There is no doubt that solar energy is fabulous but it is not a magic bullet for all people and all homes. For some, installing solar panels may result in you wasting your money and not getting the desired return. Below are 7 reasons to consider when considering if buying solar is the right thing to do.
The main reason we install solar panels is to reduce our power bills. If your power bills are under $200 to $250 per quarter you have to decide if the longer return on your investment is justifiable. Purchasing a small 2kw system for around $3300 may take you approximately 8 years to pay itself back at $120 per quarter. For those with small power bills, we find that it is the other advantages of solar such energy independence, reduction of carbon emissions and our person carbon footprint and ability to put back into the grid that may be the motivators to purchase, offsetting the longer return on investment.
Solar panel systems can last for 25+ years - that's part of what makes them such a good investment. However, removing them temporarily can be costly and bad timing if you are planning to fix or replace your roof soon. If you are considering roof repairs doe this before you have your solar PV system installed. The good news: solar panels can actually extend the life of your roof by shielding it from inclement weather, so once they're installed, you can be confident that your new roof is well-protected. BOOM
Solar power is generated throughout daylight hours so to take advantage of this energy production it is best to use your appliances and run your household at this time. If however you work a standard workday you may think this makes a system, not a viable option.
To work out what is best for your home it is important to consider the following:
Can you run major appliances on timers? Modern machines such as dishwashers, dryers and washing machines all have timer systems so you can take advantage of the suns power plant.
Air conditioners are one our most power-hungry appliances in the modern home. Surprisingly if you keep your systems on throughout the day when you are not at home on a lower setting, in winter, in particular, your systems are actually cheaper to run than if you turn them on and off as you think you need them.
Think About This.
Approximately 3 out of every 10 days are a weekend, public holiday or a holiday. So even though you may think your system may not be a worthy purchase due to time at home, you maybe surprised at how much time you will use solar whilst you are at home.
Have you considered battery storage to take advantage of your stored power over the evenings when you may have peak usage? With so many major advancements over the past couple of years making the reality of battery storage for some clients are a reality.
Tasmania is graced with so many beautiful heritage homes that it is little wonder our planning schemes have something to say about placement of solar panels. It is important to ask your council about putting solar panels on the street view of the roof. As a general rule if the panels are installed on rooflines that do not face the street you tend to be ok.
If you live under a common roof with your neighbours you will no doubt be aware the rules of body corporate dictate across all external renovations including installing solar panels. Rarely do body corporates reject installing panels in Australia, but it is still important to take your proposal to body corporate or read the fine print of your body corprate.
The housing market is constant in that it goes up and down with times of boom and quiet in between. Before you put solar panels on your roof you need to be sure of where you are on the property market. If you were about to put your house on a market you would have to consider if it was wise to install solar panels. ROI may be possible if buyers see the long-term investment in solar and if your home needs to make a statement of difference to your neighbours. That's when you need to talk to your real estate market and understand who your most likely buyer will be.
Solar Panels need the sun to be effective, so if you have a roof that is fully shaded you may need to find solutions to the shade or think again. Trimming overhanging trees can easily solve full shade from trees. If you have shade that is thrown from a building that is close to you, its worth remembering that shade is often only an issue in the winter months and much of your solar rates of return are through the roof in the summer months. Credit from summer feedback into the grid, giving credit on your account to help cover costs from winter months.