Warranty Solar Panels
Residential Solar Energy

Proposal Process

The steps that we have given below are how we approach any potential site.

Step 1. Existing Electricity Account - As our approach is return on investment then we see it prudent to check on existing usage to see if there are some simple measures that can be taken around the home to reduce the amount of electricity being consumed.  This in turn means that the size of system needed to cover your electricity bill will be smaller.  There are a myriad of small things that can be done to reduce usage.  Light globes, replace seals on fridge doors, tinting on windows, doors and windows not sealing properly, (the correct) insulation in the roof etc.  In fact we would expect to make suggestions that would save 10%.  This assumes that no measures had been taken already.  We also look at major electricity users such as air conditioning to make sure these are being used correctly.
Step 2. Position of Solar Panels - The most productive position is a north facing roof that has no shade and is at a pitch of 20 to 30 degrees.  The average Wide Bay home would need 32sqm of north facing roof to install a 4kw system but just 10sqm would be needed for an entry level system.  If the roof was shaded between the hours of 8:40 am to 3:00 pm then an alternate location for some or all of the panels would be sought.  It must be remembered that the most productive time of year for solar panels is during the months of September to May.  The output during winter is less and therefore partial shading during this time maybe acceptable if an alternate site can’t be found.  Placing panels on a roof that faces due east or west is Ok with the reduction of output being in the range of 10 to 15%.  Definitely nothing will be placed on a roof facing south.

Sometimes home owners do not want anything visible from the road.  If aesthetics is a major concern then discuss this with us as there are some very attractive panels available that cost more but do look very good.

Step 3. Position of Inverter.  This consideration is important as it needs to be placed not too far from the solar panels and not too far from the switchboard.  It is best to keep cable runs to less than 15m but 30m is fine with the right conductor size.  The inverter needs to have good ventilation and placed where it will not be bumped into accidentally.  If it is preferable that the inverter is placed outside then no sunlight should fall directly on the LCD panel of the inverter.

Step 4. Metering.  Ergon Energy have new standards for their switchboards.  All Ergon meters must now be placed on or inside a metal base/enclosure.  As your main meter will be replaced with a new digital meter then an assessment needs to be made if the meter box needs to be upgraded.  This can cost around $800.  This is more the exception rather than the rule.

Step 5. Provide Quote/Acceptance. Once all the information has been collected then we will provide a written quote along with data to show how much the system will produce, how much money will be saved and what your return on investment will be.  We also will assist in obtaining finance if required. Fill in form "Application for network connection of inverter energy system” and send to Ergon Energy.
Step 6. Installation.  Perform installation as quoted and signed off on.  Installation time is typically 6 weeks from time of order.  Time spent onsite is usually just one day.  When undergoing the installation we will require the power to be switched off.  This is done for safety reasons alone.  This can be for up to 4 hours.

Step 7. Paperwork/finance/training. When the job has been completed then the paperwork for the Commonwealth Government is completed.  Payment is received for the work done and training is provided.  We will provide details on what we expect the output of the system to be and how to check performance on a regular basis.  Printed manuals are provided.

Step 8. Ergon Energy. The electricity retailer needs to install a new meter so that any excess electricity that is produced is recorded.  These credits are added up and if over the course of 12 months the customer is still in credit then the electricity retailer will pay you, upon your request, this amount.  Check this link if this seems to be good to be true.

Step 9. Follow up. We will follow up with a phone call in 3 months time to see how things are going.  We will answer any questions that you might have and compare the output of the system for the time of the year.  If everything has been going well for the 1st 3 months then statistics show that it should perform well for many years to come.  Also after 12 months operation we will come onsite and perform a free health check.  We will gather data from your system and provide feedback on how things are going.

Step 10. Enjoy.  Your new system should produce electricity for many years to come.  It will have paid for itself in a number of years and will have added many thousand dollars of value to you home/property if you ever decide to sell.

Maintenance:  There are two things that a system owner needs to keep an eye on.  They are dirt/bird or bat deposits on the panels.  The rain usually keeps the panels clean. However you may need to get out the mop or cloth once a year.  The other silent threat is trees growing up that will provide shade to the panels during the major part of the day. During the evaluation phase we will have identified any trees that may have been a problem in a number of years time.  When planting new trees be selective on the north side.  Putting this in perspective a tree planted 3 metres from the home would need to grow to 5 metres before it would ever become an issue.