Frequently Asked Questions
How much do solar panels cost?
The cost of solar panels has continued to change over the past decade, behind different government incentive schemes, increased varying quality of panels, inverters and suppliers on the market as well as the increased demand and production.
You owe it to yourself to be an informed consumer when selecting the right system for your Home or Business.
Similar to buying a car or a computer, you’ll want to be sure that your Solar PV system is a sound investment that best meets your needs at a reasonable price.
It is important to be clear on what you want from your Solar PV system. Are you after a system that will partially reduce your energy consumption for 5-10 years before requiring a system upgrade? Or do you want a system that will completely cover your household’s electricity use for the next 25 years?
Like buying a second hand car as opposed to a brand new car, the choice of solar system is a sound investment that will vary in cost depending on your needs.
The price of your solar system can be affected by variables including:
- Number of panels
- Orientation of panels
- Type and quality of panels
- Type and quality of inverter
- System design and configuration
- Consider removal of trees or other shading elements
- Type of roofing (Steel framed roof or Timber construction)
- Height of roof (double story home)
- Site preparation needs (for example, condition of roof or ground)
- Structural engineering, architectural, and other professional services (for commercial systems)
Warranties – things to consider
Solar 1 only deals with reputable suppliers, they must have an office here in Australia and take responsibility for warranties for the products they manufacture and supply.
- What kinds of warranties come with the products?
- How long have the equipment manufacturers been in the PV industry? Long warranties are meaningless if the manufacturers aren’t around in five years.
- How long has the installer been in business? Will they be there when you need them?
- If you have to deal with the panel or inverter manufacturer in the future, do they have an Australian office?
Service Agreements & Performance Guarantees
- What performance guarantees do you get for the system as a whole?
- How will you know if your Solar system is performing to its maximum potential on a day to day basis?
- Does the Company, designer/installer provide some kind of optional service agreement?
- If problems arise with your system, what services will the company, designer/installer provide and for how long?
- Will the company, designer/installer be readily available to troubleshoot and fix problems?
- If something goes wrong, who is responsible for repair or replacement costs?
- Who is responsible for maintaining the system?
- If you are responsible, what kind of training will the designer/installer provide?
- Does the designer/installer handle organising all the necessary metering changes?
- Does the designer/installer organise all the paperwork for your local electricity supplier to move you to a premium feed-in tariff?
- Does the designer/installer handle all the STC paperwork for you?
- Contact the designer/installer’s former customers to find out if the they were knowledgeable, easy to work with, and took the time to explain the systems operation. Also find out if their systems are working well, if there have been any problems, and, if so, if they returned to fix them. Ask for the designer/installer business references, and check them, especially if the company’s reputation is unknown.
- Does the price quoted include a point of sale discount for money received from STCs/ Solar Credits?
- Does the price quoted include all the necessary metering changes and paperwork for my local electricity supplier?
- Does the Company, CEC designer/installer give an accurate estimation of system production with their quotes?
- Are the Solar components quoted on the Clean Energy Council and Western Power approved product list?
- What are the payment terms?
- Is there a deposit? When is it required? Is it refundable?
- Do you need to pay the whole amount or just the difference after the STCs/ Solar credits?
- What is the lead time from your payment to getting electricity from your solar PV system?
The Final Decision
- By installing a solar PV system, you need to take responsibility for it. Your Solar Installer must give you a basic safety induction for the safe operation and proper maintenance of your PV system. You should think carefully before selecting a Company Online. Solar PV system suppliers who never visit your home will have difficulty recommending the most appropriate equipment and performance estimate resulting in considerable problems on the day of Installation or poor installation that will make you regret the money you have invested.
A comprehensive, on-site solar and load analysis and two way interview will help ensure a professionally designed and well-planned installation.
Solar Credits Explained
It is important to note that Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) are not a Government rebate
The Solar Credits scheme for solar PV systems is based on the STC scheme, but currently multiplies by three the number of STCs able to be created for your solar PV system. These extra credits only apply to the first 1.5kW of system capacity. So if your system is larger than 1.5kW, you will receive Solar Credits plus an additional 21 STC’s for every kilowatt of electricity able to be generated by your solar PV system in Perth metro area.