Blog Post Monday 11 September 2017
This guest post was written by Bessie Hassan, on 16/06/2017.
With new technology that makes fastening solar panels to the roof of your house easier than ever before, solar power has never been so readily available to city dwellers. And with Tesla’s solar roof technology becoming available for installation next year, how could any city slicker say no?
Many Aussies think that solar is simply too expensive to install, but improvements in solar photovoltaic (PV) technology have made solar a more affordable choice for Aussies wanting to reduce their energy bills and live a more sustainable lifestyle.
PV panels convert the sun’s energy-filled rays into direct current (DC) electricity, which can be stored in batteries. An inverter then turns this electricity into household-friendly alternating current (AC) electricity and voila! You can use the sun’s rays to boil the kettle, make a cup of tea and binge on Netflix.
The initial investment in solar power is a big one and although you will definitely see a return on your investment, exactly when that happens will depend on a few key factors. The break-even point, referred to by suppliers and installers as “solar payback time”, is determined by the cost of installation, your household energy use, the size of your solar system and even the weather.
The more solar panels you install, the more expensive your system will be. But more panels means you can generate more electricity, save more money and pay off your original investment a lot quicker.
Budget, budget, budget
You need to remember that installing solar technology involves many additional costs, from fuse boxes to grid-interactive electricity metres. These extras can quickly add up. To keep costs down, make sure you do your research, set up a budget and look for the best value product you can find.
The same goes for the solar panels themselves. Panels come in all different shapes, sizes and wattages, so weigh up your needs and how much you’re willing to pay and then shop around before you make your final choice.
Solar panels rely on the energy put out by the sun, so anything that obstructs the path between the sun and your solar panels will affect how much electricity you can collect. Shade from trees and buildings can severely reduce the effectiveness of your new solar system. When planning out where to place your solar panels, consider whether there’s any possibility of new buildings or trees blocking the sun’s rays in the future.
Your solar energy installer can help you choose the best place to install your panels and tell you which way they should face to ensure the maximum surface area coverage. As a general rule, though, fixed panels should face north so that they can collect the most sunlight throughout the day.
Bessie Hassan is Money Expert at finder.com.au, the site that compares virtually everything.
If you have solar panels on your roof, Click Energy has a FiT to suit your needs. Find your perfect solar FiT.