Frequently Asked Questions
Here at Essential Solar we understand there is a lot of conflicting information in the market that can make a decision to go solar somewhat confusing. Our team are dedicated to providing a consultative approach with our customers so all of your concerns are addressed.

Below are the answers to what we have found to be the most frequently asked questions when it comes to residential solar PV.

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Yes, for grid connected solar PV systems bi-directional electricity meters are mandatory.  Bi-directional meters are able to be configured to allow your solar PV to correctly export to the grid but must be programmed to do so.  The Smart Meters installed in Victoria are capable of being re-programmed to operate as a bi-directional meter.  If you do not yet have a bi-directional meter you will need to have one fitted that is programmed to solar PV.   In Victoria the installation or reprogramming of bi-directional meters for solar PV is done by your distributor.  This is an unavoidable charge.  To determine the cost of this service in Victoria please call your electricity retailer.  In NSW the installation of the bi-directional meter in completed by a Level 2 electrician.  For NSW only, Essential Solar includes this in the pricing of our systems and organises all paperwork necessary to make this happen.

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A Solar Panel transforms sunlight energy into electricity without any harmful pollution.
Solar PV panels are also known as a photovoltaic or PV modules. (photo = light, voltaic = electricity)

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Often called a “rebate” and available since 2011, this government incentive falls under the small-scale renewable energy scheme in the form of STCs (small scale technology certificates).STCs are a tradeable commodity attached to eligible installations of renewable energy systems (including solar panels, solar water heaters and heat pumps). Under the Federal Government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), when you install an eligible system, you may claim a set number of these STCs. This number is based on the amount of electricity in megawatt hours (MWh) generated by your small-scale solar panel, wind or hydro system over the course of its lifetime of up to 13 years; where one STC equals one megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity generated or displaced.

The Purchaser has the right to create and sell the STCs themselves. However, as described above by the Clean Energy Regulator, this process is complex and time-consuming. As a service to our customers, Essential Solar offer to manage this task for the customer according to the following schedule:
a. Once the system is complete (according to the rules of the Clean Energy Regulator) and able to produce “green” power, the Purchaser will transfer the rights to create the STCs to Essential Solar.
b. Essential Solar will complete all the statutory paperwork, inspections, testing and documentation necessary to create the STCs.
c. In exchange for the deeming of the STCs to Essential Solar we shall apply a discounted price to the Purchaser with the value of the discount being equal to a reasonable expected return for the sale and administration of the STCs. The listed price given to a residential customer is always inclusive of GST and net of the discount for the STCs.

Around Australia there are a variety of FiT programs that reward you for excess energy that you export to the grid.How much benefit you receive from these FiT’s is dependent on your individual situation; your energy retailer; your energy demand and the date your system was installed.The customer service team at Essential Solar can provide some advice to help you receive the best deal. Speak to one of our customer service team members today and find out how we can assist you with this and an obligation free quote.

What is a Feed-in-Tarriff

Solar panels require little maintenance. This is general cleaning or mechanical or electrical requirements. Essential Solar can assist with a solar maintenance to make sure your system is running to its full efficiency and is up to date with your warranty requirements

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Simular to many goods and services, you often get what you pay for. Some solar retailers offer low priced systems, however this does not necessarily translate to mean better value, cheaper systems often experience a greater upfront degradation, less yield and sometimes complete failures which means less power and / or less or no money off your electricity bill. Many cheaper systems will also have inferior warranties, both on equipment and installation / workmanship.

Is the lowest Price system the best value

An inverter transforms the DC power from the Solar panel to AC power, this is the same type of power as your mains power. It also exports any excess power back into the electricity grid. An inverter’s quality is partly measured by how efficiently it converts the DC electricity to AC electricity.

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No. The total output in Watts of your panels is what determines how much power is produced.

Fronius Inverter

Due to safety reasons, when a blackout occurs your solar PV system will automatically stop producing electricity. This is due to a mandatory safety requirement in place to protect technicians working in your immediate area. Once the grid is back up, your system’s ability to generate will resume. However we do recommend you check your system has turned back on.

What happens to a system during a blackout

Yes, Essential Solar uses only Clean Energy Council Accredited installation engineers to carry out your installation.

Once installed and commissioned, you own the system, having control of a long-term free source of electricity that is exempt from price increases. You are not only saving money but actively saving the environment at the same time.
A Solar PV system makes no noise, has no moving parts, requires minimal maintenance, has a long lifespan and generates no CO2 emissions

What are the key benefits of a solar pv system

Shading is critical. Minor shading can result in significant loss of energy. Since PV modules are linked together in series, the module with the lowest amount of irradiation falling upon it determines the operating voltage of the string in which it is connected. Our CEC accredited designers will be able to advise the best position for your panels and provide you with your our put estimate prior to install.

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There is no simple answer to this question. It will depend on many different factors such as how much electricity you need to generate via PV, however at Essential Solar our Technical Sale Advisors can customise a system to each individual and let you know what system will provide you with the best financial return.

What size PV system do I need

Yes, some suppliers offer up to 8c per kWh more for every unit exported back into the electricity grid.

Render Concept of Clean energy from Solar Power

The placement of panels will vary for each customer, this is dependent on which way your roof is facing, and if there is any shading or any other obstructions on your roof. You should never installs panels facing the south roof. At Essential Solar we only use CEC accredited designer who will let you know the best placement for you panels to give you the most financial return at your property

After completion of your install we first book an independent electrical inspector to confirm compliance of your system. A copy of the Electrical Certificate of safety is then sent to us.

We email a copy of your electrical certificate of safety, Electrical work requested (completed by your installer or the day of install) and a Generator connection form to your retailer. You are copied on this email.

Then you will need to contact your retailer to arrange a contract tariff and they will provide you with a Service Order Number. This number is issued when they have informed your distributor of the required meter works.

This process can take between 3-6weeks.

How long will it take to be connected to the grid

Tier one solar panels are the highest tier that is available on the market. Only the top 2% of solar manufactures are Tier one.

Why Us

Yes, the metering process will occur when your distributor upgrades you to a smart meter or reconfigures your existing smart meter to have your solar connected to the grid. These charges are charged by the distributor and will appear on your electricity bill as a once off fee. The cost of these charges are dependent on your distributor and the works that needs to be done to your property. They can range from $30 – $500. To find out how much your metering charge will be please contact your distributor directly.

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In most states you are able to switch electricity companies or contracts and continue to receive the FiT rate once your eligibility has been established. Before switching, check for any exit fees under your existing contract and what the new contract or retailer can offer

If you do have any other questions please feel free to email us via our contact us page or call our customer service team on 1300 782 051

  • CEC approved Solar retailer
  • Solar Quotes Platinum Rated Supplier
  • ATA Member
  • Australian Solar Council Member
  • Fronius Service Partner
Contact us today for a free customised report with:
  • A tailored preliminary design personalised to your business needs.
  • Analysis of how much a solar PV system could be saving you.
  • Information on your government rebates and incentives.
  • Advice on your energy consumption profile.
  • Options for installing solar with low capital contribution.