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For example, if you were to consume energy in your house for say, air conditioners, washing machines and dryers at the same time which are all heavy draw power consuming appliances, you may find that the amount of solar power produced will cover these requirements without any left over.
If your consumption requirements are lower during other times of the day when your not using larger appliances or periods when you may not be home and have little power usage needs, the amount of energy generated by your solar power system is going to be more than you consume at that point in time, the additional electricity is exported back to “the grid” to be used by other people.
In this instance, your Net energy meter measures how much energy is exported to the grid per hour. In most cases this export will be limited to no more that 5kWh per phase.
Once this energy is exported to “the grid”, energy suppliers will “pay” or apply credits to your power bill. These are called Solar feed-in-tariff credits. Currently the rate for this ranges from 7c to 10c per kWh exported. The rate of feed-in-tariff you get paid varies from State to State and from energy company to energy company. Here in Cairns we are currently somewhat disadvantaged given our lack of competition for suppliers in the energy market.
So now that we have covered what happens to the excess power generated from your solar system, how can you maximise your benefit from your solar system?
When you take into consideration the cost of purchasing energy from the energy companies at a rate of between 20c and 50c per kWh, and you sell the excess back to them at between 7c and 10c, it is easy to see who benefits out of that transaction. As a result of this very equation, when you are considering what size system to install, we ask you to employ the “USE IT, OR LOSE IT” mindset. What we mean by that is, consider installing a large enough system that will allow you cover all of your household consumption with some left over to export, as opposed to going too small and ending back up in the purchasing energy scenario.
If your unsure on how to work out what size system you need, one of ALL ENERGY QUEENSLAND’S friendly solar specialists are ready to assist you. Call us on 1300 639 765 (NEW SOLAR) to book in your no obligation in home consultation.
But fear not, because Solar Panels are relatively easy to maintain. In fact they are easier to maintain than your home air conditioner, kitchen appliances, and maybe even your mobile phone and the reason is because Solar Panels have zero moving parts to break.
The most you’ll have to do to maintain your solar panels is make sure they’re free of dust, leaves, debris and in the tropical FNQ climate….mould. Basically anything obstructing your panels will make for less efficient energy production.
You’ll also need to trim branches that may get in the way of your solar panels and give them a good old fashioned clean. That’s not so hard, right?
So we have talked about the maintenance side of things, now lets discuss the servicing. This should be conducted by a licensed electrician or accredited Solar installer. During this, electrical connections fittings will be checked along with a system efficiency test run. This should be completed at least annually with the service recorded in your owners manual service log. If the unfortunate time comes where you need to deal with warranty issues, this will strengthen any claim you may have with the manufacturers.
To put that in perspective, here in Far North Queensland we have a very hot and humid climate. As a result we tend to have Air Conditioning pumping, Pool Pumps and Filters running and Clothes Dryers going for most of the year. This will mean that the standard family household energy use here as opposed to a household in Hobart will be vastly different.
A 1.5 kW system is currently the “entry point” for grid connect systems, and can be expected to cover between 10% and 25% of a standard FNQ households power usage. Given that the price difference between installing a 1.5kW system and the larger more common systems being so minor, the smaller systems are seldom installed.
Based on industry sales figures, it is clear to say that for Residential Solar installations in the current market, the most commonly installed system is a 6.6kW solar array. It can be reasonably expected that this size system will produce enough solar power to cover 70% to 80% of a standard FNQ households power usage. The reason that we do not see this figure reach 100% even though there is power exported to the grid is simply because the star of the show which makes all of this possible goes away during the night time, but we continue to use power.
So whilst it is true that a grid connect solar power system will reduce your yearly power consumption and your power bills, It really is a case of “SIZE DOES MATTER”. But this rule doesn’t just apply to you system size, but the size of your power bill. Whilst on face value, it appears that, the bigger the system, the bigger the benefit! Its not always so.
If you have a moderate power bill and you put on a 10kW system, with export limits (covered in an earlier post) You will likely see that a percentage of your generated solar power will be wasted. This occurs because your household usage does not use all of the generated solar power even with a full export limit to the grid.
This is why it is very important when determining what size system you will need that you engage the help of a Solar Specialist. Call ALL ENERGY QUEENSLAND on 1300 639 765 and arrange a consultation with one of our Solar Specialists. We will conduct a Power Bill analysis and advise the correct system size to suit you household power needs.
If your property is in a Strata Managed arrangement, in all cases approval for the installation must be sought from the Body Corporate. In Queensland, individual owners in a strata complex have the right to install Solar onto their property in some cases. Under the Building Act 1975, section 246O, a covenant or by-law cannot prohibit or restrict the installation of a solar hot water system or photovoltaic collectors merely for the purposes of preserving the external appearance of a building. This is great news for owners whose property has a roof space or area that is not shared with another owner or common property as it means that there should be no issues with approval for your solar installation.
But my property has a shared roof space, how does this affect me? Whilst this does not disqualify you having solar, it now means that a few more conditions must be met. If you have a shared roof space with another owner, then that space CAN be made available for solar upon written agreement with the other party. Once this has occurred standard approval through the Body Corporate will need to be obtained before installation. If your roof space is shared with common property, Body Corporate will ultimately have the final decision on whether your installation can proceed provided that it complies with conditions set in the Strata Management Act.
We have completed many installations into Strata Managed properties and look forward to installing many more in the future. If you are an owner who is in this situation, or your a landlord who wants to increase the rental potential of your property, why not give ALL ENERGY QUEENSLAND a call on 1300 639 765.
ALL ENERGY QUEENSLAND – “Your Trusted NQ Solar Specialists”
The great news is YES!!
Landlords and Tenants can both benefit from Solar being installed onto a rental property. For Landlords the benefits include;
– Making your property more appealing to prospective tenants
– Potential increased property value
– Increased weekly rental
– Differentiate your property from others in the rental market
– Potential taxation benefits (consult your qualified accountant)
For Tenants, of course the main benefit is that you get LOWER power bills during the term of your tenancy!!!
So how do tenants get Solar? The first step is to contact your property manager and make a formal request to the owner, or if you know the owner contact them direct. From here it will be a negotiation between yourself and the owner regarding what size system is installed, cost of the system and who will pay for the system amongst other things. Whilst these amongst other things form the discussion about the solar installation, the ultimate decision rests with the property owner, but we like to remind people…..if you really want to save money on your power bills as a tenant, if you don’t ask for solar, you don’t get it!
If you are a tenant who is in this situation, or your a landlord who wants to increase the rental potential of your property, why not give ALL ENERGY QUEENSLAND
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