Solar and Home

Solar panel installation is an important step that would create a wave of clean, renewable energy, reduce dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, cut air pollution and save consumers money. In 2019, solar power systems remain affordable and attractive, especially in light of the plague of high electricity prices. Solar feed-in rates may be not be spectacular, but with system prices as low as they are it’s not difficult to see favourable returns from putting solar on your roof, particularly if you shop around and manage to find a good deal. Furthermore, making efforts to increase your rate of direct solar energy consumption will also help to maximise returns.

Factors to consider for Solar Panels.

Consider the age, material and structure of the roof.

If you’re considering a rooftop installation, there are a few roof factors that will impact the solar readiness of your home.

Roof age

If your roof will need to be replaced in the next five to 10 years, it’s a good idea to re-roof prior to installation so that you can avoid the cost of uninstalling and reinstalling the panels down the line. The panels will also help extend the life of the roof by protecting them from the elements.

Material

Some roofing materials are harder to install on than others, and for that reason it may be harder to find an installer willing to do the job if your roof is one of these types of roofing material.

Two of the most common roofing materials that solar installers will shy away from installing on are slate and cedar shingles. Both of these are more fragile and are considered “complicated,” to install on. As a result, even if you do find an installer who will work on them, the cost of installation will be higher.

If you’re constructing a new home and looking to build it “solar ready,” it’s a good idea to avoid those types of roofing material. If you want to go solar at your home but have a house with slate or cedar roof shingles, you have options even if you can’t find a solar panel installer willing to do the job. You can choose to re-roof with a different material, or build a ground-mounted system or solar carport.

Structure and Space

The structure of your roof is also important when it comes to installing solar. If your system will be installed on your roof, it’s better to have a good amount of uninterrupted space, especially if you utilize a lot of electricity and are going to need a large solar panel system to meet your needs.

If you’re planning a solar project for new construction and looking to make it solar ready, you may want to talk to your builder about avoiding things like skylights, dormers, and vents on the parts of the roof where you plan to place panels. While it’s certainly possible to install on a roof with these, solar systems on one uninterrupted plane of your roof are easier to install.

Azimuth of your house

The direction that your roof faces (known as the “azimuth”) is important when you’re designing a solar panel system. In the Southern Hemisphere, solar panels facing north are going to produce the most electricity. East- and west-facing panels are also suitable for installation, but will result in less electricity production throughout the day. If you’re building a new home and looking to make it solar ready, talk to the architect or builder about building the home in such a way that the portion of your roof allocated for your system is facing north, if possible.

Does your roof have access to uninterrupted sunlight?

If the sun is shining brightly on your roof throughout the day, it’s probably a good candidate for solar panels. Shade on your roof, or your land where you’re planning to place a ground mount, is going to negatively impact your system’s electricity production.

A little bit of shade may not be bad, depending on the direction the panels are facing and whether the shade is going to be present during peak production hours. Using technology like microinverters or power optimizers can also help in maximizing production if there is some shading.

If your roof gets more than a little bit of shade, you may want to consider other options. You can talk to your solar installation company about trimming back trees to make solar viable. In the event that the shading is due to another structure or building that cannot be removed, or neighbor’s trees that they’re reluctant to remove, you may want to consider other options to saving on electricity costs than installing a solar panel system on your property.

For a rooftop system, the pitch of your roof can also impact sun access, although it doesn’t play as dramatic of a role in access to sun as large trees or the azimuth of the house. Most solar panel systems are tilted between 30 to 45 degrees to get the optimal amount of sunlight – the ideal angle for you depends on where you live.

Check the current electric setup in your home

If you have an older electrical system, a solar installer might recommend (or require) an electric panel upgrade prior to installation. The inverter of your system will be connected to your electrical breaker, and depending on the size of the inverter as well as your solar panel system, you may need a larger one for safety reasons.

Why LEDSAVES does not offer buy now pay later?

Sources: video by ABC NEWS

How to get solar if you're renting

Sources from abc.net.au

Private Rentals

The first method is to get in touch with your landlord directly and ask them to install panels, perhaps in exchange for paying extra rent.

There are government rebate schemes landlords can access, depending on where the property is.

Ian Stanley owns a property in Bundaberg, Queensland and accessed a rebate through the state government’s trial program Solar for Renters.

“I thought it’d be an advantage with resale and an advantage with getting a tenant to rent the house with solar rather than without,” he told 7.30.

“This one ended up costing me around $2,100 to get the whole solar installed, which is pretty good.

“The government’s said we have to put the rent up by a reasonable amount, so $10 a week we felt was a reasonable amount.”

But the scheme has not been hugely successful: there were 1,000 rebates on offer before it closed in June, but only 670 applications.

Apartment Dwellers

Sydney renter Liang Liang thought solar panels were out of the question until he found an apartment in The Burcham complex, which included them from the time it was built.

“When we realised we’d benefit as renters … that was a really pleasant surprise and definitely a huge factor that helped us make our decision,” he told 7.30.

The complex has an embedded electricity network, which is essentially a small energy company. It buys power at wholesale prices and sells excess solar energy to the grid.

It then sends a bill to each apartment for the power used.

Any profits first power the building’s base energy costs, then go back to the body corporate to lower strata fees.

“It’s a significant cost putting this system in,” developer Ed Horton said.

“[But] it is something we think a lot more developers should look at because I think increasingly the market is going to be demanding sustainable initiatives and lower energy costs.”

And Mr Liang does not mind paying a little more in rent.

Public Housing

Jen Jewel Brown’s home in Melbourne’s north is owned by the Victorian Government but managed by a resident-run cooperative.

The cooperative took out interest-free loans from the local council to pay for solar panels.

“As tenants, we pay an extra 2 per cent rent,” Ms Brown told 7.30.

“Everyone was able to opt in if they wanted to or opt out … so 41 out of our 43 houses have solar panels on the roof.

“We’ve managed to save roughly 15 per cent off our power bills in that time.”

Should you pay more rent?

That depends.

Most models do require tenants to pay a little more and one way of working out what’s fair is by quantifying how much you’ll save on your bill.

Solar Analytics provides monitoring devices and a calculator for landlords and tenants.

They analysed their data for 7.30 and found residents with solar panels save an average of $1,531 a year.

But Ms Rowe from the Australian Energy Foundation said solar power should not necessarily mean tenants pay more.

“I think the value of solar in terms of property valuation … with the right tax incentives and rebates, will facilitate a massive uptake without penalising any tenants.”