Friday, July 12, 2024

What You Need To Know About Solar

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need

Solar Basics (At Home!): What you need to know about solar panel backsheets
  • The power output of your whole solar system matters more than the size or number of panels.
  • The higher each panel’s nominal power rating , the fewer panels you’ll need .
  • If you have plenty of roof space, you might find it more economical to buy cheaper panels with lower efficiency and just use more of them.
  • Most solar panels are about 1.6 square metres in area, but they vary in length, width and power output.

CHOICE tip: Fewer panels can mean a quicker installation.

An example: You could use four 250W Jinko panels, taking up 6.5m2 of roof space, to make a 1000W array. But four 327W Sunpower panels would take up the same overall area and form a more powerful 1308W array .

Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit

The federal solar ITC is a tax credit you can apply to the income taxes you owe the federal government. Its a dollar-for-dollar deduction that you can also roll over to the following year.

For example, lets say you qualify for a $10,000 solar ITC. You can then deduct that amount from the federal income taxes youd otherwise pay.

However, the solar ITC isnt forever its phasing down yearly, starting in 2023.

The tax credit rate for installations placed in service before January 01, 2023, is 26%. After that, systems placed in service before January 01, 2024, can qualify for a 22% credit.

Home solar panels installed after that can no longer receive any incentive. However, commercial installations can still qualify for a 10% credit.

So, if you also have a business, ensure you have the best roof for commercial solar installation.

The First Solar Eclipse Or Surya Grahan Of 2022 Will Occur On April 30 And Will Last For A Total Of About Four Hours Ie From 1: 15 Pm To 4 Pm

Image: Unsplash

The first solar eclipse or Surya Grahan of 2022 will occur on April 30 and will last for a total of about four hours. The eclipse, which would be this year’s first partial eclipse of two, will begin at 12:15 p.m. and last till 4 p.m. It is worth mentioning, however, that the celestial event will not be visible in India and those in South America, the Atlantic Ocean, the Antarctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean will see it.

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Solar Panel Buying Guide Checklist

  • Assess what energy you currently use and the system capacity you need .
  • Check if your roof faces the right direction. Only north-facing panels will produce their full capacity.
  • Make sure there are no trees, power lines or other structures shading your roof.
  • Find out what local council approval is needed. Increasingly, local councils have staff on hand to help people make the best decisions on solar.
  • Try to figure out your system’s payback time.
  • The inverter is a key part of the system. See our guide to buying a solar inverter for all the details.
  • If you’re considering adding a battery, see our guide to solar storage batteries to understand the pros and cons.
  • Get multiple quotes from installers to ensure you’re getting a good deal, and make sure your installer is CEC-accredited .
  • Make sure your solar panels meet the required standards .
  • Check your solar panels’ product and performance warranties see below for what these are.

What Are Pole Mounts Are They Worth It

Everything You Need to Know about Solar Panel Warranties

A pole mount is simply a tall pole that lifts your solar array higher off the ground than a traditional ground mount.

Pole mounts are great for snowy climates. The elevated mount gives the array extra clearance, so the array doesnt get buried in a snow bank during the winter.

Pole mounts can also be tilted at a steeper angle, which helps snow buildup slide off the face of the panels, keeping them free of obstructions and producing closer to their peak output.

Also Check: What Is Federal Tax Credit For Solar

Reduce Your Electricity Use

During daylight hours, youll be generating electricity even on cloudy days, but if youre using more power around your home than your panels are generating, or during the evening when your panels are not generating any electricity, youll be supplementing this by importing electricity from the grid.

Reducing your electricity use can help lower your bills and reduce your carbon footprint. If youre claiming a Smart Export Guarantee tariff, youll receive a payment for every unit of electricity you export. Remember to turn devices off and avoid standby.

See our energy saving quick wins for more tips to reduce your energy use.

What Size Solar Panel System Do You Need

To size your solar panel system you need to work out how much electricity you use and when you use it.

As a guide, a typical home uses 20kWh of energy a day. A 5kW solar system would meet most of the daytime power needs of such a home. However, these days solar panels are relatively cheap, so it usually makes sense to put on the biggest system that your roof can take and that you can afford. The excess electricity can go back into the grid and earn you some money via feed-in tariffs, or charge a home storage battery. 6.6kW is a common size for new systems, but bigger systems are also being purchased. The bigger systems often include a battery.

NT:Home and Business Battery Scheme

The battery schemes above are included because they can apply to a new solar PV system which includes a battery.

Rebate schemes change from time to time, so it’s worth checking the federal government energy website to see what’s available in your area.

Always check the terms and conditions for any rebate scheme carefully to make sure you’re eligible, and what steps you need to take. For example, many schemes apply only to certain regions or postcodes, may have limited places available, or are only available to households below a certain income level, or you might need to have your proposed system approved by the scheme before it’s installed.

What is an STC?

Is the STC rebate going to end?

How to sell your STCs

How much money will you make selling STCs?

How feed-in tariffs work

Read Also: How Much To Install Solar Panels On A House

How Much Does Home Solar Cost

The price of solar depends on where you live, what type of system and products you select and which solar company you sign up with. As part of our free compare the market service we collect live and up to date price information from 100s of solar installers around Australia and we publish average pricing by capital city on the Solar Price Index:

Note the average prices in the above table include:

  • A full turnkey system all products, labour, equipment hire
  • The government STC rebate
  • GST

Before You Get Your Solar Lights

Ask the Experts: Everything You Need to Know About Solar

Many different types of solar lights are available to you. Some of them can even be adjusted so that they only light up during the night hours and then ultimately go off in the morning. If you want to use solar lights to light up a specific area, you can purchase solar motion sensor lights.

These particular types of solar lights work well because they will turn on automatically at dusk and turn off automatically at dawn. If you want to have access to lighting throughout the night, you will want to consider all of these options.

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Secured And Unsecured Loans

Secured loans and unsecured loans are the 2 primary types of solar loans. Assets, which is normally your home, back up the former. That is why the rates are lower. HELOCs or home equity lines of credit and home equity loans are the most common types.

Other examples are R-PACE or residential PACE loans. Your property tax is charged for these. People with lower credit scores are offered these, However, compared to a HELOC or home equity loan, the charges are higher for PACE loans.

There is no asset provided as collateral for unsecured loans. You need a decent credit score, in general, to qualify for an unsecured loan. Depending on how good your credit score is, you can be offered an even lower rate.

Myth #: Solar Panels Dont Pay For Themselves

Many people pushing this myth are basing their knowledgefrom where the PV industry was 5 or even 10 years ago. A lot has changed since then. Efficiency ofsolar panels continues to increase, and material cost as well as installationcosts steadily decrease every year.

Solar panels will pay for themselves in ~8 to 16 yearsdepending on what province youre in. Your location will determine the key metrics when trying to assess the cost of solar panels. These factors are what solar power incentivesare available to you, how much you pay for energy/transmission & distribution, and how developed the solar market is .

Solar panels have now reached the point where they will payfor themselves. It is still a medium tolong-term investment, but it makes sense especially if you plan on being in thesame house for the next 15 years.

Key Takeaway: If youre looking to get your money back in 5years, try private equity investment. If you arelooking for a very safe long-term investment which will pay for itself overtime while providing you insurance against a volatile electricity market, thenlook no further.

Recommended Reading: How Much Does Solar Energy Save

Is There Financial Aid For Solar Power Installation In The Uk

Financial aid from the UK Government isnt available. Until 1 April 2019, the Feed-In Tariff scheme was offered in an attempt to encourage people to use renewable energy to power their homes.

Since the discontinuation of the Feed-In Tariff, the new Smart Export Guarantee has been offered as an alternative by the Government. The new scheme allows households to get paid for any extra renewable energy they generate.

That means if you generate energy at home from natural resources, such as the wind or sun, youre able to sell any you dont use.

Solar Energy Is A Renewable Power Source

What You Need to Know About Solar Energy

Solar energy is a clean, inexpensive, renewable power source that is harnessable nearly everywhere in the world – any point where sunlight hits the surface of the earth is a potential location to generate solar power. And since solar energy comes from the sun, it represents a limitless source of power. Renewable energy technologies generate electricity from resources that are infinite. Compare, for instance, producing electricity with renewable resources to doing so with fossil fuels. It took hundreds of thousands of years for oil, gas and coal to form, so every time one of those resources are burned to create electricity, that finite resource is moved marginally closer to depletion. Using a renewable resource – such as wind, solar and hydropower – to generate electricity, does not deplete that resource. There will always be consistent sunlight shining on Earth’s surface, and after turning sunlight into electricity, there is still an infinite amount of sunlight to turn into electricity in the future. That is what makes solar power, by nature, renewable energy.

While the current electricity mix in the United States is still made up largely of fossil fuels like oil and gas, renewable energy sources like solar are steadily becoming a larger part of the country’s energy profile. As the cost of solar and other renewable technologies continues to be competitive.

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Solar Industry Research & Reporting

DSIRE stands for Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency. It is a federally backed database that tracks renewable energy incentives in all 50 states. It also tracks any local policies and laws that will impact your solar project .


NREL is a government research center with 18 research programs that produce over 1,000 scientific and technical reports every year.

They are without a doubt the organization that produces the most original research and data-driven analysis in the renewable energy space. This is the best place to find historical data on pricing trends and reports on the health of the industry.


SEIA is the national trade association for solar industry professionals in America. You dont need to be a member to use their site, which has valuable resources like a state-by-state breakdown of solar incentives and a national database of solar companies.

Energy.govs Homeowners Guide to Going Solar

If you own your home and want to go solar, has a fantastic list to guide you through all the questions youll need to ask before committing to a purchase.

Can I Install Solar Myself

Yes! Installing your own solar panels is certainly possible, even if you dont have prior DIY experience. Most solar components are plug-and-play, meaning every cable snaps into a dedicated port. If you can perform basic tasks like lifting heavy objects and tightening screws, youve got what it takes to install your own system.

The most challenging bit is performing the final electrical hookup to the service panel. Some DIYers choose to hire a licensed electrician

And you still come out way ahead on costs compared to a professional installation.

Take a look at our DIY Solar hub for a step-by-step overview of how to install your own solar system.

Read Also: How Do Solar Panel Payments Work

Solar Power Is A Renewable Energy Source

Not only do you cut down on your electric bill when you go solar, but you also reduce your carbon footprint. Solar panels dont release any of the nasty carbon emissions or other air pollutants that fossil fuels do when they generate electricity.

The average residential solar power system in the U.S can prevent almost 16,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. You would need to plant 8.8 acres of forest to offset that amount of carbon, but a rooftop solar energy system puts a stop to those emissions entirely.

Learn more: Solar energy vs. fossil fuels

Were not going to lie to you: some emissions are involved in manufacturing solar modules and other solar technology, just like every other manufactured product on the planet. The emissions associated with manufacturing solar panels are almost negligible when its compared to how much is released generating electricity with fossil fuels.

But the actual solar electricity itself is clean energy. There are absolutely no emissions released when a solar panel produces electricity. Fossil fuel plants, on the other hand, continue to burn and release greenhouse gasses with each kilowatt-hour of electricity they produce.

Some Options For Increasing Self

180. Solar 101 – everything you need to know about going solar!

Increasing your self-consumption of solar energy will reduce your energy bills. To improve your return on investment you can consider applying a timer on common household appliances, such as:

  • Electric hot water system
  • Swimming pool pump
  • Underfloor heating system

You can buy programable wall-socket timers from a hardware store for under $50 or an electrician can install one for you.

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Choosing A Solar Panel Inverter

The inverter converts the direct current produced by the panels into usable alternating current. Its key to the solar PV system.

String inverters are most common and cheapest. They connect solar panels in series. If one of your panels failed or started to be shadowed by a growing tree, it could impact your whole system.

Micro-inverters ‘separate’ the panels. So if one panel fails, the whole system won’t be affected. It should also be easier to spot problems through the power-monitoring system.

Inverters are often fitted in the loft so they’re not too far from your solar panels and energy loss in cables in minimised.

But inverters can be affected by the heat, so your garage might be a better bet if your loft gets very hot in summer.

What Are The Main Advantages Of Solar Panels

Schalk said this question is important to make the distinction between rooftop and utility scale solar.

For utility scale, the main advantage is that its generally the cheapest source of electricity on the market today, Cohen said. Thats a result of the rapid decrease in the cost of solar panels as the technology has improved, and the fact that the sun is free once the panels are installed. It also has the benefit of producing reliable electricity without any carbon emissions.

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Rooftop solar has the same advantage: It produces clean electricity, reducing carbon emissions that help combat climate change. One of its main benefits, however, is that rooftop solar allows the solar owner to take control of where their electricity comes from, Schalk said. That means they can directly reduce their electricity bill and make the grid more efficient by producing electricity close to where its actually used.

Nick Cohen adds one other aspect: Its simple and easy to maintain.

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Annual Savings When Using The Electricity You Generate

Most households will use about 15-25% of the energy you generate, though this can change quite dramatically based on:

  • Whether you work from home.
  • How many people are at home during the day.
  • Whether you have an electric vehicle.
  • Whether you heat your home or hot water using a heat pump or other electrical heating.
  • Whether your cooking is done using electricity.

Instead of sending surplus electricity to the grid, a PV diverter switch can power the immersion heater in your hot water tank, storing hot water for you to use later. On its own, excess solar energy is unlikely to meet all of your hot water needs, but it can help reduce your bills.

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