There are many solar providers out there that offer cheap solar power installation, yet these are often the companies that actually cost Aussies money as opposed to saving it. Luckily, there are plenty of warning signs you can see before making the switch," says Beau Savage, Co-Founder of Smart Energy.
Scroll on to read Beau's top 4 tips for finding the right solar and provider for your home.
What is solar power?
Solar panels are secured on the roofs of homes and businesses and use energy from the sun to generate electricity. Solar panels can also be coupled with a battery storage system, so you can still power your home when the sun is behind the clouds.
Given that Australia is one of sunniest continents, there is a lot of potential for solar to become the main source of electricity in Aussie households over the coming years.
According to Clean Energy Council, the installation of solar panels has been steadily growing over the past decade with more than 2.5 million households currently using solar.
1. Evaluate your home
First things first, figure out if solar power is right for you and your home. There are a few reasons why solar might not suit. Renters, apartment-dwellers, and anyone who lives in a shady spot might not be the ideal candidate for solar power. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways to green up your home.
“If conditions don’t suit, it might be better to invest in a 100 per cent carbon neutral energy plan,” says Beau.
2. Do your research
Shopping for solar is no different from buying a new sofa, you have to do your research. Starting with reviews, look into the retailers and customer satisfaction before you sign on with a company.
“The only negative reviews you want to see appearing on a good company should be from those who delayed getting and wished they’d done it sooner.”
3. Find the right company
While there’s nothing wrong with prioritising affordability, low costs can occasionally translate to poor customer service and unreliable installers.
“For the best long term results, choose a solar company who uses local installers so that if there is a problem, there will always be someone ready to immediately fix the issue.”
4. Find the right spot
Location is key when using the sun to power your home, and the last thing you want is to find out your installer has placed the panels in a bad spot.
“When having an initial consultation it is essential to ask whether or not the company you are talking to sends trained engineers who can look at your roof, its shading and sunlight levels. This will ensure that you will get the most out of your solar system.”
How to make the most of solar power
Even when the sun isn't shining, Australians can still take advantage of the benefits of solar energy. Canstar Blue's energy editor Jared Mullane has put together three nifty tips you need to get on board with.
Get rid of obstructions: Check to see that your solar panels are not obstructed by any branches or trees. Panels work best when they’re absorbing as much sunlight as they possibly can.
Think about installing a solar battery: A solar battery is a device that’s capable of storing energy produced during the day that can be used later at night.
Monitor the solar system’s performance: A solar monitoring system can help judge how well your system works. By keeping an eye on your solar panels, inverter and power usage, it can identify where and when you use power the most if you’re looking to cut back on running costs. It can also notify you if there’s a problem with your solar power system that could be costing you precious kilowatt-hours.
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