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Have Questions?

 

We have answers! If our FAQ does not answer your question, call us on 0433 306 308 and we’ll be happy to address any concerns that you may have.

How Much Does Solar/Batteries Cost?

A quality 6.6kw solar system can cost you as little as $5,500 including the rebate. ⁃ A quality 9.6kWh battery can cost you as little as $9,000 excluding the rebate.

What Size Solar System Do I Need?

Typically, for an average household that uses between 15-20kwh of power per day, a 6.6kw solar system is ideal. If you use between 20-40kwh of power per day, we recommend installed a 10.5kw – 13.2kw. When considering a solar system size, it is important to factor in the rising cost of electricity, inflation, and the potential future installation of a big power users such as a swimming pool, air conditioning, electric vehicles and battery storage to name a few. It is usually far more cost effective to start off with a larger system upfront then to return to add a second solar system later. 

What Size Battery Do I Need?

For the average household, a battery size of 9.6kwh or 12.8kwh is sufficient. However, the size of the battery you need really depends on a few including the reason you want a battery to begin with. Is it mostly for emergency backup in case of power outage or mostly to cover your night time power usage and prevent you from buying from the grid during the evenings? This will be a case by case assessment which our designers will need to go through with you to find the right solution for you.

How Soon Can You Install Our Solar/Battery System?

Typically we can install your solar / battery system within 2-3 weeks from contract initiation. 

How Long Does It Take To Install A Solar/Battery System?

Depending on the size of the system and the type of house and roof, installations vary between 4 hours and 8 hours. We typically can install your solar/battery system on the one day. 

Do I Need To Upgrade My Switchboard Or Meter?

If your meterboard does not have a hinged door/panel, and your property currently does not yet have an existing solar system, Energex/Ergon will require your meterboard to be upgraded to the latest standards prior to completion of the solar / battery system. 

How Long Does It Take Energex/Ergon To Replace My Meter?

Typically within 15 business days.

Can I Finance The Cost Of Our Solar/Battery System?

Certainly! We have flexible payment options including $0 upfront, low fixed interest and no interest rates from as low as 24 to 84 months! 

What Warranty Does My Solar/Battery System Come With?

All our inverters and battery systems come with a 10 year warranty, panels with a 25-30 year warranty and we throw in a 10 year workmanship warranty to cover every section of your installation.

How Long Will It Take To Pay Off My Solar/Battery System?

Typically, most customers can have their system pay for itself within 3-5 years. The time it will take to “pay off” your solar / battery system will depend on factors including the amount you currently pay on your power bill, your feed in rate, your night-time consumption, and other factors. 

Is There A Solar/Battery Government Rebate To Help Subsidize The Cost Of The Installation?

Yes and yes. In Queensland, as it stands, there is a maximum of $8,000 solar rebate and $4,000 battery rebate available should you qualify. We are proudly one of the few listed and fully registered solar and battery install companies to offer rebate-approved installations. Ask us for more details!

How And When Do I Set Up /Change My Feed-In Rate?

Once your solar installation is completed, we will contact Energex/Ergon on your behalf and request an EWR. They will notify you regarding your meter and whether or not it needs to be upgraded. Preferably only after your meter has been sorted should you contact/change your electricity provider/plan. A decent feed-in rate (as of early 2024) is around 12c/kW uncapped along with an everyday consumption rate of 32c/kW. 

How Frequently Should I Clean My Solar Panels?

We recommend for solar installations attached directly to roofs that have at minimum pitch of at least 22.5° to be cleaned once a year. A light broom/brush with soapy water in most cases is enough to clean the surface of the glass and allow the panels to perform more efficiently. Systems installed on roofs with a pitch under 22.5° can be cleaned twice a year. We also offer an on going cleaning service if that interests you.

Does My Roof Need Restoring Before Solar Can Be Installed?

In some cases, it is preferable to have your roof cleaned, re-pointed (if concrete tile roof) and painted prior to solar being installed. One service we offer is a two-stage install for customers wanting to restore their tile roof prior to the solar installation. We can come in for stage 1 to grind back the under section of the roof tiles to properly install the tile brackets so that we aren’t doing the heavy/dirty work later on your freshly painted, newly restored roof. (We install our feet first, then the roof gets restored, then once the roof is cured we return to complete the solar installation). We even work closely with a local roofer who would be happy to restore your roof for you. Ask us how we can help!

What About Bird-Proofing?

One service we offer is installing black, plastic or steel mesh that surrounds the perimeter of the solar system on your roof to prevent unwanted intruders such as pigeons and possums from making home underneath your solar system. This can be easily done on the same day of solar installation. 

Can I Replace/Add To My Current Solar System?

Provided your roof has adequate space and can handle more panels, we can always add more panels to your system further down the line. If this is an option you are looking at, we recommend talking with one of our team designers so that we can create a system that is suited perfectly for you and your home. 

What Battery Is Compatible With My Existing Solar Inverter?

For almost all existing solar systems, an AC coupled battery is compatible. Tesla and Sonnen are just two of the batteries we recommend. However, if these are too pricey, we recommend going with Sungrow SBR and BYD HVM batteries especially if you already have a Sungrow Hybrid or a Fronius Gen24 inverter. 

Do I Need To Let Insurance Know About My New Solar System?

It is not a bad idea to call your insurance and check to see if solar and or batteries are included in your home and contents insurance. 

What Happens If My Solar System Shows A Fault/Error Code?

In most cases, if a fault arises on your solar/battery system, both the inverter and battery unit will show a red light as well as on your phone monitoring app. If this happens, follow the safe shutdown procedure located on your inverter and or battery and call us right away. We will arrange our technician to come out asap to have a look and rectify the problem. 

What If My Solar System Shows Up Offline On The Phone App Monitoring?

If your solar system appears offline on your phone monitoring app, this is likely due to a disconnection with your home WIFI. Disconnection via accidentally bumping the WIFI dongle underneath the inverter, location change of the internet modem, change of inverter password or introduction of NBN may cause this. 

Where Do The Existing Solar Panels And System Go Once It Is Removed?

We work closely with an NFP organization that take all safe and working existing solar panels overseas to help out farms and the less-fortunate. For the panels that are broken or damaged, they convert them into a concrete alternative called PVcrete. We try to be as sustainable as possible when it comes to renewable energy. 

Are Micro-Inverters Worth It?

Micro-inverters, such as Enphase, are a fantastic option when it comes to solar. They allow individualized monitoring of the performance of each solar panel within your entire array. They also work best on roofs which have limited roof space and excess shading. If your roof is not greatly affected by shade or limited by roof space, then we recommend going with a standard string inverter system as this will save you $2,000+ off the initial cost of your install.

What If I Have Shade By Nearby Trees Or Buildings On My Roof?

Shading is truly one of solar’s arch enemies. Once the sunlight no longer is in good contact with your solar panels your solar productivity/generation can drop off dramatically. Trimming or removing trees is one good way to mitigate this problem. However, in many cases, there is little to nothing that can be done about shading by nearby trees or buildings – especially if they reside outside of your property. This is why it is imperative that your solar system is installed in a location that will maximise your average daily solar production. If shading cannot be helped, we can offer a micro-inverter solution or optimisers to help mitigate this. 

Are Solar Inverters Noisy?

These days, most of the inverters have either a fan or an internal cooling system to keep your inverter cool, especially during the middle of the day when your solar system is maximally generating power. The issue is, many budget inverters as well as some high-end inverters’ attempts to cool down the system result in a noise fan or a high frequency pitch which for some is a deal breaker. Fortunately, we do not install budget systems which greatly reduces the chance of your inverter being noisy. For the high-end inverters which still at times can be slightly noisy, we recommend installing them either inside the garage or outside adjacent to your switchboard so that the noise will not affect your living space in your home. 

Should The Inverter Be Installed Inside The Garage Or Outside?

There are some pro’s and con’s to both inside and outside inverter install locations. The pro’s to installing an inverter inside the garage is it generally is better protected from weather and vermin, and often has a smoother WIFI connection. On the other hand, the pro’s to having the inverter installed outside is it reduces the chance of noticeable noise, usually has better airflow/ventilation, and is perfectly suited to the weather with its IP water protection. Although, often this is a case by case basis which should be assessed prior to installation day. 

Is It Possible To Hide The Cable Runs?

Absolutely. In most cases, the DC and AC cable runs can be run between the panels, inverter and switchboard using various wall and ceiling cavities to avoid surface mounted conduit. However, in some situations where your house type will not allow this, we try our very best to install the externally mounted cable runs within conduit in such a way that it matches the look and feel of your home. Aesthetics are important to us too! 

Do I Need A Smart Meter/Consumption Monitoring?

A smart meter is a device that enables your phone monitoring app to show the production, consumption, export and battery values of your system and property or in other words, what power your solar system is making, what power you are using in the home, what power you are selling back through the grid and what state of charge your battery is at. A smart meter is also useful for limiting how much your system can export to the grid if you should need to. However, for many people a smart meter is not necessary. 

What Happens If My Panels Become Damaged Due To Hail?

Hail damage is an unfortunate reality which affects most of us, especially throughout South-East QLD. If your panels are damaged by hail, that damage will most likely fall under the panel product warranty and therefore be covered for a full replacement, generally within weeks of the event. If this happens to you, contact us right away and we will process all of that for you ASAP. 

Are Batteries Safe To Install In My Home?

The batteries we install are lithium ion phosphate. Lithium iron phosphate batteries are less prone to combustion and thermal runaway, making them safer for home use. Plus, a longer cycle life means the LiFePO4 batteries will outlast lithium-ion for up to five times longer. 

Can I Run My Entire House Off A Battery Or Only Sections Of It?

Of course, during the evening hours while the solar panels are not generating, your battery will have ideally charged up to 100% allowing you to use your entire house loads spread out on that stored power rather than buy power at an expensive rate from the grid. However when it comes to emergency backup circuits (protected circuits/EPS) some inverter-battery setups will not allow this. Not only do many inverter-battery combinations not handle that high load all at once but it will drain the state of charge of your battery faster than you want in an emergency situation. So for this reason we recommend only backing up a kitchen power circuit and a central lighting circuit.   

Do I Need A Hot Water Timer/CATCH Power?

If you have solar installed and you also have an electric hot water storage unit, it is recommended that you install a hot water timer or a CATCH power relay. The reason for this is now that you have solar, as you want to minimize the amount of power you buy from the grid, you will want to remove your off-peak meter and re-wire your hot water circuit to come off your normal T11 utility power and light meter so that your hot water system can now also benefit from your solar!

Can't find an answer to your question? Contact Us!

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0433 306 308

info@ethoselectrical.com.au

Cornubia, Brisbane QLD 4130

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