So you’re considering investing in solar power. Over a million households now have solar panels installed and taking this step will allow you to reduce your energy bills as well as reducing your carbon footprint and helping the environment. To help you on your journey, here is some information on how to get started and what is involved in the process.

1. Decide whether solar is suitable for you

If you want to reduce your dependency on electricity companies and lower your ongoing costs then solar energy is a great investment. This is further enhanced if you have a north facing roof (or NE/NW) as it will capture the most sunlight. Ensuring the roof isn’t blocked by trees or neighbouring buildings is also important to allow maximum light. 4 hours of “peak” sunlight (10am till 2pm) is the preferred amount to be efficient.

2. Check with your electricity company about a feed in tariff

A feed in tariff is when excess electricity you generate is put back into the grid for which the power company reimburses you. But when you install a solar system you don’t simply start receiving the tariff. It is important to check with your electricity retailer first to ensure you’re eligible for the tariff, and be sure to read the terms and conditions. Most good solar suppliers will be able to recommend an electricity provider that has the best deal for solar customers, so it may be beneficial to consider a switch.

3. Select a reputable solar supplier

With more suppliers coming onto the market, consumers are flooded with a lot of options. Not all suppliers are created equal. Rather than simply looking at the “best deal” ensure the solar company is CEC accredited and has a Victorian REC licence. On top of that, don’t be afraid to type in the business name into Google to read about reviews and any complaints. Due diligence is an important part of any major purchase.

4. Choose a system that suits your specific needs

Choose between grid-connect solar power and hybrid solar power. More info can be found on our solar energy page. The size of the system will be influenced by the amount of space you have on the roof for panels and your budget. A staff member at our company will be able to point you in the right direction and answer any questions.

5. Book in the installation

Choose a suitable time for an installer to go ahead with the project. This includes:

  • Installing mounting frames on your roof
  • Attaching the solar panels to the mounting frames
  • Installing the inverter, usually on an external wall near the fuse box
  • Running electricity cables from the solar panels to the inverter
  • Installing new safety switches in your fuse box for the solar power system
  • Connecting the inverter to the fuse box
  • Placing stickers to notify electricians and emergency services of the presence of your solar power system

Upon completion, your solar power supplier will provide you with a Certificate of Electrical Safety. This will also be sent to your electricity distributor, along with an electrical works request and a solar connection form.

For all questions on the solar energy process, call Cola Solar on 1300 374 357.