Australia has excellent renewable energy potential. The combination of dry climate and latitude gives it high benefits and potential for solar energy production. The annual solar radiation falling on Australia is approximately 58 million petajoules (PJ), approximately 10 000 times Australia’s annual
Australia is the sunniest country in the world and one of the windiest.
If a solar panel system can fully replace the grid power & meet your everyday energy needs depends on your daily consumption.
If your home is already connected to the grid, switching over to solar completely and expecting “zero” energy bill is not possible as the utility & distribution company levies some charges known as supply charge or distribution charge(this is a fixed charge for supplying energy, and is not based on how much energy you use).
Offsetting a major part of your energy costs with a solar system might be the easiest way to save money on electricity.
Before beginning the process to power your home with solar energy, homeowners should evaluate their electricity usage and explore possible energy efficiency upgrades.
Households should be aware of their potential consumption of energy and consider low-cost and easy-to-implement efficiency upgrades prior to switching over to solar.
Energy Efficiency Upgrades Before Going Solar
Home energy audits
Home energy audits will help you understand where your home is losing energy and what measures you need to take to increase the energy-efficiency of your house.
Home appliances energy efficiency
Investigate your appliances for energy star ratings and consider investing in higher energy-efficient appliances. The more stars on the Energy Rating Label, the more energy-efficient the appliance is.
Swap old inefficient lights with LED Lighting
Swap your halogens, incandescents, and fluorescents with energy-efficient LED lights. Take advantage of subsidized or free government halogen lights replacement programs.
The amount of solar energy you need would be greatly dependent upon your heating and cooling needs. Weathering your home and heating and cooling would reduce the amount of power you need to generate with solar energy. Weathering the home means detecting air leaks and sealing them to keep the heat inside during colder months. Weatherizing generally goes hand in hand with insulation.
Before Going Solar A Homeowner Should:
- Assess Solar Potential: The amount of energy produced by the solar energy system at a given location depends on how much of the sunshine reaches it and on the size of the solar system itself. Several mapping services are available to help you determine your home’s solar energy potential.
- Estimate Solar Electricity Needs: Calculating your daily electricity usage is a first step towards achieving energy efficiency and the deployment of a solar system. It involves carrying out a load study – calculating the daily electrical energy consumption in kWh(Kilo-watt-hour). Carrying out a load analysis is very necessary because your PV system should not be either oversized or undersized. Check the energy bills to assess the annual power demands. Your use will be displayed in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
- Obtain quotes from Solar Installers: When researching installers, be sure to find qualified and insured professionals with the proper certification. Solar installers are accredited by the Clean Energy Council in Australia.
- Check eligibility for the government rebates and tax incentives: State governments across the globe are offering tax incentives and rebates on renewable power system installation.The Victoria state government is offering 1888$ rebate for rooftop panels from January 2020 for homeowners and renters. The solar retailer will claim the rebate on owner/renter’s behalf & the rebate amount will be deducted from the cost of the solar system and installation charges. Any outstanding charges will be paid by the owner-occupier. .
How Many Solar Panels Do You Need?
To calculate how many solar panels you need, you need to know the following: how much energy your household uses; your roof’s usable surface area; the climate and peak sunlight in your area; the wattage and relative efficiency of the photovoltaic (PV) panels you’re considering; whether net metering is available. Net metering is a utility billing mechanism available in most states that offers a credit to residential and business customers who are making excess electricity with their solar panel systems and sending it back to the grid.
- Determine how much solar power will you need? To determine your home’s average energy requirements look at past utility bills. You can calculate how many solar panels you need by multiplying your household’s hourly energy requirement by the peak sunlight hours for your area and dividing that by a panel’s wattage
- How many hours of sunlight can you expect in your area? The peak sunlight hours for your particular location will have a direct impact on the energy you can expect your home solar system to produce.
- Solar panel output efficiency? Here’s where solar panel quality makes a difference. Not all solar panels are alike. Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels (most commonly used in residential installations) come in wattages ranging from about 150 watts to 370 watts per panel, depending on the panel size and efficiency (how well a panel is able to convert sunlight into energy), and on the cell technology.
- What is the solar panel size? If you have a small or unusually shaped roof, solar panel size and numbers are important considerations. With a large usable roof area, perhaps you can sacrifice some efficiency and buy larger panels (at a lower cost per panel) to get to your target energy output. But if your usable roof area is limited, or if it’s partially shaded, being able to use fewer smaller high-efficiency panels may be the best way to make the most possible power over the long term, ultimately saving you more money.