Frequently asked questions when buying solar systems
Who is who in the solar market?
When it comes to solar it is always wise for a customer to check whether the solar company has the Clean Energy Council accreditation to install solar systems. Ask them whether they have qualified installer/ designer. You should check whether they have the appropriate builders license(this is required as solar panel installation is regarded as building work) and an electrical contractor’s licence. According to the governing laws and regulations a solar company must have these credentials. Otherwise the solar system is not covered by manufacturer’s warranty regardless what they promised you and the building work is not going to be covered by your home or business building insurance in case something happens.
Are they reputable?
When selecting your solar company, make sure you choose a reputable company with proven experience. You should find out how long they have been in the solar industry and whether they are an established company that will be around in the future if things go wrong.
Jump on their company website to check the testimonials or ask them to show you what solar systems they have done in your area. If you know their past customers contact some of them to find out if they were knowledgeable, easy to work with, and took the time to explain the system’s operation. Also find out if their systems are working well, if there have been any problems, and, if so, if their installer returned to fix them.
Is it wise to sign a contract for a cheap solar system online?
Signing up a cheap solar system online or mail-order with a solar company that never visit your home or business is always a risk. Experience tells us when something is cheap there must be a reason, either using inferior products or unqualified installers, and quite often there are hidden cost.
You may save some dollars upfront but it might cost a lot more in a long run.
If a solar company is not willing do a comprehensive, on-site assessment before you sign up, it is very likely you can’t get them back in case something goes wrong. A 90 minutes appointment can help ensure a thoughtfully-designed & well-planned installation, as well as the in-depth understanding of the benefit of your solar system.
What is the STC rebate? Are there any other government incentives for solar?
When you install a solar system you are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This entitles you to create environmental credits called Small-Scale Technology Certificates or STCs. (The STC rebate has dropped significantly over the last few 5 years).
Most companies will give you a discount on the STC rebate when you assign the rights of the STC’s over to them. This is the preferred option for most residential and business owners because there are difficulties in trading the STC’s on the market.
Depending on the area you are living in, some city councils also offer incentives towards solar. For example, from July 1, 2015 the Adelaide City Council has Sustainable City Incentives Scheme available to all building owners and tenants including businesses, residents, schools, community and sporting organisations in the City of Adelaide. Contact Allstate Solar to find out whether you are qualified of any rebate.
Is there any government Feed-in-tariff?
No. The state government feed-in-tariff schemes has finished. For people who entered into a contract in the past have a feed-in-tariff may still apply until their contract runs out.
What is the benefit of solar?
It is beneficial to have a solar. For people who are considering solar it is not a matter of making money by selling solar electricity back to the grid, it is now more important to use your solar electricity during daylight hours. (For the consumer who uses little daytime electricity there are energy storage systems available to you)
What size system is right for my home
This one is easier to solve. A reputable solar installation company will take the time needed to do a full analysis of your electricity usage and also take the time to fully explain to the customer what size system will assist them at present and into the future. Doing this will help to maximise on the investment.
I don’t have a north facing roof for solar panels, is it still worth getting solar
Yes. In most cases solar panels are more efficient when they are facing north but for the home or business owner an east and or west facing system may be more beneficial if there is a high morning or late afternoon electricity usage. Once again, if you are using a reputable solar installation company this will be explained.
Do I need battery storage system
The future of solar lies in battery storage system, with the ever diminishing feed-in-tariff it is advisable when sizing a solar system to have a provision for batteries.
What size battery storage do I need
Battery storage size depends on your electricity usage pattern(daytime and nighttime use). Based on your electricity bills we are able to advise you what best suits you.
What type of battery storage systems are available
On the market there are a few quality lithium-ion battery back -up solutions available, including Tesla Powerwall, Pylontech LFP, LG Cheme and GCL battery.
We are able to help you identify which solution suits you best based on your location, usage pattern or any other factors.
I already have a solar system, can I add battery to it
Yes in most cases battery systems can be retrofitted to existing solar system. We can help you with that.
How much will this cost me?
Thanks to the Government’s Solar Credits scheme the cost to the customer is greatly reduced.
Is there a warranty provided with the solar system?
Yes, Allstate Solar will pass on a 5 – 25 year manufacturer warranty on the inverters depending on the type & brand, and also pass on a 25 year performance warranty on the solar panels from the manufacturer. As for the installation there is a 12 month warranty on our workmanship.
Have the solar panels and inverters been tested for quality to both Australian and international standards?
Yes, the panels are tested to and meet the standard IEC61215 and IEC61730 and the inverter complies with standard AS/NZ4777, all panels and inverters are listed as CEC (Clean Energy Council) accredited.
In event of a supply failure or blackout will the solar system take over supply of electricity to the house?
Yes. If you choose a hybrid solar system including Allstate Solar City solution (Solax inverter with Pylontech LFP solution or Schneider Connext inverter with carbon battery solution) the inverter’s EPS (emergency power supply) function will be automatically turned on to seamless supply electricity to critical loads, like light, fridges and pump.
Do you offer interest free repayment plan?
Yes. For qualified customer we offer interest free repayment plans. Conditions apply.
How do I go about getting a Solar System installed in my home?
There are 3 easy steps to solar:
- Phone us for an appointment and an on-site assessment.
- Place an order, Allstate Solar will gain all the necessary approvals.
How long does an average installation take?
3 to 4 hours, larger system takes more time. Battery systems take at least 1 or 2 days.
How long will it take for my installation to take place after making my booking?
4-5 weeks for metro areas. 6-8 weeks for country areas.
Can we upgrade the solar system in the future?
This depends on your roof space and the size of the inverter. If you have sufficient roof space and additional capacity in the inverter you could increase the size of your system or you could add a second system to your roof. Our solar representatives can advise you on this and incorporate into the system design. Please note any upgrade may affect your eligibility for an existing feed-in tariff. Please call us on 1300 166 477 for further information.
Do I need to be there while the system is installed?
Yes. Our expert installers will fully explain the system and how to read your inverter.
What if I have a flat roof?
Tilted mounting systems can be used to angle your solar panels in the best position. This will maximise on the generation of electricity from the sun.
Do you do off-grid/ stand-alone solar system
Yes. Call us on 1300 166 477. We can design and install off-grid solar system for you.
Can I have ground-mount solar system installed?
Yes. Depending on where you live you may need to obtain council approval before you build any frame work for your ground-mount solar system. Contact us on 1300 166 477 so that our engineer can design an appropriate engineering report in regard to the framework and electrical cabling.
Who is responsible for the warranties?
Reputable Solar Installation Companies will provide all details of manufacturer and workmanship warranties and will also provide an ongoing after sales service.
If you have any more questions please contact Allstate Solar on 1300 166 477 or email us [email protected]