage, energy efficiency and smart appliances, to help maximise your energy efficiency.
2. You get what you pay for
The growing popularity of solar systems has seen an increase in suppliers over recent times. While some of these providers offer cheaper solutions, they might end up costing you more in the long run. Solar systems can last up to 25 years, so you’ll want a quality product from a supplier that will be around for the long-term. This is why it’s important to invest in a supplier with the right systems, processes and tools to help you understand your energy use long-term, as well as the impacts of changes to regulation, tariffs and technology. The right supplier will also help with ongoing maintenance and support during the system’s life.
3. It's never too late to change to solar electricity
In previous years, many made the switch to solar to take advantage of generous government subsidised feed-in-tariffs, which paid customers for selling it back to grid. Today, it’s better to purchase a solar system that reduces your need to draw electricity from the grid. This way, you’re saving on buying electricity from your retailer, rather than getting paid for selling it back.
Check your roof to see what type of return you could be looking at.
4. Look up - check your roof
When talking solar panels, the obvious starting point should be to check your roof to see what type of return you could be looking at. While every roof will receive some form of light, some are better than others. Generally speaking, a north or northwest facing roof, not blocked by trees or shade from other buildings is the ideal candidate for solar power. This doesn’t mean a roof not angled directly towards the sun is completely useless - it just might produce a little less power. Find out if your roof is suitable for solar here.
5. Know what plans are available
Previously, the choice to go solar could be a big investment for customers. A survey by Choice Australia and information sourced from the Alternative Energy Association (ATA) found - after incentives and rebates - the cost people spent was between $4,400 and $8,243.1
While there are still Government incentives for solar systems to help reduce the up-front cost, various factors such as the size and location of your solar system and the price of the certificates when your system is installed, greatly influence the subsidy that you receive.
Set-up costs are no longer a barrier, with offers such as Solar as a Service removing these outlays, meaning you can benefit from solar without buying a system outright.