FAQs for the Australian Solar Industry and Solar Services
Connect Energy is a solar energy supply and installation company. We operate across Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. Browse our FAQs to learn more about solar.
A solar module is made up of a group of photovoltaic cells. They consist of 2 layers of silicon wafers which become positively and negatively charged when sunlight hits them. The charge created flows through a circuit of small wires connected to the wafers.
The PV modules generate Direct Current (DC) electricity and send it to the solar power inverter. The inverter transforms the DC power from the modules into Alternating Current (AC) electricity and feeds it back to the meter, ready to be used in the house or exported back into the grid/power poles.
When you buy a solar system, the government pays you an incentive for every unit of energy (kWh) that your system produces. And they do it until the end of the year 2030.
But for systems up to 100kW (a typical residential system has 5kW), instead of keeping track of your energy production every month, they calculate how much you are expected to produce, based on the size of your solar system, and pay you the whole amount upfront.
Solar hot water systems, sometimes called solar thermal systems, use the direct heat from the sun to heat water, whereas solar photovoltaics “PV” uses sunlight to produce electricity. They are two very different types of technology. Both solar technologies use panels to collect the suns energy. Solar hot water panels have black copper pipes running through them filled with water. Solar photovoltaic panels generally have silicon cells. It is not practical to have one panel to do both jobs.
Any company can make promises about quality, materials, warranty and support but the key is selecting a company who can be trusted and who will be around in the long term to support you. Trustworthiness is hard to quantify but is usually best described through experience, reputation, commitment, transparency, integrity and size.
Connect Energy has not only the experience and the technical staff, but also has a solar test array tracking the performance of 16 leading solar panel brands, so we can select the products that we are comfortable installing for our customers.
The payback on a solar system can vary across the country, depending on the local price of electricity, the local amount of sunshine and the electricity usage pattern in the home or business where the system is installed. In general, the more the electricity that is used on-site and not exported to the grid for a low-feed in tariff, the quicker the payback period.
Nowadays, the payback for many solar systems ranges from 3 to 7 years, depending on the above variables. That’s why it is important to get reliable, high-quality equipment installed, as the solar system owner only starts to earn a real income from their system after they paid off the initial investment.
The most considered benefit of installing a Solar Power System is financial. Once installed, a solar system produces electricity from the sun for free. A kilowatt-hour of electricity used from the Solar System is a kilowatt-hour of electricity that does not need to be bought from an electricity retailer. The more electricity that can be used from the solar system and therefore not paid for from the grid, the more money will be saved. As electricity prices increase over time, the greater the financial benefit of having solar becomes.
Feed-in tariffs (FIT) are a defined payment for the electricity you generate from your solar PV system that is sent back to the grid. They vary based on State guidelines and also between electricity retailers. We recommend shopping around between retailers to determine the best available FIT rate for you.
Every watt of electricity generated by your solar power system and used by you directly in your house will save you money, as you do not have to buy this electricity from your electricity retailer.
Therefore, it makes sense to use as much power as possible during the day, when the panels are generating power e.g. by turning on pool filters, dishwashers and washing machines when the sun shines brightly.
Most energy providers offer a feed-in tariff, as credit is given to the consumer for any surplus power generated and exported back to the grid.
The amount paid for each kilowatt-hour of electricity can vary between energy retailers. Contact local energy retailers in your area, they will be only too willing to sign you up to an energy plan.
Yes, the solar power system rebate is given to the physical property address and not the individual. If you are a multiple property owner, then you can avail of the solar rebate for all your properties if they fall into the criteria as laid down by the government.
It is very important to get a solar advisor to come to your house and investigate your particular circumstances. It’s not sufficient to get a final quote over the internet without the company actually having seen your house. Would you accept a quote to install a new stairway or a new bathroom in your house via a call centre – without a site visit? If the quoting company cannot give you a free site inspection, then you are not their priority – not now and not when they install your system. For some in the solar industry that follow the internet and google map sales model, it is all about sales volume – not necessarily about solar sales service.