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How can you save money with solar power?

offgridEnergy prices continue to rise and choosing solar power will still have a positive impact on your household budget.

By investing in solar power you will benefit in two ways.

Firstly you can generate your own electricity, so you use less from the grid. Secondly, if your solar panels generate excess electricity you may receive a rebate for the surplus electricity your panels put back into the grid.

 

 

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What are the other benefits of getting solar?

Australia has the highest average solar radiation of any continent in the world and by installing solar you can take advantage of this abundant free natural resource.

The Australian solar industry is also a global leader in research and innovation, which means you benefit first from new technology.

Solar power is a zero-emission electricity source and one megawatt hour (MWh) of solar-derived electricity is estimated to avoid approximately one tonne of carbon dioxide so it's also an environmentally friendly choice.

What does a typical solar power system consist of?

A photovoltaic (PV) solar system is made up of multiple solar panels called the solar array. This array absorbs the energy of a specific range of available sunlight and converts it into electrical energy. The panels are roof mounted at the correct aspect and elevation so that the maximum amount of available sunlight is received and converted.

A cable connects the array to the inverter, a device designed to convert the fluctuating power from the solar array into a steady energy source. A second cable connects the inverter to the electrical system in the home, which is also connected to the main power grid.

An information screen on the inverter displays total energy production, daily energy production, and instantaneous power. These figures will fluctuate depending on the time of year, the cloud cover, and temperature, and will allow you to keep a record of your system's performance.

 

How long will it take to have my system installed and producing energy?

When you install a solar power system you may need to have a new meter installed. New meters are supplied by your network provider and CSA Services can help with your application including advising you on the tariff options available from all energy retailers.

Installation times can vary dependent on how long it takes your network provider to change your meter and grid connection.

The installation of the physical solar system itself can take up to one day, depending on your system size, location, safety factors and weather conditions.

How much maintenance is needed on my system?

For high quality system parts, the maintenance required is usually negligible. The surface panels are self-cleaning depending on the tilt of the panel and the roof.

But as with all equipment a regular 'health check' for the system will make sure it gives the best performance for the lifespan of the system.

And with real time monitoring options you can keep track of performance on your phone or tablet and quickly identify and address any maintenance issues.

What affects the energy output of my solar system?

A range of factors can impact of the power output of you solar power energy system including:

  • The orientation of the solar panels to the sun (north facing is the ideal positioning for solar panels)
  • The efficiency of the inverter,
  • The season and weather, time of day, amount of sunshine and cloud
  • The temperature of the solar panels, if they get too hot then power output can decline
  • The degree of shade and whether they are dirty or in need of other maintenance
  • Your geographical location which will dictate the strength of the solar energy your panels receive

What else can I do around the home to be more energy efficient?

There are a number of ways you can create a more energy efficient home.

Monitor your energy consumption

Today there are some fantastic ways to monitor your energy consumption. By investing in power monitors you can see at a glance where savings can be made in your household and even see your energy consumption in real-time. This encourages households to save money as the cost of electricity is right there in front of you!

Replace old technology

Are your appliances energy efficient? How old are your washing machine, dryer and fridge? Upgrading old energy hungry appliances to their energy efficient counterparts can save your hip pocket in the long-term.

 

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How can I reduce my energy use at peak times?

Around the country households use the most energy before and after work. On hot summer days and cool winter nights, we all want to use our power at the same time, this is known as a period of peak demand.

Energy providers are keen to reduce the pressure of peak demand on their systems; it's like traffic congestion on power lines. So, electricity providers will reward you for using energy outside of peak times by providing reduced energy rates.

 

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