What size system do I need?
Basically it varies on two factors – how much electricity you use, and what hours of the day you use the power. The general rule of thumb is for every $100 on your bimonthly power bill, you can estimate you need about 1kW of panels. You can look at more kW if you plan to get batteries. The amount of electricity you use depends factors like how many people live in your house, what applicances you use (and how many appliances – eg. fridges), how you heat and cool your home, and what lighting you use, for example. We can help you work out your usage patterns to decide what will work best for you.
How long until I see a return on my investment?
This will depend on what system you get installed and how you use your electricity. Generally you’ll be looking at between 3-7 years (not including battery systems).
How long will it take to install?
The best part of the residential installs are done within a day. The lead-in time however, includes an application to Synergy, which take up to 5 business days for approval (REBS application). Once it is approved, we need to go to Western Power, and submit an Embedded Generation Application and this will take up to 10 business days for approval. Once approved by WP, we can schedule an installation, pending the meter has been changed. On average, you’re looking at 2-3 weeks from acceptance of the quote to a completed install.
Can I install solar panels on a tiled roof?
Yes you can install solar panels on a tiled roof, a colorbond roof, a tin roof, shed roof, a cliplock roof, you can even make free standing solar panel carports. There’s not many types of roofs you can’t install a solar panel on.
Can I put my panels on a south-facing roof?
While it is not ideal or the optimum location, the production doesn’t vary too much in the summer months, however it does affect the performance dramatically in the winter months (about 1/3rd of the usual production in winter). If there are significant obstructions on the north-facing roof, we can put the panels on the south. We wouldn’t do it in normal circumstances, but it can be done, and we’ve done it in certain circumstances before as long as you’re aware of the variance in production in winter, and that it still suits your winter energy needs, we don’t have a problem with doing it. Obviously we’d recommend going north!
Am I still eligible for the Feed-In Tarriff?
Yes, the current RE Buyback Scheme is 7.135c per kW (plus GST).
How can I tell if I have a 3-phase or a single-phase house?
There’s two ways to tell. If you look under your meter, you might see three black cartridges, or one cartridge, these are the fuses for each phase. You can look on the meter, and read the description on it and will say 1P or 3P somewhere on it. (*You can get two-phase, but it is rare, sometimes seen in rural properties.)
Why do I need to get my meter changed/reprogrammed?
Because you need a bi-directional meter to record how much electricity you end up selling back to Synergy.
When the power goes out, will I still have power in my house from my panels?
Only if you have a battery system, you’ll generally keep power. Otherwise no. Without a present AC supply coming from the grid, the inverter will shut down as a safety mechanism.
Will I get WiFi monitoring?
Yes, the products we recommend do have WiFi monitoring.
Will my panels get damaged if it hails?
To date, we have not had any issues with panels getting damaged by hail. The only panels we’ve ever had to replace due to damage is damage by golf balls or rocks. (We use panels for our boardroom table!)
How long is the warranty on my solar panel system?
The warranties are 10 years product warranty on panels, and 25 years on performance. There is up to a 10 year replacement warranty on some inverters and 10 years manufacturers warranty on most others. We also offer 5 years on installation and workmanship of the whole system, a guarantee we can offer with our highly trained, in-house installers. Beware of some of the small, new businesses – they are more likely to come and go. If they close down, you have no recourse in the event of any warranty issues.
How long have you been around for?
We’ve been a family-run business for over 15 years since 2002, and we’re proudly WA-owned and operated. Warranty issues (in the rare event) will never be a problem unlike the big Eastern states companies, you know where to find us!
Is there a guide on how to buy solar power? Because everybody seems to tell us different things.
Click here to read the CEC Guide to Buying Solar For Households. The CEC is the independent governing body for the solar industry in Australia. It is packed full of information which will help you find out what you need to know, how to avoid dodgy operators, what questions to ask and how to choose the right system for you.