Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the questions below to reveal the answers...

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roofs of homes and businesses capture the sun’s energy to generate electricity cleanly and quietly. Light energy is converted directly into electricity by transferring sunlight photon energy into electrical energy. This conversion takes place within cells of specially fabricated semiconductor crystals.

While it might be true that solar cannot generate electricity all the time, it does generate electricity when it is needed most – during the day and on hot sunny days when electricity demand is at its peak driven by air-conditioners.

Importantly, electricity is generated at the point of demand - where people live and work which means there is no need to transfer the energy long distances across expensive infrastructure

Anybody installing a renewable energy system is entitled to claim renewable energy certificates which for householders are known as STCs. These certificates are traded on the open market and do not have a set price. Most installation companies will offer to give a discount on the price of your system based on the value of these certificates. In our area, each kilowatt of panels is entitled to about 20 STCs. There is currently a federal government incentive program called the Solar Credits Scheme. All eligible systems (which includes most households or businesses installing a new system) will receive a multiplier of 2 X for the first 1.5 kilowatts of a PV system. So for example a 1.5 kilowatt system installed in our region would normally attract 31 STCs but with the multiplier would be entitled to 62.

Until the NSW government fair price for solar committee has reached is judgement, Sunsparks Electrics recommends installing a net meter to measure your home’s power production and consumption. With a fully licensed accredited service provider on the team, Sunsparks offers the meter change over at no extra charge when supplying and installing a solar energy system. The net meter ensures that all the power your house uses at the time of power generation is supplied by the solar panels with only the excess going back into the power grid. This means that the use of power intensive appliances such as pool pumps, dishwashers, washing machines etc can be deferred into the peak power production times (around the middle of the day) to maximise your savings. As the cost of electricity increases, your savings will increase proportionally.

NB There is currently no set price for the electricity which is fed back into the power system. Any power your system generates over and above what you are using at the time of production, you can expect to be paid around 8 cents per unit for. This compares with a saving of around 33 cents per unit for the power you use.

 

If you are installing a grid connect system and do not choose the grid-hybrid option, your solar system will shut down automatically when there is a loss of power from the utility. This is an important safety feature as it protects the workers who are repairing the fault in the line from being electrocuted from an outside source.

All solar panels sold by Sunsparks Electrics come with minimum 25 year performance warranty and we engineer all system components to be able to last this amount of time. This means choosing the best available products such as switches and racking as in many cases they are exposed to the elements, for example on the roof. Be wary of cheaper systems which use inferior products in these locations. Most inverters have a standard 5 year warranty which can be extended for an extra investment. Choosing a high quality European inverter will certainly increase the reliability and efficiency of the entire system.

With a grid connected solar power system, your functional usage of electricity will not be changed. You can go on using electricity as normal regardless of how much power the panels are putting in. However, if your system is using a net meter you will receive greater savings on your bill if you can use the majority of the solar power at the time that the sun is actually shining.