The sun hitting your roof can power your home. It's just a question of gadgets.
The installation of solar panels on your home will generate a significant amount of your electricity needs and reduce your households greenhouse gas emissions. A 1.5kW system will save approximately 2.7 tonnes of CO2 emissions, per annum (compared to coal powered electricity).
In addition to the environmental benefits there are other good reasons to install solar photovoltaic systems in your home including:
These factors make a compelling case for exploring the installation of a solar panels to your home. You may even one day know the joy of receiving a cheque from your local power company for the excess power you've just sold them.
How to do it now!
There are four elements involved in installing a grid-connected Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system in Australia. These are:
Often all of these elements will be facilitated by the solar photovoltaic system installer.
The following questions and tips may be of use:
1. Finding the right solar photovoltaic system installer.
The Clean Energy Council (CEC) has a complete list of Accredited Solar Photovoltaic system installers on their website.
Use the following list of questions to guide you when you are speaking to a prospective installer for your photovoltaic system:
◾ an estimate of the average daily electricity output - in kilowatt hours (kWh)
◾ the estimated annual production.
◾ the estimated production in the best and worst months.
◾ the responsibilities of each party.
◾ warranties and guarantees, including installer workmanship.
◾ a schedule of deposit and progress payments.
2. Selecting the right solar PV system for your household.
Ensure the solar PV system is the right size for your household - The size of your solar PV system will depend on:
If your goal is to provide enough energy to run all your electrical appliances all year round, then you need to know your household electricity use for the year. This is measured in KWh and is documented on your quarterly electricity bill. From this figure you can calculate your average daily electricity consumption: that is, the amount your PV system needs to produce (on average) to cover your electricity needs.
3. Receiving financial support from your Small Generation Units (SGU).
You maybe entitled to Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) often referred to as RECs if your SGU is eligible. Although not technically a rebate, they do offer a discount on the purchase of solar PV or related systems. These certificates can be traded through a market a bit like shares. The value of STCs fluctuates according to supply and demand. Businesses such as non-renewable electricity generators are required to purchase a set amount of STCs each year. Learn more at the Australian Government's Office of Renewable Energy Regulator website. Most reputable installers will do all of this for you and provide a point of sale discount in exchange for the STCs. When comparing quotes, compare the prices after the inclusion of this discount.
4. Establishing an electricity trading agreement with your electricity retailer.
Once you have priced the purchase and installation of your PV system, and know what the likely electricity generation will be, it's time to select and sign up with an energy retailer who will buy your electricity. Note that not all retailers provide this service, so check carefully!
Things to check on and compare when agreeing to sell your clean electricity to an electricity retailer are:
Check with your installer which electricity retailer offers the best deals, understand the mandatory feed-in tariffs that might apply in your state and get advice on dealing with electricity retailers.
Feed-in tariffs are payments/credits from power companies to households and businesses for the renewable electricity they generate (e.g. solar photovoltaic system or wind turbine). For more details on each state's feed-in tariff scheme visit the following websites:
South Australia- Solar rebates and payments
Why is this action important?
To create a sustainable future, we must harness renewable, local and abundant energy sources - such as sunlight. This action can ensure the electricity you are consuming at home comes from a clean, non-polluting source with a cost-effective investment in sound technology and a generation of long-term returns (financial, environmental and intergenerational).