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Getting solar?

6 important questions to ask an installer

1
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How much will it cost & what size do I need?

Any solar expert you chat to will tell you the size or 'capacity' depend on a number of factors: Your household electricity usage, where you live, the size and shape of your roof, and any limitations imposed by your local council or electricity distributor. In general, the bigger the system, the more it'll cost - but this also depends on the quality of your hardware.

Electricity usage

Solar is a long-term investment - be sure to think about your future needs, too. Let your installer know if you have any plans to purchase an electric vehicle, grow your family or switch from gas to electric heating, as your household’s electricity usage will likely increase. You may need a larger solar system than your current usage indicates.

Tip: The size of a solar system is measured in kilowatts (kW), which reflects the maximum power a system can deliver in perfect conditions, while power over time is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) - this is what you will see on your electricity bill.

Climate

Climate trends where you live can impact how much power you generate. If you live somewhere rainy with more cloud cover, it might take a bit longer to return on your investment as your panels won't generate as much power as somewhere sunny. Remember, it's less about the temperature, and more about sunlight hitting those panels.

Roof direction

In general, your panels should be installed facing north, as this maximises electricity generation (in the southern hemisphere). If you do use more power in the morning or afternoon, it can be worth discussing this with an installer as the direction can make a difference.

2

Will installing rooftop solar save me money?

Yes, properly installed rooftop solar will generally save you money. According to the Australian Energy Foundation, a typical home will recoup their initial investment in three to five years.

The upfront cost of solar can be difficult to save up for, especially with rising energy costs. Good news - there are finance options available to help make the cost of installing a solar system more manageable. With our 0% interest payment plan, you can install a solar system at no upfront cost and pay us back over time in fortnightly repayments.

The average Brighte customer saves over $1000 annually on their electric bill.

Deloitte Access Economics - Brighte Consumer and Vendor Study 2019

Using more of your self-generated solar energy to power your home will mean your system pays for itself quicker. Running appliances during the day when the sun’s out, for example, can help you get the most out of your system and break even sooner.

If your system is generating more power than you are consuming, the excess energy can be fed into the electricity grid. Many energy retailers pay feed-in tariffs for this energy. You can compare the amount paid by different retailers using the Australian Government’s Energy Made Easy tool.

3

What government rebates are available?

Tip: If you receive a quote from an installer, it will almost always have the Federal STC discount applied.

Federal: There are many federal and state government incentives available to help offset the cost of installing a solar PV system.

Under the Australian Government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, people who install an eligible solar panel system are entitled to small-scale technology certificates (STCs), which act as a form of currency. These certificates are typically sold by solar vendors on behalf of homeowners in return for a lower purchase price. Check with your installer whether you are eligible for any other schemes when discussing a quote.

State government incentives

Australian Capital Territory

The ACT Government’s Sustainable Household Scheme offers a rebate of up to $2,500 and zero-interest loans of between $2,000 and $15,000 for eligible households.

The ACT also offers a rebate for installing a new battery through their Next Gen program.

Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory, homeowners can apply for a grant of up to $6,000 to buy and install a battery system.

New South Wales

In NSW, eligible low income households can get a 3kW solar system installed free of charge through the Solar for Low Income Households scheme.

There is also a pilot program offering interest-free loans to install solar battery systems in select postcodes.

South Australia

The SA Government’s Home Battery Scheme gives South Australians access to subsidies and low-interest loans to install a home battery system.

Victoria

Victorian homeowners can apply for a solar panel rebate of up to $1,400, with the option of an additional interest-free loan.

4

Is a battery right for me?

Adding a battery to a solar installation adds significant extra cost - sometimes more than twice as much. However, there are great reasons to think about getting one.

If you can access a rebate to help offset costs

In the last few years, government programs that subsidise batteries have become available, depending on your state or territory.

If you need protection against power outages

If you expect power outages to effect your household, a battery is the best way to avoid them. Any excess solar power generated throughout the day can be stored to use during an outage. It's important to discuss this with your battery installer to make sure all your solar & battery components are compatible.

If you want to be as sustainable as possible

Want to power your home as sustainably as possible? You'll want a battery to minimise drawing power from the grid at night (and during cloudy weather). You might even eliminate power bills altogether - or even make money selling excess power back into the grid.

More Australians are choosing to install batteries

Battery adoption has increased in Australia over the past five years, helped along by state-based incentive schemes.

Solar Report 2022 - Australian Energy Council
5

What warranties are included?

To safeguard yourself against any issues down the track, it’s important to ask about any included warranties.

A product warranty, typically 10 years, covers any manufacturing or material defects, while a performance warranty guarantees a minimum power output over time, typically up to 25 years. A high quality panel would be expected to produce at least 80% of its original output after 25 years, according to Solar Victoria.

A good quality inverter - the part of your system that converts power from your solar panels into electricity that can be used in your home - should last at least 10 years in the right conditions. Solar Victoria suggests purchasing a five-year inverter warranty at a minimum. There are also installation warranties, which cover the workmanship of the system installer.

Warranties may lapse if the company responsible closes down or becomes insolvent, so be sure to do your research and read the fine print.

6

Am I getting the best deal?

To help ensure you’re paying a fair price and installing the right system for your home, it’s best to compare quotes from multiple vendors before making a decision.

Start by telling us your postcode, and we'll connect you with up to 3 local installers to compare quotes. There's no cost, and it's obligation free.