All Topics / Help Needed! / Solar energy/Solar hot water – what’s the best options???

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  • Profile photo of propertymistropropertymistro
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 64

    Has anyone out there had solar panels placed on their properties?  Or anyone know alot about this topic?  Please let me know what is the best company to go with for solar electricity and solar hot water systems?  Should I get both solar panels and solar hot water system installed or is that not required?  Also, other than the standard governement rebate, are there any other tricks, government loans or other ways to make the process cheaper???  Thanks in advance to all who reply.  I'm thinking of going with Origin Energy as they are a big name company so I think the warranty has a good chance of holding up should something go wrong ten years down the track…

    Profile photo of andykirbyandykirby
    Join Date: 2008
    Post Count: 48

    Hi Propertymistro,

    Choosing between the two will depend on some specific aspects of your property, such as the orientation of the building (which side faces north, and how much space there is on the roof) and whether anything will block direct sunlight at any time of the year to that aspect of the roof. If you get quotes from companies for possible installation, they have tools called SunEyes that can give you an accurate idea of how much solar radiation your property is exposed to. Make sure they use this tool.

    On a general note, general thinking is that solar hot water (or a heat pump in the Northern part of the country) will give you better 'bang for your buck' than solar panels. Also, if the property currently has electric storage heating (one of the bad things of the moment) you have a better chance of getting a rebate to help with the cost. You can check here to see what rebates are available in your state

    As far as loans go, the governments Green Loans is winding up and doesn't actually offer interest free loans anymore. However, a few credit unions offer low-interest loans and Bendigo Bank offers what they call Generation Green loans for certain home and motor improvements at lower than normal personal rates.

    If you do get something installed, Origin would not be a bad choice. I know a few people working for them and they're a lot better than some of the cowboys out there. They have a reputation to consider!

    Profile photo of sonyasalsonyasal
    Join Date: 2008
    Post Count: 421

    I have just had solar panels installed, i only have six panels on my roof, but they are producing more electricity than i use. i also recently replaced an electric hot water system with a natural gas system, i am currently waiting for my rebate from the nsw government for the installation of the gas hot water system, from memory about $500.

    I went with a local man who has started his own solar installation company as i wanted to support a local business. I initially had a quote done and was thinking about getting a system but was not in a financial position to do so at the time. He contacted me when the state government announced the reduction in the kw payments from 60c to 20c and told me that if i signed a contract before midnight and paid a deposit then i would lock in the 60c per kw payments. fortunately for me, i was by that time in a financial position to get the system.

    He telephoned on a Wednesday to ask if Saturday morning at 7.30 would suit to have it installed, he was here at 7.34, finished and all connected up by 9.30. This is the sort of professionalism and communication that i appreciate in a tradesman, as opposed to tradesmen who do not turn up when booked and expect you to wait around all day for them.

    I am very pleased with my solar panels, fortunatley my roofline faces north and has no trees or other buildings that throw any shadows onto the panels, so i have maximum exposure to the sun.

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