Solar FAQs

Have a question about solar systems and other solar services?

Have questions? We have the answers

Have a look below, and if you cannot find an answer to your question or need more detail please reach out via our Q&A form below and we be glad to answer your question.

The cost of your solar system is affected by a number of factors, including:

● Federal and state government incentives

● Type and number of solar panels

● Type and size of inverter

● Type of framing equipment and other system components

● Height and accessibility of roof, and whether it is tiled, metal or concrete

● Contractor installation costs

You can view a guide on solar costings via the Clean Energy Council website.

When using a solar panel system (also called a photovoltaic or PV system) to produce electricity, you’re buying less electricity from your utility company and relying on the renewable energy your solar panels produce. 

In order to calculate if solar is right for you, it’s important to consider the following:

Review your utility bill to see how much energy you’re using, and note the difference between the metered electricity costs and other items such as delivery or administration costs.

Evaluate how you use energy in the home – there are many ways to reduce your consumption. Installing LED lights, tinting windows, increasing insulation and ventilation or even closing doors of rooms not in use when heating or cooling. See the Household Energy Action Guide list here.

Consider how long you plan to stay in your home or rented premises. Residential solar systems are designed to last for 20 years, with a return on investment showing within the first 1-5 years.

 

A solar inverter is a component that forms part of your solar electric power system. It converts the direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into alternating current (AC) used in your home. This electricity is then fed into your home to operate your appliances. The leftover electricity that isn’t used is fed back into the grid (to electrical power lines) or into home battery storage.

Long-lasting solar power systems require a high quality inverter. We’ll quote you various priced inverters and panel packages specific to your needs.

The Victorian state government’s solar rebate scheme, the Solar Homes Package, reduces the cost of solar for Victorians. Under the package, the state government will pay up to $1,850 towards the cost of a solar system. This is on top of the existing federal government discount. Find out if you are an eligible household here.

If you’re a renter, a rebate of up to $1,850 is still available, subject to program eligibility and a Solar Homes Landlord Rebate Agreement. Find out more from Solar Victoria here.

For each kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity you produce that isn’t used immediately, you will get money back in the form of a feed-in tariff. This tariff will be applied in the form of deduction to your regular electricity bill.

A high feed-in tariff can help drastically reduce what you pay for electricity, which is why it’s so important to shop around for the best solar deal to suit you. More information about feed-in tariffs can be found at the Consumer Affairs website here.

Solstra specialises in providing solar electricty for homes and businesses. We often receive enquiries related to solar hot water and solar pool heating, however these are not related to solar electricity.

For solar electricity, solar photovoltaic (PV) cells on solar panels generate electricity by absorbing sunlight and using that light energy to create an electrical current. There are many photovoltaic cells within a single solar panel, and the current created by all of the cells together adds up to enough electricity to help power your home or business.

Solar hot water and solar pool heating systems pump water through collectors on the roof where the water is heated by the sun and returned to the pool or hot water tank. For solar hot water it is best to contact a local plumber, and for solar pool heating it is best to contact a pool specialist.

Let’s cut to the chase – a solar system is powered by the sun!

Your solar system will turn off at night as there is not enough sunlight to sustain operation. When the solar radiation is high enough (once the sun comes up) the inverter will start to operate automatically again.

So if your system is showing no signs of life at night, rest assured it is still working…it’s had a big day and has called it a night = )

Further resources and information

Solar Victoria
https://www.solar.vic.gov.au/ 

Clean Energy Council
https://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/resources/technologies/solar-energy

Clean Energy Regulator
http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/

Australian Photovoltaic Institute (APVI) 
https://apvi.org.au/ 

Renew Economy
https://reneweconomy.com.au/ 

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