Solar Energy Q&A

Making Solar Easy…dispel the myths

Solar power only works if I live in a hot, sunny place

False. Solar power is created by sunlight, so while the amount of energy being made on an overcast or rainy day won’t be as much as a clear sunny day, your solar panels will still generate electricity. Here in the Snowy Monaro region conditions such as elevation above sea level, cool bright days and no pollution, make us an ideal location for solar collection.

I can only have solar panels if my roof faces north

False. Solar panels do work best when facing north and tracking the path of the sun to maximize exposure to sunlight. However, there are many different types of solar power systems and design/installation techniques available, making most houses suitable for solar power.

Solar power is only for early adopters or eco innovators

False. Many people consider solar power for many different reasons. People are turning to solar power to help reduce the soaring cost of energy, increase the value of their home and make a sustainable statement to themselves and others.

Most of the money you make from solar panels is from sending electricity back to the grid

False. The feed-in tariff is now around 11.0 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) (varies with retail provider). For this reason, because the peak rate (also varies between retailers) currently averaging out at around 32.0 cents per kWh, you get the most benefit out of your solar by using the energy you generate yourself. We call this energy from “behind the meter”.

I can store the electricity my solar panels produce

True. To store the energy you produce, you’ll need a battery installation. These batteries banks range in size, price and construction material, so it’s best to talk to your designer about the available options.

Technology is moving so fast, so I should wait to install solar


False. Technology is always evolving but if you’re waiting for the next ‘big’ discovery in solar power, it could be some time. Just under 140,000 roof top installations were completed in 2016 (CEC web site) so that numbers confirm you are not alone in your research and the value/return on investment is there today! Dramatic decreases in system prices have slowed while energy prices continue to rise. So, if you’re considering installing solar power, now is a great time to talk to a Snowy Regional Solar.

It doesn’t make sense for companies to install solar on commercial premises

False. Businesses are increasingly turning to solar power to help lower their energy bills and reduce their impact on the environment. Commercial solar power systems can be fitted to most business and industrial premises, including factories, car parks, sporting complexes and regular office buildings.

Everyone should install solar power and disconnect from the grid

False. Solar systems are designed to maximise your savings while controlling the cost. To go “off-grid”, the system generally needs to be much larger to deal with worst-case scenarios. This can be more of a lifestyle decision rather than economic.

Off-grid systems are generally only suitable for those living in rural areas or who are building new homes and where establishing a new electricity connection is expensive enough to justify the alternative.

Good luck with your research. Snowy Regional Solar encourages you to be well informed and remains available to talk to you regarding your energy needs.

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