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Wednesday, 23 November 2022

The sun is shining and electricity prices are soaring. There’s never been a better time to consider getting solar on your roof.

Having reservations? Here's some of our top solar myths busted.

Five solar myths busted!

1. Having solar panels makes electricity cheaper

Solar panels don’t make your electricity rates cheaper, but they allow you to buy less electricity from your retailer, drastically reducing your bills – especially helpful with increasing electricity prices.

2. If I don't use my solar power during the day, it's wasted (so why should I get solar?)

Untrue! You will get paid for the surplus electricity that you send to the grid, through something called a Feed-in Tariff (FiT).

It’s true that the FiT has reduced over the years, however, you can shop around for the best energy and FiT deal at energymadeeasy.gov.au

The biggest savings come from using your own solar power – so if you can set your appliances to run during the day, you might not be exporting much to the grid anyway.

Alternatively, a solar battery could be suitable if you don’t use your solar power during the day. Although, adding a solar battery will mean a slower payback on your system.

3. The more panels I have, the bigger the savings

Not necessarily. The system should be sized according to your usage and will be limited by your available roof space. If you are spending significantly more on a system that is bigger than you require, your payback period will be longer as you will be self-consuming less of the solar you’re producing and exporting more of it. 

4. Solar panels don't work on cloudy days

False! You do generate electricity on a cloudy day – visible light still penetrates the clouds and hits your panels – it will just be less. During these cloudy days, a solar system will still produce around 25% - 45% of the energy it would produce under ideal conditions. According to the Bureau of Meterology, Sydney annually gets on average about 109 clear sunny days and 127 partially cloudy days, so there’s a lot of sunshine available to repay your investment.   

5. A cheaper system will pay for itself faster

In the solar market, it pays to make sure you are getting a quality system. Some products and installers may seem cheaper but if they are not the right quality it may lead to significantly more costs within the anticipated lifetime of that system. Obtain at least three quotes and evaluate the offers and the installers on the following criteria:

  • Are they a Clean Energy Council (CEC) approved solar retailer?
  • Have they been in business for at least 5 years? (Indicating some financial stability)
  • How long is the installer’s installation warranty? (At least 5 years is recommended)
  • Have they provided a professional quote itemising all of the components of the system and their associated warranties?
  • How are the online reviews of the installer?

Check out our Simplifying Solar webpages for more helpful information. Council staff can also provide advice through our Solar Conversations service.

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