Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much will a new solar system cost me?

    The answer really is “How long is a piece of string?”. All solar power systems vary with every roof and location, however, rest assured ALL properties can benefit from a well-engineered solar system and our specialist team are focussed on providing you with a system that will deliver the best possible return on investment for your situation, while ensuring your daily energy needs are met.

  • Does ECOlectrical use subcontractors?

    No, all of ECOlectrical’s work is done by our in-house team, meaning you’ll never be palmed off as someone else’s problem should any issues arise.

  • What can affect actual solar production?

    Solar energy from the sun’s radiation varies throughout the year, the time of day, and the location. This variance can be due to (amongst other things):
    ● dust and water vapour in the air
    ● cloud cover
    ● shading of the solar panels
    ● quality of the solar modules.

  • Does roof orientation really matter?

    Yes, if your solar panels face south they will generate far less if they are facing north. However, east/west installations can also be a good option depending on the installation scenario.

  • What is a feed in tariff and how much will I get paid?

    A feed in tariff is paid by a utility or government agency when a grid connect system generates electricity. Net feed in tariffs are the most common, and it’s best practice to consume as much solar generated electricity as possible as opposed to sending it to the grid, therefore achieving the best financial return on your solar investment.

  • How long will my grid connect solar power system last?

    Solar panels have been tested in the field showing small reductions in power output after 20 years, which is due to the glass surface becoming dull and reflecting more light. All panels offer a 25 year linear performance guarantee. All our solar panels carry an output warranty of 25 years. There are instances where solar panels are still delivering power in Australia after 30 years, however these are usually high quality panels.

  • What type of warranty comes with the system?

    • Solar Panel Manufacturer Product Warranty: minimum 10 year product warranty and 25 year performance guarantee.
    • Inverter Manufacturer Product Warranty: 5 year parts & labour, 5 year parts/labour plus 5 years parts only, up to 12 year full parts/labour warranty (manufacturer).
    • Mounting System Manufacturer Product Warranty: 10 year.
    • Installer Workmanship Warranty: 5 years.

  • Should I choose monocrystalline, thin film or polycrystalline solar panels?

    There is very minimal difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels. In fact, until there are huge temperature differences (unlikely in Australia), it’s unlikely you would ever notice any marked differences when in operation. In saying that, polycrystalline panels can be physically bigger, therefore monocrystalline panels can enhance valuable roof space for extra solar production.

  • Can I insure my grid connect system?

    Most insurers will allow you to include your solar system under your home and contents insurance, however, please check with your insurance company as situations may differ.

  • What if my energy requirements change/increase? Can I increase the size of my system?

    Yes, as long as your roof space allows it, you can certainly increase the size of your solar system. You may need to upgrade your inverter, or alternatively, you could initially install a larger inverter in readiness for future expansion. However, you can run the risk of not being able to claim an installation rebate at the time of the expansion if the said inverter was no longer on the CEC Accredited List.

  • How reliable will my system be?

    We will always take the time to ensure your system is designed to your needs, no cookie-cutter approach here at ECOlectrical. Our installations are completed professionally in-line with all necessary standards, coupled to reliable, quality products, so that whilst the sun is shining, your system will be providing free energy capable of covering your usage needs.

  • With the energy needed to manufacture a solar system, does this really make them renewable and clean?

    In Mid-2016 the International Energy Agency’s assessment concluded that roof-top solar PV systems recover their energy content (from manufacturing and recycling) within 1.6 to 1.8 years in Australia, and this figure has since improved. So, while a certain amount of energy is needed to make PV systems, in Australia during their 30 year lifespan, you can expect them to produce around 17 times the amount of energy needed for manufacture, installation and dismantling. So, yes solar systems are renewable and clean.

  • How much will I reduce carbon dioxide emissions by installing a solar system?

    A 2kW grid connect system will not use the equivalent of 3.3 tons of carbon dioxide that is produced through coal fired power generation. If you compare that to a car, which on average (in Australia) travels 20,000km per year, producing 3.3 tons of carbon dioxide, you are effectively taking a car off the road each year.

  • What is in a residential solar system?

    The main component of a photovoltaic (PV) solar system is the solar array, which is the solar panels. The solar array absorbs the energy from the sun and converts it into electrical energy. The solar array is mounted on a frame that is secured to the roof, allowing for the best aspect and elevation of the array to receive the maximum amount of sunlight and have the least amount of impact on the structure of the roof.
    A cable connects the array to the inverter, which is the device that converts the power from the solar array into a usable energy feed. Another cable then connects the inverter to your home’s switchboard and in turn connects to the main power grid, which enables the contribution of solar energy usage to your home. The inverter is also a simple data recorder with a display of information such as total energy production, daily energy production and instantaneous power. This data will change depending on the time of year, the temperature and cloud cover.
    There are also remote monitors, internet data recorders and sensors that can be added to your solar system.

  • Do solar systems require maintenance?

    Very little maintenance is needed with grid connected solar systems, however, it is recommended by the Australian Standards & Guidelines that an annual service and clean is done to ensure protection of your system and that it performs to its maximum efficiency.

  • Is a solar regulator needed in grid connect solar systems?

    The inverter manages and converts the incoming charge to AC electricity for usage in your home, so solar regulators are not needed. They would more likely be used for off-grid systems.

  • Is there any other work that needs to be done when installing a solar system?

    For a grid connected solar system to work at a home, a compatible meterboard needs to be in place. Depending on what type of meterboard you currently have, an upgrade of your meterboard may need to be done before your solar system can be turned on. Meterbaord upgrades are completed by your Energy Retailer, however, here at ECOlectrical, we apply on your behalf to your Energy Retailer for the meterboard upgrade as part of our solar installation process.

  • What happens at night time when solar is not being produced?

    Grid connect solar systems send any excess electricity produced during the day into the main electricity grid, which you receive a credit for (known as a feed-in tariff). At night time when your solar system does not produce any energy, your home will use electricity from the main electricity grid, which you are charged for.

  • Do grid connect solar systems work during a blackout?

    Although you have a solar system, during a blackout you will not have available power. To avoid technical and safety issues, a grid connect inverter will automatically shut itself off within a few milliseconds of a blackout. However, some new technology being produced in inverters will deliver a limited amount of electricity to your home during a power outage. If you want to have electricity available even during a blackout then you would need a battery. Battery backup systems can be added to a grid connect solar system with additional components.

  • Where does the inverter go?

    Inverters are usually installed beside the fuse box, however, it also depends on the position of the solar array on the roof as the inverter is connected to this.

  • Is there a difference between solar power and solar hot water?

    Solar power is energy taken from the sun and converted into electricity, whereas solar hot water is produced from a system that takes heat from the sun to heat water.

  • Do you need a big roof to install a solar system?

    As an example, a 1.0kW solar system requires approximately 10m2 of roof space, therefore a 1.4kW system will need approximately 15m2 of roof space, and so on. A solar system weighs approximately 27kg per square meter, for example, a 1kW system is approximately 10 square meters.

Energy Audit - Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why get an energy audit?

    • A measured and calculated Energy action plan provides a road map for tangible results.
    • Tax deductible investment that provides a fast return on investment.
    • Reduce energy costs, reduce carbon footprint, reduce environmental impact, enhance business image.
    • Create a sustainable business model.
    • Use cost savings to enhance &/or grow your business.
    • Stop paying ever-increasing electricity costs being supplied by a finite resource.
    • Energy audit may cost less than 1% of your yearly energy bill.
    • 10% – 30% energy reductions identified.
    • Identifies the most practical and economic energy solutions.

  • What is included in an energy audit?

    • Historical and current energy usage and costs.
    • Options via upgrades or replacement of equipment to provide worthwhile ROI.
    • Energy Reduction Solutions & ROI projections.

  • What solutions come out of an energy audit?

    • Lighting upgrades (car park lighting, office lighting, high-bay lighting, fire stair lighting, exterior lighting, interior lighting, use of timers, photoelectric cells & so on)
    • On-site energy generation &/or storage (solar, battery)
    • Hot water systems (residential, commercial)
    • Power factor correction
    • Peak demand and off-peak energy use strategies

Client customer support

How do I Get Started with Solar?

Simply get in touch with us today to book your complimentary online consultation where we will discuss:
● Your current electricity bills & usage throughout the year
● The structural orientation of your home or business
● Any potential inhibitors to solar (e.g. asbestos, dated electrical panel, worn roof)
● What size system will best suit your needs
● Product choices and warranties
● Next steps