What is Solar Power?

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What is Solar Power?

Solar PV panels on the roofs of homes and businesses generate clean electricity by converting the energy in sunlight. This conversion takes place within modules of specially fabricated materials that make up the solar panels. It is a relatively simple process that requires no moving parts. In most cases solar panels are connected to the mains power supply through a device called an inverter.

Solar panels are different to solar hot water systems, which are also mounted on household roof-tops but use the heat from the sun to provide hot water for household uses.

The technology to convert sunlight into electricity was developed in the 19th century, but it was only in the second half of the 20th century that development accelerated behind the need to provide reliable supplies of electricity in remote locations from satellites in space to outback Australia.

Solar panels have been installed on the rooftops of houses and other buildings in Australia since the 1970s. Currently there are more than 1,000,000 solar panel systems safely and reliably delivering clean electricity across Australia.

How Much Does Solar Cost?

Being an informed consumer is increasingly important. Similar to buying a car or a computer, you’ll want to be sure that your system is a sound investment that best meets your needs at a reasonable price. It is important to be clear on what you want from your solar PV system.

Are you after a system that will partially offset your energy consumption for 5-10 years before requiring a system upgrade? Or do you want a system that will completely offset your household’s electricity use for the next 25 years? Like buying a second-hand car as opposed to a brand-new sports car, these two solar PV systems are both sound investments depending on your needs, but will vary significantly in price.

Are there any Government Incentives?

Government Incentives for Solar Power are still available for new installs across Australia. Each state has various incentives available for both Residential Solar Installations and Commercial Installations. Again these vary depending on which state of Australia you reside in.

There are two main incentive’s available for the installation of a Solar PV System in Australia. These are the Feed In Tariff (FiT) and the Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s) Also known as the “Solar Rebate”

Queensland Incentives

Queensland’s feed in tariff is currently at 8c/kWh for all systems up to 5kW. However, customers who lodged their network applications prior to July 10th, 2012 will continue to receive the full 44c amount up till 2028. The Feed in Tariff is Net. It is paid on the power you generate (kW), less the power in use at the time (kW)

The power you use in the evening will not affect the bonus for power exported during the day. All new solar power applicants in QLD will receive a minimum FiT of 8c/kWh with a power company top up of 6-8c – making solar still a wise decisions given rising energy costs.

New South Wales Incentives

New South Wales used to have one of the best feed in tariffs available, set at a whopping 60c/kWh on a Gross FiT scheme. Rates for the hugely popular feed in tariff program were reduced to nil for all new connections, however this rate can be negotiated with your retailer.

Victoria Incentives

New customers can apply for the feed in tariff of a minimum of 8 cents, which is available to households, community organisations and businesses who install sustainable energy systems less than 100 kilowatts in size.

If you already have a feed in tariff being credited to your power bill, you will continue to receive this rate until the end date for your scheme. Conditions apply, and you should read more about remaining eligible for your scheme on this website.

Customers accessing the Transitional Feed in Tariff (closed on 31 December 2012) and the Premium Feed in Tariff (closed on 29 December 2011) are reminded that any additional panels added to their systems after the scheme closure dates will forfeit their access to the respective scheme.

South Australia Incentives

South Australia are currently offering a feed in tariff of 16 cents p/kWh sent to the grid for customers who gain permission by SA Power Networks to install their solar PV system before September 30, 2013. Customers who purchase after this date wont receive any feed in tariff from SA Power Networks however will be eligible to receive a minimum retailer payment from electricity retailers between 7.1c/kWh & currently 11.2c/kWh.

The Solar Rebate…

To reduce the price of solar power systems, the goverment has created Small scale Technology Certificates (STCs) which are similar to the now superseded Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), having replaced them on 1 January 2011. These certificates reduce the cost of most solar power systems by up to 25%.

The easiest way to understand STC is to think of them as a currency where one megawatt hour (1kW x 1000 hours) of power equals one STC. Each of our solar systems has an STC value depending on how much power it generates. This value is what determines your price reduction.

The concept of STCs can be confusing to people looking into solar power, which is why at Green and Gold Solar we make it simple for you, managing all of the paperwork for you.

When you buy a solar system through us, we take into account the value of the system’s STCs and use this value to reduce the price of your system. The price that we give you, unlike other solar companies is the final price including the rebate (STCs) – making the entire process simple and stress free.

Why Choose Solar Power?

It’s official – Australians love the sun. According to the Clean Energy Council, the number of Australian households with solar power has increased more than 35 times over the last three years. See why over 500,000 Australian homes have installed solar power:

There are two main incentive’s available for the installation of a Solar PV System in Australia. These are the Feed In Tariff (FiT) and the Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s) Also known as the “Solar Rebate”

Reduce or Kill your Electricity Bill

Depending on your energy usage, the size of your solar system and the available incentives (such as feed in tariffs) Solar panels convert sunlight into DC electricity and then an inverter converts DC electricity into the 240V electricity that powers your home or business. Your home or business remains connected to the main electricity grid, and any surplus electricity your system generates is exported back to the grid. When excess power is fed back into the main electricity grid, your electricity provider purchases this energy back from you. Some electricity retailers pay equal amounts (or more) for the electricity your system generates and the amount they charge you for regular electricity- So, if you generate more electricity than you use, your power bills will turn into credits for the excess power you feed back into the grid.

The power you use in the evening will not affect the bonus for power exported during the day. All new solar power applicants in QLD will receive a minimum FiT of 8c/kWh with a power company top up of 6-8c – making solar still a wise decisions given rising energy costs.

Take Advantage of Government Support

In Australia there are incentives offered by Federal & most State governements for the installation of Solar. So not only is it a great idea, but by the assistance of some incentives you could pay off your system quicker so that you can enjoy a dramatically reduced power bill sooner.

Save the Environment

Over 90% of Australia’s electricity is sourced by fossil fuels. Australia is the worst polluter per capita on Earth, but there’s something you can do about it. By installing a solar system you will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help in the fight against global warming, providing a safer, cleaner world for future generations. Solar power will help you power your home with sustainable energy free from the sun.

How do I go about getting Solar Power for my home?

Get in touch.

Once you have decided that you would like to save money on your power bills you contact Green & Gold Solar to book your consultation and we organise one of our solar experts to come to your home and provide you with a free in-home assessment to determine whether your property is fit for a solar power installation.

We help determine the right system for you.

We design a system around your daytime usage to make sure you get the best return on your money. All sales orders and site inspection paperwork is signed including a system performance summary.

Get the fiddly paperwork out of the way.

We lodge your paperwork with the relevant power authority and then liaise with them if they don’t approve the system you need. You will receive a welcome letter from the office confirming you order and details of your deposit etc. You will also receive a phone call from the installer confirm their details.

Installation Day! Welcome to a Greener You!

On the day of install your system will be completed with minimum disruption to you with full payment required on the day of installation. The installer will within 48 hours lodge your meter change request paperwork with your respective energy network provider.

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Take the leap to a greener future today!
All the money you’ll save on Electricity Bills aside, Solar Power is one of the best
and most readily available Renewable sources of Energy on the Australian Market!