Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction

Solar PV systems are made up of two key parts – panels and an inverter. Solar panels generate power from the sun. The inverter converts solar energy from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) , which enables it to be fed into the grid and used to power your home. The panels are placed on your roof and the inverter is mounted outside on a wall, or in a garage, in the shade. It is placed as close to your electricity meter as possible and is about the size of a small suitcase.

There are two ways solar power saves you money on your electricity bills. Firstly, during the daytime when the sun is out, you use free power from your solar panels so you don’t need to purchase as much electricity. This is the main way solar panels save you money. Secondly, your electricity company will pay you a small amount (feed-in tariff) for any extra power from your solar panels that you don’t use yourself. This saves you a little bit more. On average, you can expect savings of 40 – 60% on your electricity bill after you have installed solar.

Our installers will be able to determine if the trees or buildings cast any shading over your roof and in turn affect the efficiency of solar panels. They use an aerial imagery program, Nearmaps, and view your property during all times of the day across the year to help work out where to place the panels. If there is some shading, there are options available which can improve the efficiency of your PV system, such as optimisers or micro inverters. Our installer will discuss these options with you.

When you enquire with Solar Savers, our expert installers will recommend a solar system size that matches your roof space and household electricity consumption. For example, a household with a daily usage of 10 kWh would need approximately 10 panels, which makes a 3.3 kilowatt system. You can find out your average daily usage by reading your most recent electricity bill. You can read more about solar system products at: https://solarsavers.org.au/installation-equipment/

Quality installation of your solar system is a key priority of the Solar Savers program. This is why we conducted a rigorous public tender process to select an installer. We assessed the safety, reliability and quality of each installer and the components they use. After a thorough evaluation process in partnership with Renew, we have chosen eko energy to install your solar PV system.

eko energy is part of Echo Group, a national top 10 renewable energy solution provider. They are ISO 9001, ISO 4001 and AS/NZS 4801 certified and a Clean Energy Council Approved Retailer. eko energy are bulk buy specialists with over 200 solar bulk buy and solar neighbourhoods completed since 2007.

The first consultation with the installer is usually over the phone and is necessary to design a system proposal. The key purpose is to assess your electricity bills, discuss your home energy needs, check your electricity switchboard and meter and answer any questions you may have. Satellite imaging, or when required, a certified electrician will be used for roof assessments.

Solar and your Energy Bill

In energy, a tariff refers to how you are charged for electricity or gas usage (the variable part of your bill).

The feed-in tariff is the amount your electricity retailer pays you for any excess power your solar panels generate.

Your solar panels produce free and clean energy during the day, especially in the sunnier months of the year. Try and use appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and pool heating during the day to make the most of the energy you are producing.
Please also note, after you have your system installed, your electricity retailer may change your electricity charges (how much you pay for electricity). Once your system has been installed and connected to the grid, we suggest that you shop around the best energy deal for your usage.

You may have your electricity bill updated as a result of the installation. Installing solar might impact your controlled load or off-peak tariffs so it’s a good idea to understand how your bill works and how it will be affected. We recommend you check with your electricity retailer about the possible change to your tariff structure to ensure you have the most accurate information for your household.

CLICK HERE for the answers to some more commonly asked questions about the minimum feed-in tariff.

To find out if you’re on the best deal after installing solar power, compare energy offers with the Victorian Government’s Victorian Energy Compare. Visit https://compare.energy.vic.gov.au to find the cheapest energy offers for your home. It’s free, independent, and easy-to-use. Note, we strongly recommend you wait approximately three months after your solar installation before changing electricity retailers.

Maintenance and Upgrades

Solar panels are designed to be durable and generally require very little maintenance. Installing panels on an angle enables the rain and wind to clear away dirt, leaves and debris. During the dry season – or if you have panels installed flat – you can periodically hose down panels to ensure dirt isn’t obstructing the sun’s rays. Solar Savers installers provide quality, long-term product and performance warranties to maintain your system’s efficiency over their twenty-five-year life.

Yes, enquire through the registration form and our solar installers will assess your property and advise if and how they can upgrade your system. Note, homeowners with an existing system installed after 1 November 2009 will not be eligible for the Solar Victoria rebate.

In the rare instance that solar panels need replacing, it’s always best to call the solar company who installed the system. If panels are losing efficiency and still under a performance/power output warranty, your solar installer will send someone to assess the situation and either fix the problem or replace the panels. If your panels sustain physical damage, that’s often covered under a separate equipment warranty, or under your homeowners’ insurance.

Yes. Our installer, Eko Energy, can remove and environmentally dispose of an existing solar system. Echo Group have partnered with E3Sixty Solar to recycle old, damaged and faulty solar panels, as well as other equipment used, from projects around Australia. Materials recovered in the recycling process such as glass, copper, plastic, aluminum and silver can be reused in local manufacturing, supporting industries, promoting circular economies and decreasing our reliance on new materials.

Solar Savers © 2019