With the rising cost of living and cash rates about to skyrocket, you’d be forgiven for erring on the side of caution when it comes to extraneous home expenses. But the question remains: can you really afford to be without solar as energy prices continue to jump and the finite supply of fossil fuels continues to dwindle? Here are some solar panel tips you can put your thoughts on.
More Australians are now going solar than ever before. In fact, it’s known that Australia has one of the highest rates of household solar panel adoption in the world, with over 1.7 million households having installed solar as of 2021 (ABS 2023).
Of course, for all the reasons outlined above, it can be extremely tempting to take shortcuts. Luckily, we’re here to advise otherwise and help you plan well in advance of the switch.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the Top 5 Things we notice many customers wish they’d known before they went solar. By taking the time to understand and appreciate them, you’ll avoid making the same mistakes too.
Let’s get started with a big one:
1. Cheap solar quotes aren’t worth it
We’ve sure you’ve seen them: the solar quotes offering low-cost panels, cheap installation and other freebies.
But have you ever stopped to think about the business models behind those offers?
To begin, all solar businesses are still businesses – that is, they need to make money. To be frank, no company will truly be given anything away for free. It can often be the case that less reputable solar companies appear to be offering a great deal whilst providing an inferior product and service undercover.
If you discover a surprisingly cheap solar package, be sure to remain wary of the following:
- Low-quality equipment: Companies that offer extremely low quotes may be using lower-quality equipment, which may not perform as well or last as long as higher-quality equipment
- Hidden costs: Some companies may quote a low price for the equipment and installation, but then add on additional costs for permits, inspections, and other necessary items
- Lack of warranty: Companies that offer low quotes may not provide a comprehensive warranty on their equipment and installation, leaving the homeowner at risk if something goes wrong
- Poor installation: A poorly installed solar system will not perform as well as a well-installed one, and may even damage your roof or home – cheap quotes may indicate a lack of experience or expertise on the part of the installer
At G Store, our incredible SunPower Maxeon solar panels come with a 40-year warranty – the best on the market – plus a whole range of other incredible benefits. You can learn more about the best solar panels here.
We’ll also provide you with an upfront, comprehensive quote with no hidden fees, as well as outline to you all the incredible things you can do with your new solar system and battery storage – like actually earn money from the grid as part of a Virtual Power Plant program!
Your award-winning G Store team will also provide ongoing support to you as part of our trusted service. Sometimes, we even get calls from customers 12 years down the line who just need a chat or a brief bit of advice regarding their system.
We’re always happy to help!
2. Panic buying is a mistake
Say your old gas or electric hot water system breaks suddenly. Now what? Cold showers for weeks?
Many customers at this point will stress, panic buy, and end up with a cheaper hot water system that ends up costing them lots more money, time and resources in the long run.
Without the time to research and make a call on a much more efficient system – like solar or heat pump hot water, for example – they miss the boat entirely, and end up right back where they started: bills, old technology, and a system that won’t last as long as the alternatives.
It pays – literally – to make sure you research your options often, and early. This goes for not only hot water, but solar, HVAC options, and water storage options too.
Make sure you chat to a trusted, professional team well before the emergency hits. Call G Store on 1300 766 940 any time to better understand the options best-fit for your needs and requirements.
Which brings us to this:
3. Replacing an old hot water system with gas or electric will cost you time, money and resources
Like-for-like replacement of an old gas or electric hot water system can be one of the biggest mistakes well-meaning customers make when on a deadline.
Let’s look at the two best options for replacing your old hot water system:
- Solar hot water
- Heat pump hot water
Solar hot water
Solar hot water is a system that uses energy from the sun to heat water for domestic use, such as showering, cooking, and washing. It typically consists of a solar collector, a storage tank, and a system of pipes and valves to circulate the water.
Here’s how it works:
- Solar collector: The collector is typically mounted on the roof and exposed to direct sunlight. It absorbs the energy from the sun and converts it into heat, which is transferred to the water in the collector.
- Storage tank: The storage tank is where the hot water is stored until it is needed. It is usually located near the collector and connected to it by a system of pipes.
- Circulation system: A pump circulates the water from the storage tank to the collector and back again. The pump is typically powered by electricity, but some systems use a thermosiphon effect, where the water naturally circulates as it heats up.
When the water in the storage tank reaches a certain temperature, a controller will activate the pump to circulate the water through the collector. As the water is heated, it rises and returns to the storage tank, where it is ready for use.
Solar hot water systems are a renewable energy source that can provide significant energy savings, especially in sunny climates.
Heat pump hot water
Alternatively, a heat pump hot water system is a type of water heating system that uses a heat pump to heat water. It works by extracting heat from the air or ground and transferring it to the water, rather than generating heat directly.
Here’s how heat pump hot water works:
- Heat pump: The heat pump is the central component of the system. It consists of a compressor, a heat exchanger, and an expansion valve. The heat exchanger absorbs heat from the air or ground, and the compressor increases the temperature of the refrigerant, which is then passed through the heat exchanger to transfer the heat to the water.
- Storage tank: The storage tank is where the hot water is stored until it is needed. It is usually located near the heat pump and connected to it by a system of pipes.
- Circulation system: A pump circulates the water from the storage tank to the heat pump and back again. The pump is powered by electricity.
When the temperature of the water in the storage tank drops below a certain level, the heat pump is activated to transfer heat from the air or ground to the water. The hot water is then stored in the storage tank for use as needed.
Heat pump hot water systems are a highly efficient way to heat water, as they use a small amount of electricity to transfer a large amount of heat. This can result in significant energy savings.
In fact, heat pump hot water systems are generally known to save you at least 30-50% on your electric bills. Pair it with solar, and you can even start getting your hot water for, effectively, free!
Ask us how today on 1300 766 940. We’d love to walk you through it.
4. It’s worth investing time in understanding what you don’t know.
Of course, new technologies often involve a lower level of general understanding of how they work, what they achieve, and what their benefits are.
Sticking with what you know (and doing a like-for-like replacement of old solar panels or other home appliances, systems and otherwise) can often cost you time, money and other precious resources in the long run.
How to get around this, then? Here’s our best tip:
Speak to a friendly and professional home energy-efficiency team early and often, and make sure you remain as informed as possible when it comes to your options. That way, you can ensure you avoid emergencies, and choose the best, most up-to-date system for your needs.
Remember: a lower initial cost often means more money in the long run. Up your initial investment even by a small percentage, and you can win yourself a brand-new system that will save you cash in the long-term.
Which brings us to our final point:
5. Going solar is now more achievable than you might think
According to the Australian Clean Energy Council (2023), the number of solar panel installations in Australia has increased significantly in recent years, with over 2 million homes and businesses now having solar panels installed. The growth of the solar energy industry has also created thousands of jobs and helped to reduce the country’s carbon emissions.
As solar and its associated products and services continue to gain popularity, so too do the savings. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how cost-effective and affordable in the long-term going solar can now be!
The best way to find out about the associated government solar rebates and incentives applicable to you is to give our friendly, award-winning team a call today on 1300 766 940 for your obligation-free consultation.
Otherwise, check out our Learning Centre for more handy information and guidance.