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Consumer guide to buying household solar panels - Clean Energy Council

Consumer guide to buying household solar panels - Clean Energy Council

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10/11/2012

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Volume 5: 7 December 2010
consumer guide
Consumer guide to buying household solar panels(photovoltaic panels)
Household use of solar photovoltaic (PV) panel systems has grown significantlyin Australia this decade behind increased awareness of the risk of dangerousclimate change, the reduced cost of systems and a range of governmentincentives to encourage use of the technology.Solar power systems are now an affordable option for Australian householdslooking to reduce their power bills and generate their own clean electricity. Withthe increased range of products and suppliers on the market, being an informedconsumer has never been more important.This guide provides an introduction to solar PV systems so you are betterequipped to make choices about a product that is right for you. Towards the backof the guide there are a series of questions you can ask your installer, electricityretailer and distributor to ensure you have all the information you need to makesmart decisions.This guide is intended for people who will be connecting their system to theelectricity grid.
 
 
Volume 5: 7 December 2010
 
Contents
 
Installation checklist 2How does solar PV work? 3How much power do systems generate? 4How much do solar panels cost? 5 Australian Standards 6Warranties 6What government schemes are in place tolower the cost of purchasing a solar PV system? 6Renewable Energy Certificates 7Solar Credits 8Feed-in Tariffs 9What does the design and specification of my system involve? 12What size panels should I buy? 12What sort of panels should I buy? 13What angle should the panels be on? 14Shading/Dirt 14Temperature 14What is an inverter? What sort should I buy? 15What will happen to my meter at home? 15Quotation/ Contract 17Questions to ask your designer/installer 18What happens after my solar PV system has been installed? 20Questions to ask your electricity retailer 21Questions to ask your electricity distributor 22Safety inspections 22 Dispute resolution 23 Appendix 27
 
 
Volume 5: 7 December 2010 
2
Installation checklist
 
A Step-by-Step Process to having your Solar PV System Installed
 
1.
 
 You conduct your own research into the benefits of having a solar PV system installed. Inparticular, you should ensure that you understand what will happen to your meter, yourelectricity tariff and your electricity bill before you agree to have a PV system installed.
2.
 
 You contact several CEC accredited designers/installers to arrange for a quote. A list of CEC-accredited designers/installers in your area can be found atwww.cleanenergycouncil.org.au 
3.
 
By asking informed questions, (see ‘Questions to ask your Designer/Installer), you thenselect a CEC accredited designer/installer.
4.
 
The CEC accredited designer/installer designs a PV system to meet your requirements(see ‘What does the Design and Specification of my Solar PV System involve?’)
5.
 
 You, or the CEC accredited designer/ installer, apply for any applicable rebates (see Whatgovernment schemes are in place to lower of cost of purchasing a solar PV system?’)
6.
 
 You, or your designer/installer, complete the connection and approval process for yourelectricity retailer and electricity distributor. This process varies between states andterritories (see ‘Flowcharts for the Connection Procedures of each State and Territory’ atwww.cleanenergycouncil.org.au ) 
7.
 
The CEC accredited Designer/Installer completes the installation of your solar PV system
8.
 
The designer/installer contacts your electricity retailer or electricity distributor to arrangefor your new meter to be installed (see ‘Questions to ask your Electricity Retailer’ or‘Questions to ask your Electricity Distributor’)
9.
 
An appropriate qualified professional installs your new meter
10.
 
 Your solar PV system is now ready to produce electricity.
11.
 
 You enter a Premium Feed-in Tariff Agreement with your Electricity Retailer (see‘Questions to ask your Electricity Retailer’)
12.
 
Depending on which State you live in, your local electrical authority may conduct a safetyinspection of your solar PV system
NB
:
 
Please note this process may vary slightly between the States and Territories.
 
Consumer guide to buying householdsolar panels (photovoltaic panels)
 

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