Are there still any incentives for installing Solar PV? Yes. Over time there have been many different incentives. Some incentives were upfront (e.g. rebates, RECs, Solar Credits and STCs) which reduced the out of pocket costs for the installation. STCs (Small Technology Certificates) are still available and for a 5kW system with a $37 STC price this is worth around $3800. Some incentives were ongoing (e.g. Solar Bonus Scheme aka feed in tariff). In the Energex region of south east Queensland this has been 44c/kWh, 8c and now 0c for any surplus electricity. In addition many retailers pay something for the surplus electricity which you don’t use. This is generally 6-8c/kWh.
What size system will be appropriate to maximise my savings? When the larger ongoing incentive were still available, people tended to install the largest system possible, often around 5kW, and send as much electricity to the grid as possible. Now the most appropriate size from a financial perspective is the one that best matches your daytime electricity usage so that you can consume as much of your own generation as possible. Local Power will help you determine what sized system will be the most cost effective.
Is my roof suitable for solar? Local Power initially inspects your roof online to determine the orientations available and the impact of shading over the course of the year. Local Power will always come out and inspect your roof to confirm all the details and practicalities of your solar installation before the system will be installed.
Why should I install with Local Power components? Local Power has always sourced the highest quality components for the best price. Although all components come with long manufacturer's warranties, Local Power believes it's important to consider whether the manufacturers offering the warranties are likely to be around for the long term. As one criteria Local Power selects large companies who have preferably been around for a long time as an indicator of their quality and longevity.
How quickly will my Solar PV system be installed? Local Power operates an efficient installation schedule and will generally install your system within 2-3 weeks from your order.
Is Solar PV the only thing I can do to reduce my bill? Most people have an available budget to spend on making savings. Local Power will give you honest advice on whether to incorporate other energy efficiency initiatives to help reduce your electricity bill.
Do I need to clean my panels? From Local Power’s observations after installing Solar and collecting generation statistics over six years, there is minimal cleaning of the surface of a solar panel in the majority of cases. After inspecting panels before and after rain periods it is evident that the occasional rain we receive over a year is adequate to clean the glass surface of a solar panel.
Cases where potential cleaning may be required occur with two main scenarios:
Sites where the panels are mounted on very low pitched roofs (water is slower to run off and there is potential for soiling to build up).
Sites heavily surrounded by certain types of trees and/or near busy roads. Even in those scenarios a very heavy dump of rain can effectively clean the glass face of a solar panel.
Realistically solar panels do get dusty and dirty, however if you are ever approached by someone trying to sell you a solar panel cleaning service, the question to ask is will the extra generation from having clean panels pay for the cost of cleaning in the space of time until the next dump of rain. In our experience for most people the answer is no. (Excluding panels situated in areas described above)