WHERE TO START
WHY SOLAR? | YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED | WHERE TO START?
WHERE TO START WITH SOLAR ENERGY?
Useful Hints & Tips

Deciding to convert to solar power is a smart move but there are a few things you need to know to help you make the right decision.  The Tas Solar team is here to help and we have put together some helpful hints and information to assist you when starting your solar conversion journey.  Simply click on the links below to learn what you need to know and where to start.

Why Go Solar?

Well in short it is actually a really good investment. If you use the power you produce, your system pays for itself over a relatively short period of time, while reducing your power bills.

CEC Accredited

Tas Solar are Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited solar designers and installers, who will provide you with accurate system performance estimates.

At Tas Solar we are not just some ‘sales person.’ The employee that will perform your site visit a qualified, experienced and knowledgeable Electrician and Solar professional, who prides themselves on quality work. Who will provide you with a system that suits your personal needs.

Our business has been operating in Tasmania for over 12years and our customers come first.  We are with you all the way through the process and our service does not stop once the system is installed.

Products

Google it. Do your research!

Not all Tier One panels are equal. You really do get what you pay for.

You should always be advised of the brand of inverter and panels a company uses.  Jump online and do your research, for example, search for e.g.  ‘top solar panel manufactures’ and ‘top inverter manufactures Australia’.  Also look for reviews on the specific brand names you have been provided.  Making sure you look for independent reviews and unbiased opinions, where they are not just selling their own product.

At Tas Solar we choose use only top quality Tier One panels, such as Trina and Jinko panels and quality inverters such as Fronius and SMA.  We have installed thousands of systems all over Tasmanian and also worked interstate. We know that no product is perfect but those we choose to use are by far the ones that have proven themselves worthy, and where something does go wrong they have proven the guarantee is easy to access and replacement processes fast and easy, ensuring minimal delays. However, it’s worth noting that issues with these products have been almost non-existent and that is why we choose to use them.

The Big Sell and Unrealistic Claims

A site visit is a must whether you choose to do this to obtain your quote or before going ahead with your quote.

You should be very careful in accepting a quote from a company that does not do a site visit to discuss your particular needs.  It is likely that they will throw unrealistic claims at you about what the system will do and use some really nifty software to look professional but they will have no real idea of your needs and how to best meet these.  Basically, there are a lot of fancy solar products and software out there but unless they are in the hands of experienced professionals they are not worth having.

Many people buy a small system thinking they will never have a bill again. There are so many solar companies out there, usually bombarding you with unrealistic claims or just pushing a product. Remember, you have the right to say NO! You are never obligated to sign up to purchase solar, so even if they are on your door step and you are keen to sign up get them to leave a quote, give yourself time to think. This will allow you to look around and commit to a company your own terms.

The best part about a site visit from us is that there are NO expectations from us and we won’t hassle you afterwards, knowing we will have provided you with the knowledge to allow you make the right choice for you, no matter where you go.

Tarrifs (How Aurora Charges You)

Generally Tasmanian households are on two standard tariffs – 31, lighting and power and 41, heating and hot water. On these tariffs your solar power produced will only go towards tariff 31 usage, you will still pay for all power used on tariff 41.

If you produce more power than what you use on tariff 31 this gets fed back to the grid and they give you .6 cents p/kw, but they charge a lot more for tariff 41.  You are better off using what you produce and not feeding back to the grid in this case.

We are recommending clients to consider switching to tariff 93 – Time of Use, this is worth looking into even if you don’t have solar.  This tariff is a lower rate but higher in peak periods. Where you get a solar system installed it also then means any power your system produces will be used towards all power you use, regardless of time.

Further information on the tariffs can be found via this link, https://www.auroraenergy.com.au/your-home/electricity/rates-and-charges/standard-electricity-rates-and-charges.

Again, regardless of what we advise you, do your own research make sure you can make an informed and non-bias decision.

What Size system do I get?

This is a very personal question and one that we endeavour to answer by learning about your specific needs. The best way to do this is with a site visit but we know that some clients will prefer not to initially have a site visit.  If this is you and you don’t mind us asking questions or shooting us through a photo or two, of your roof and switchboard etc., we can give you an accurate quote based on this and perform a site visit prior to undertaking any works.

As a place for you to start you need to understand how Aurora is charging you and your options  regarding the Tariffs, knowing  how you use power and your daily usage average will also go a long way to figuring out what size system you need.

Our systems will produce the following outputs:

3kw system – 11.2 kwh per day on average

4kw system – 15.05 kWh per day on average

5kw system – 18.9 kWh per day on average

10kw system – 35.7 kWh per day on average

This should assist you with a general guide but nothing can beat a site visit. Allowing us to guide you through the masses of information out there.

Battery Storage and Being Battery Ready

We don’t currently recommend battery storage, as this is very costly and not a good investment at this point in time. Prices are dropping but at this stage it is not a cost effective option.

If you are buying hardware now to be prepared for battery storage in future you need to remember that technology is advancing all the time, especially solar technology. If you buy specific hardware for this purpose now then you will end up using old technology in the future when you are ready to go and this will more than likely mean the old technology will not be as efficient.

If you have your heart set on it, Fronius do have a specific hybrid inverter, which is specifically designed to do both. However, the issue going this way is that it locks you into buying the Fronius batteries, which are expensive.
The standard Fronius inverters we use, and indeed many other inverters, do allow for batter storage to be added at a later date by purchasing additional products (a controller) and we would recommend going this way over the hybrid, as it is too restrictive.

What are REC’s/STC’s

The Renewable Energy Certificate (REC), more commonly now referred to as a Small-scale Technology Certificates (STC’s), system is the basis of the solar credits program.

A single REC/STC is equivalent to one megawatt hour of electricity generation produced until 2030 (the “deeming period”). The value of a REC is dependent on market conditions.

When you purchase a solar power system from Tas Solar, we discount this value for you and it will be indicated on your quote.

On the day of installation, you assign the RECs/STCs over to us and we then complete the registration of these certificates with the Renewable Energy Regulator on your behalf; saving you the hassle of doing so. However, as the owner of the system you can choose to keep these and register, sell or trade them yourself rather than assign them over to us.  This would mean you will pay the full quote price with no discount.

About Solar Energry
Tas Solar's Info Pack

Solar PV panels on the roofs of homes and businesses generate clean electricity by converting the energy in sunlight. This conversion takes place within modules of specially fabricated materials that make up the solar panels. It is a relatively simple process that requires no moving parts.

In most cases, solar panels are connected to the mains power supply through a device called an inverter. Solar panels are different to solar hot water systems, which are also mounted on household roof-tops but use the heat from the sun to provide hot water for household uses.

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