Many home owners in Australia are considering installing solar panels on their home. Now is a great time to have them installed. The Government is still offering a Feed-in Tariff in 2016 which will help to pay you back on your initial investment. Solar panels can substantially reduce your electric bill, and they are an attractive option to offer to buyers when you decide to sell your home.
How Do Solar Panels Really Work?
Solar panels collect energy from the sun to administer solar power to your home. The sun does not need to be out in order for the solar panels to collect energy. They still collect energy when the sky is cloudy, or if it happens to be raining or snowing. South-facing roofs collect the most solar power, but east and west-facing roofs can also be used. A small inverter converts this energy into alternating current, which can then be fed into an electrical grid. The inverter is normally placed in your attic.
Your solar panel system will be connected to your local utility grid. This allows you to choose how often you wish to use solar power in your home, and when you will use it. Many residents use their solar power about half the time, switching back to standard utility power for night time use.
A meter is connected to the grid which tells the electric company how much solar energy you are generating and using. If you use less power than you generate with your solar panels, the excess power is fed to the grid and you are credited for the unused electricity.
How Much Does It Cost?
An average solar panel installation can include up to 15 panels, depending on the size of your roof. The total cost will depend on the desired solar output. If you have a larger family, you will want to purchase bigger panels that can generate more energy. An average solar panel system can cost between $8,000 and $14,000.
The Feed-In Tariff provided by the Government pays you a rate based on the amount of energy you produce. The tariff rate is locked in at the time your panels are installed, and it continues for 20 years of use.
If you would like to have a solar panel system installed as a part of home improvement in your home, you will need to hire an installer who is MCS accredited in order to qualify for the Feed-in Tariff. The Micro-generation Certification Scheme (MCS) is a quality assurance program supported by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.