Convert to solar and pay as you go
There has never been a better time to convert your home to solar to live smarter by eliminating your electricity bills and help our planet at the same time.
The cost of installing solar panels has come down significantly compared to a decade ago, so there are not too many excuses for powering up from the sun. In most western countries, like here in Australia, solar companies are providing zero up-front-cost options (sometimes called “pay-as-you-go solar” or “solar leasing”) where you can get a solar system installed without incurring an up-front cost. This allows you to reap the benefits of having a solar system and saving money on your power bills. The other benefits of this model are as follows:
- Electricity is purchased at a low, set, or inflation-adjusted rate to help insulate against rising electricity rates.
- Rates are agreed upon a set period contract term. You know what you’ll be paying, and you can even agree to pay it off earlier.
- There is no liability for the system’s performance, which means the scheme operator is responsible for warranties, repairs, and performance of the system.
Solar panel checklist
Before you get too excited and call your local solar companies for quotes, check out our simple checklist below to get it done smarter, not harder. This checklist includes all the things to consider when planning, installing, and support arrangements when converting your home to solar.
Planning for solar
- Record your average energy usage per day (in kWh). This information will be recorded in your electricity and help decide how much power you want from a solar panel setup.
- Install battery backup system (not essential). Installing a battery backup system may help store energy and continue to use it even when the sun goes down or during a blackout. It will be handy in colder countries with not much sun or where there are continuous blackouts.
- Checked feed-in tariff eligibility. The feed-in tariff you’re eligible for will depend on the state you live in and will have a big impact on the amount of time it will take your solar panels to pay for themselves.
- Calculated my solar panel payback time.
- Approval for installation from body corporate (if you live in a housing complex).
- Approval for installation from the local council.
- The north-facing surface on your roof.
- The north-facing surface of your roof sits at an angle between 20-40 from horizontal.
- The roof is strong enough to bear the weight of solar panels.
Solar panel installation
- Setup can fulfill my power generation needs.
- Setup has got a comparatively good warranty.
- The company has got an established track record.
- Installers and designers accredited by a renewable energy association (for example Clean Energy. The designers and installers of your solar panel setup MUST be accredited by the renewable energy association in your country or region—for example, the Clean Energy Council here in Australia.
- The hardware being installed is of the highest quality and compliant with a Standard. Any solar hardware you intend to connect to the grid must be compliant with a standard—for example, Australian Standard AS 4777.
Ongoing care / paperwork
- The installer (or a licensed electrician) provided a certificate of electrical safety for the installation.
- Received written confirmation from the power distributor that the necessary paperwork has definitely been received and processed.
- This is a normal solar connection form, safety certificate, and electrical works request.
- The installer provided sufficient advice on the maintenance and care of solar panels.
If you live in an apartment or house complex where getting solar panels installed is not an option, check out these 3 eco-friendly gadgets to keep your devices charged.