Residential Solar Panels and Solar Systems QLD & NSW

Important Information Before Buying Your Residential Solar System

Definition of Solar Power

'Solar energy is energy created by the heat and light of the sun. Solar power is produced when this energy is converted into electricity or used to heat air, water, or other substances.' The technology that converts sunlight into electricity is called photovoltaic (PV) cells, commonly known as solar power systems or solar panels. (Source: Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Solar energy).

Checklist

This checklist steps you through the process of purchasing and installing solar power systems.

STEP 1. DO YOUR RESEARCH

STEP 2: CONTACT YOUR ELECTRICITY DEALER

  • You can purchase solar power from various sources (e.g. your electricity retailer or solar companies).
  • Find out how solar will affect your current electricity tariff (electricity you buy from the grid) and what feed-in tariff you'll receive (for excess electricity exported back to the grid).
  • For questions to ask your electricity retailer, see page 9 of the Guide to installing solar PV for households.
     

STEP 3.FIND A SOLAR INSTALLER AND PLAN YOUR SYSTEM

  • You can purchase solar power from various sources (e.g. your electricity retailer or solar companies).
  • Find out how solar will affect your current electricity tariff (electricity you buy from the grid) and what feed-in tariff you'll receive (for excess electricity exported back to the grid).
  • For questions to ask your electricity retailer, see page 9 of the Guide to installing solar PV for households.
     

STEP 4: FINAL CHECKS (BEFORE BUYING OR INSTALLING SOLAR POWER

  • Check whether you or your solar power installer will be completing a network connection application to connect your system to the electricity grid. This application must be lodged with, and approved by, your electricity distributor before installation. Read Small-scale grid connection process for Queensland for further information.
    If you live:
  • in South East Queensland your electricity distributor is Energex
  • outside South East Queensland your electricity distributor is Ergon Energy or Origin Energy if you're connected to the Essential Energy network.
  • Seek approval from your landlord, park manager or body corporate to install a system (if applicable).
  • Check with your local council before buying a large system (more than 5kW) to ensure you're complying with their requirements.
  • Contact your home and contents insurance provider to make sure you have adequate coverage for a solar power system.
     

STEP 5: SIGN THE CONTRACT

  • Consider the guidance on page 15 of the Guide to installing solar PV for households.
     

STEP 6. INSTALLATION OF YOUR SYSTEM AND CONNECTION TO THE GRID

  • Check the licence of any electrical contractor involved in the installation of your system. Work must be conducted by a licensed electrical contractor.
  • Make sure you have received all solar documentation (from the solar power installer) at the time of installation.
  • Make sure your solar power installer has lodged appropriate paperwork with your electricity distributor to organise grid connection.
     

STEP 7. USE AND MAINTAIN YOUR SOLAR POWER SYSTEM

  • Consider the advice on page 21 of the Guide to installing solar PV for households.

If something goes wrong, find out your rights and who to call for help if something goes wrong with your solar power.

If Something Goes Wrong With Your Solar Power

If something goes wrong with your solar power system, you should contact your solar power installer first.

Other organisations who can assist you include:

  • your electricity retailer
  • Energy and Water Ombudsman
  • Office of Fair Trading

All information on this page is taken from the Queensland Government's Renewable Energy Website  as well as the Australian Government Energy Basics for Business.

Clean Energy Council MemberAccredited Installer

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