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The Little Engine

Solar Power Schemes

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The Little Engine

In the last year or so I have had several companies ringing about solar schemes and have ignored them.  I had another one today and it got me thinking...
- Are they legit?
- What is the catch?
- Do you end up ahead financially?
- What happens if you move before the 4-5 years etc?

I guess what I want to know if anyone has gone ahead with one of the schemes and if it has worked.  I will most likely NOT do anything but if the consensus is I'm being ridiculous then I may look in to it more (simply because my bills are so high...)

 

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Karlee99

I have no idea on current schemes and if they are legit, but we got solar panels years ago (maybe 10ish) and they have paid for themselves. We paid up front and while they don't wipe our bill completely, it comes close most of the time

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Green Sage

What sort of schemes?

any government rebates would be available to you no matter which solar company you choose. And the details should be on a government website somewhere. I’d read up on that, do your own sums, and then choose your own provider. don’t trust online calculators or what they tell you Over the phone. Solar systems often pump out less power in reality than the theoretical max amount. And your personal power usage needs to be taken into account too. So your return on investment can be a lot longer than they will tell you.

I didn’t think there were many solar system rebates left. But I’m in Victoria. Maybe where you are they’re still offering them. 

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Kiwi Bicycle

Depending on what tariff you feeding back into the grid is, will factor how quick your return on investment is. We somehow got a really great tariff and we paid off our system in 3 years, but yes, most return on investment would be more like 4 or 5 years. 

If you do choose to sell before your system is paid off, remeber your house asking price can be higher, as it's an added bonus for the new owner and can be a point of difference compared to a similar house in your suburb.

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Lesley225

Some places do offer loans to buy the system.  That may be what they're selling

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Prancer is coming

If you are interested in solar, ring around some companies, ask some questions, get some quotes and do some research.  We have solar and it is great.  Lower bills and I feel i am doing my bit for the environment.  But I still get power bills and not as much savings in winter.

 

Cheap is not always the best.  Don’t buy on them approaching you, buy because you have done your research and the company you use is the one best for your circumstances.

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Lesley225

I so want to get a system when i have the money in a year  or two once i'm retired and can take advantage of all of the sun during the day.  Though now i'm at home all the time and not retired.  

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SeaPrincess

We installed a bigger system last year when the old inverter stopped working. In this house and our previous house, the owners installed small systems that were eligible for the highest feed-in tariffs, but generated very little extra power. Now we generate more power, but get paid less for it, so we try to do power-hungry jobs in the daytime. We have panels facing north and west, so we get a bit of a boost in  the afternoon when everyone comes home from school.

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Sugarplum Poobah

It's worth joining the Alternative Technology Association (now trading as Renew) for a wealth of  independent information if you're seriously interested in solar. It's a bit like Choice for alternative energy https://renew.org.au/

I also think it's worth taking into account the benefit to the planet and how that will help your kids in the long term, not just the dollar value and savings at this point. Because that's not something you'll see in the calculators.

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Prancer is coming
6 hours ago, Lesley225 said:

I so want to get a system when i have the money in a year  or two once i'm retired and can take advantage of all of the sun during the day.  Though now i'm at home all the time and not retired.  

Timers are your friend as well!  On the days I work, I turn the dehumidifier on in the bathroom on a 2 hour timer.  I then set the dishwasher to come on as soon as the dehumidifier stops.  And then when that is done, the dryer comes on.  The washing machine does not have a timer and does not work with my schedule, but it uses the least power out of those appliances so it the better one to run without solar.

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Chocolate Addict

Don't talk to the cold callers. Ask around friends who have solar, google stuff etc..

The current buy back rate is pretty crappy so not saving heaps but every bit helps.

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WaitForMe
16 hours ago, Green Sage said:

Looks like Victoria does still have a rebate. Up to $1850 off the price. I can’t see how big a system you need to get that much money off though. 

https://www.solar.vic.gov.au/solar-panel-rebate

We got this but it was a bit more than that at the time, they'll pay up to half the cost to the max value. They also have an interest free no fee loan for the same amount. And then theres the solar credits too. Loan repayment is about $40/m. I think we were just shy of $2k out of pocket upfront cost.

Despite signing up back in December last year, we finally got it installed and hooked up about March/April. Right around the time we all permanently ended up at home so the power bill went through the roof. I tried to work out how much it was saving us once (feed in credit plus what we used) and was underwhelmed but it was the middle of winter.

ETA: This site is great for quotes and reviews, well respected on Whirlpool when I looked into it:

https://www.solarquotes.com.au

 

Edited by WaitForMe
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Romeo Void
8 hours ago, Prancer is coming said:

Timers are your friend as well!  On the days I work, I turn the dehumidifier on in the bathroom on a 2 hour timer.  I then set the dishwasher to come on as soon as the dehumidifier stops.  And then when that is done, the dryer comes on.  The washing machine does not have a timer and does not work with my schedule, but it uses the least power out of those appliances so it the better one to run without solar.

Electric hot water systems can be put on timers and run during the day, it's what we plan on doing with ours when we get solar.  We initially planned on getting a rooftop solar water heater but decided a regular tank on the ground but heated by solar would be just as effective but cheaper to install and maintain as you don't have to run plumbing into the roof.

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Lesley225

Timers are good.  When i was on a time of day tariff i did everything after 10 or have the washing finished just before i woke up to hang out.  

Now i'm in an old home without a smart meter so i can use electricity at any time.

I believe i will need a smart meter before getting solar.

 

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seayork2002

I am not sure how true this is (we live in a unit and no one I know has solar panels) but I heard you should pay extra for a good quality inverter panels are not as important

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SeaPrincess
5 hours ago, seayork2002 said:

I am not sure how true this is (we live in a unit and no one I know has solar panels) but I heard you should pay extra for a good quality inverter panels are not as important

Our new panels have a 25-year warranty, so I’d say it’s worth looking carefully at what you’re getting for your money. The old panels only had 5 years.

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MillyMoo99

Yes most of the cold callers/ letters are over priced scams. Including the battery schemes  (in WA anyway) You pay SO much extra over the long term. I would never use a company who used those tactics or door knockers.

But solar through a reputable company is worth it long term. You just have to try use the power mainly during the day. So on hot days even if your not home, run A/C on low and turn it off at 5. Same for heating during day. Pool pumps, anything that has heating element try use during day. 
 

I think the eastern states have good rebates for batteries, I wish wa would get on board with that, they have just dropped our rebate again.

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