Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to pay for my solar system up-front?
Advantage Solar provides customers various financing options, using a system where the savings generated by the solar panels is used to pay off the system over time.
In many cases the monthly repayments are less than the amount customers were paying on their energy bills – meaning you may even be cash flow positive from day one!
How much will I save by installing solar panels?
Advantage Solar will work with you to try and reduce the bills to zero, and in most cases we can achieve a reduction of 80% or more. Factors that will affect your savings are:
- The size and output of your solar system – size is determined by the available roof space, output is affected by location and shading.
- Your Feed-In Tariff. This is the amount your electricity retailer pays you for any excess power you generate
- Your usage pattern. Solar panels can only produce energy while the sun is shining and so households that can use more power during the day may attract greater savings. However you will still receive a Feed-In Tariff that can help to offset any nighttime usage.
How do I know Advantage Solar is a reputable company?
In addition to our installers being Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited, Advantage Solar is also a Clean Energy Council (CEC) Approved Solar Retailer.
This means we have signed a code of conduct, committing to working with higher standards than what is required legally, particularly during the sales process.
All products installed by Advantage Solar are also on the CEC’s list of currently approved panels and inverters, meaning they have undergone rigorous tests to ensure they comply with Australian standards.
Choosing a CEC Approved Solar Retailer gives homeowners and businesses peace of mind that the company they are dealing with is going to provide all the correct information they need to make an informed decision.
Do I need a battery?
With the rise of Lithium batteries, solar storage solutions are becoming more popular. By installing a solar battery you will be able to store the excess power generated by your solar panels and use it later in the day or during the night. They can also keep your lights on during a blackout if the site has unreliable grid supply.
Battery systems work independently to solar power systems, so they can be added to any existing system. This method is called AC coupling, and it involves adding a battery and a battery inverter to your home’s existing solar power system. If you’re not currently exporting a lot of power and have evening consumption you would like to cover with a battery, you should consider increasing the size of your solar PV system first (or as part of the battery upgrade). In most cases Advantage Solar is able to reduce household electricity bills by around 80% without incorporating a battery, so speak to one of our specialists to see what’s best for your situation.
What does my warranty cover?
Generally, most mechanical defects are covered during the warranty period as long as they are deemed a manufacturing fault. Most suppliers also guarantee 80% power production for the first 25 years of your solar power system’s life, so dropping below this will likely guarantee replacements.
It is important to understand that warranty terms and conditions vary from different solar companies. Generally speaking, your warranty is held with the solar installer, not the manufacturer. And so if the solar company goes out of business, or if they have used a sub-contractor who is no longer around, you will likely lose your warranty. Warranties are broken down into 3 parts :
This covers the labour costs associated with replacing any components under warranty.
This relates to the products installed, such as the panels, inverter and accessories (including items such as Envoys and smart meters) with each having their own separate warranty periods.
Performance warranty (panels)
The performance warranty relates to the panels and can range from 10 to 30 years. The performance is based on the linear output expected for the age of the system and means that panels can still be replaced outside of the product warranty period if the performance has reduced by more than the manufacturers expected amount at any point in the life of the system.
How does rooftop solar power work?
Solar power is produced by converting light into energy. The panels on the roof generate electricity in direct current (DC) which is then converted into alternating current (AC) by the wall mounted inverter. The power then enters the house via the switchboard and can be used to power all electrical appliances in the property.
How much does it cost to install solar?
The price of a solar system is affected by a number of factors, including:
- Government rebates and incentives available
- Installation/labour costs associated with installation
- The size of the system being installed
- The components being used and the warranty on the solar system
- Height and accessibility of the roof along with additional components/work required, such as switchboard modification and shade management.
Estimated prices for residential solar systems are:
4KW – $3000-$6000
6.6KW – $4000-8000
10KW – $8000-$14,000
What is a small scale energy certificate (STC)?
STC’s are a government incentive that help reduce the upfront cost of installing a solar system.
The larger the system, the greater the number of STC’s your solar system receives. To be eligible for STC’s your solar system must be installed by a Clean Energy Council accredited installer.
Accredited installers are qualified electricians who have undergone additional training and assessment in the installation of solar systems.
System Monitoring & What to do if my system stops working?
All solar systems installed by Advantage Solar come with monitoring capability, allowing you to view the systems energy production. Your solar inverter will have a display window that shows current, day and lifetime production.
If you have WIFI at home then you will also have access to a free monitoring portal which allows you to view your solar systems production on most web-enabled devices. Here you can see historical data, usually updated every 15 minutes.
If you believe the system isn’t working properly then your first point of call is to check the monitoring yourself to see if there is any unusual drops in production. Next make a call to our friendly customer service team – Advantage Solar can remotely access your inverter to check if a fault is present before organising an installer to attend site to rectify any issues.
Do solar panels have to face north to be effective?
Solar panels can face any direction as long as they will receive sunlight.
As Australia is in the southern hemisphere, solar panels facing north will receive the most overall sunlight, with peak production in the middle of the day.
North panels do however miss the start and the end of the day, making East and West facing panels a great choice for those at work during the day.
South facing panels will receive the least amount of sunlight, but when the other directions are not feasible due to shading, then the south can be a viable option.