Bright savings for solar

Bright savings for solar

Solar panels are a costly investment, but a local installer has revealed the tips and tricks to get the most bang for your buck.

Luke Stewart from LMS Electrical said solar installations could cost as much as $5000-$6500.

“It is around $1000 per kilowatt,” he said.

“So anywhere between 5.5 right up to 20 kilowatts is the domestic norm.”

He said the payback period was typically between three and four years.

“… if everything’s going well,” he said.

“If you get batteries, the payback period for batteries is much longer.”

While batteries aren’t necessary if the solar energy is being used correctly, Mr Stewart said, they could come in handy for those who aren’t home much during the day but want solar at night.

“… especially as the price of electricity keeps soaring,” he said.

Keeping your solar panels clean was the first tip Mr Stewart has for homeowners.

“Panels get really dirty and then they don’t perform too well,” he said.

“All you need to clean them is a soft broom from Bunnings and a bit of warm water, and then brush them gently.

“They don’t need any suds or soap because panels have a thin film on them for protection, and you don’t want to wash that away.”

Mr Stewart’s next tip was to keep shading trees away from panels.

“Another tip is to make sure you’ve got a decent system and you’re using it during the day.

“A lot of people get solar, and they think it’s going to change their life and they’re expecting a small bill, but they aren’t home during the day and so not using it.”

He said with a lot of families coming home late, it was important to time load during the day.

“Like your hot water, or pool or sauna – everything you can turn on during the solar hours will save you money.”

Mr Stewart said you should ensure the inverter was not in direct sunlight.

“A lot of people will put the inverter right next to the switchboard because it’s the easiest thing to do,” he said.

“But you want it to be in the shade or inside the garage.

“You do want to make sure your panels are on the best orientation of the house, which is usually north – east and west are good as well.

“Some people put them on the south side, but it’s not great when that happens.”

He said it was also important to employ an electrical company, “not a sales company”.

“You want to make sure that they have their own licenses and that not everything is subcontracted,” he said.

“The person who rocks up to do your installs should be part of actual business that is selling you the system.

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