Solar in Australia

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FAQ’S

FAQ’S

How does solar power work?

Your roof-mounted solar panels contain photovoltaic cells, also known as solar cells. When sunlight falls on the cells they convert the sun’s energy into DC (direct current) power.

What is an inverter?

Connected by a cable to the solar panels, the inverter converts the DC power to 240V AC (alternating current), the type of electricity used in your home. On some inverters, the digital display provides statistics on how much power is being generated throughout the day.

What is a bi-directional electricity meter?

This is a measurement device calculating the power you use and the power sent back to the grid. The power you don’t use can sometimes be sold back to the grid. This is called the feed-in on your electricity retailer and state.

What is the electricity grid?

The poles and wires that connect residential and commercial properties, to traditional, centralized generation (power stations) are sometimes referred to as the “electricity grid”. Any surplus energy your home generates is fed back into the electricity grid. When you need additional power, the electricity grid provides this, too.

Who is an electricity retailer?

The electricity retailers are the companies that sell you your electricity.

Retailers generally charge the same amount for the electricity they supply but differ in the discounts they provide and their feed in tariffs from the solar sold back to the grid

What are feed-in tariffs?

This is the rate at which you are paid for exporting excess electricity generation back to the grid and is retailer dependent.

What happens at night or when it’s cloudy?

A solar system can only produce electricity if there is sunlight. That means solar can produce electricity on cloudy days when small amounts of sunlight are still shining down onto a rooftop. However, at night time, when there is no sun light, your solar system will not generate any electricity.

What happens to the power I don’t use?

It will exported to the electricity grid where, depending on your retailer and tariff, you may be given a credit towards your electricity bill.

What rebates are available?

Small Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) are still available for most households. These certificates help reduce the cost of solar to you. Most solar providers, including Smart Electrics, advertise solar pricing with the STCs already removed from the price. This is because you can sign over the STC rebates to the solar provider and therefore reduce the cost of the system.

Will I require a new meter?

Yes, a bi-directional electricity meter will need to be installed once the solar installation is complete, Smart Electrics will submit the necessary forms to Energex.