How to save using Solar
Reductions in equipment costs:
The cost of the major components of a solar system, the panels and inverter, have dropped dramatically over the past decade. The large-scale uptake of the technology has driven competition between suppliers and driven down prices. The payback period of quality solar systems are typically around the 4-year mark with an extremely high Return on Investment (ROI). Get a quote
Install quality – avoid cheap and nasty:
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin
Whilst a cheap solar system may seem attractive at the outset the long-term impacts of poorly installed components and inferior quality panels and inverters will cause headaches and dramatically reduced lifetime savings. These cheaper systems are often sold by salespeople with little or no technical understanding, with incentives to sell oversized systems that are not fit for purpose. The systems are often installed by non-licensed and accredited staff on a sub-contract basis. This means it can be incredibly hard to get someone back to the site when there are issues.
Partners in Energy only supply quality systems for our customers, and we take immense pride in our workmanship and after-sales service.
Energy Efficiency Measures:
After a solar installation, the quest to drive down your energy bills can continue by tailoring your demand to maximise solar consumption.
There are other opportunities to change your household or business energy consumption habits by moving your consumption from nighttime to daytime to better utilise the power produced by your solar system. This could be simple changes such as setting your appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines and dryers to run during the day. Simple wiring changes and the installation of timers can also be implemented to allow your electric hot water service to run during the day when the sun is shining. Partners in Energy can provide advice on the simple changes, or implement the more complex changes, to ensure you get the most from your system. In this respect, we understand that solar is just the beginning of the quest to drive down your energy costs.
If you’re looking to reduce your energy consumption and reduce your energy bill then PiE can complete an audit of your property and provide a plan on how to do this.
The PiE difference:
- After-sales service: We provide remote monitoring services for the systems we install and provide feedback on a quarterly basis to our customers on system performance. We want to see a dramatic reduction in your energy costs.
- No subcontracting of our work: A key tenant of our business is that we keep our work in-house. It’s our experience that this is the best way to ensure the quality of our workmanship is kept to a high level.
- We’re Electricians, not just solar installers: Unlike many solar companies, we complete a site inspection by one of our qualified staff prior to finalising a quote for you. If you require additional electrical work, then we will happily provide a quote to complete that work for you as well.
- PiE is a Level 2 Accredited Service Provider: This means that if you require a new switchboard or an upgraded connection to the network; we can complete this work for you.
Batteries with Solar: Bill savings and cost-effectiveness
Apart from specific applications, early adopters, or energy retailers rolling out subsidised Virtual Power Plant (VPP) trials for their customers; the economics of residential battery storage does not stack up; for now. However, as prices for batteries continue to drop the time is fast approaching where it will make clear economic sense to couple a battery to your solar system. When scoping up solar systems Partners in Energy keep an eye to the future when we will be back to your home or business to install battery storage. In terms of your new solar system, this can affect the equipment selection, location, and system sizing. PiE have these conversations with our customers at the outset. We can set up energy monitoring devices so that your well informed in the future when the time comes to invest in battery storage. It makes sound business sense that we provide comprehensive and honest advice regarding the implementation of battery storage – after all, we want to see our customers again when it is time to install a battery.
Partners in Energy are accredited in the design and installation of battery systems for domestic and commercial applications. We are experienced in the installation of all major battery brands.
If you’re considering battery storage for your existing solar system, or you’re looking to get one installed alongside your solar, we highly recommend looking into a VPP offering with an energy retailer.
Production and Consumption Monitoring, and the importance of solar ‘self-consumption:
The holy grail of a solar system is whereby all your household or business energy requirements are supplied from your solar system rather than the grid. In practice, this is a highly elusive goal – not in the least part because you consume a proportion of your energy at night when the sun isn’t shining.
The more the sun the better for solar panels. However, if your roof is shaded for part of the day this is not the end of the world. Partners in Energy work with both Enphase and SolarEdge systems, both of which are excellent solutions for partially shaded solar installations. The former utilises ‘microinverter’ technology whilst the latter relies on ‘optimisers’. Without getting too technical this essentially means that each panel in your installation performs to its full capability. This contrasts to a traditional ‘string’ system where the output of a string is limited to the worst performing panel. i.e. If one panel has its output reduced by 50% due to shading then all the other panels wired to that string are also reduced. Optimised and Microinverter Systems are slightly more expensive than traditional systems – so it’s important to calculate the impact of shading on generation versus the additional equipment costs. Partners in Energy complete Return on Investment (ROI) calculations and share these with our customers prior to deciding on a fit-for-purpose solar system for your home or business.
There are a few considerations when weighing up warranties associated with installing solar. It’s important to understand both the product and performance warranties associated with the inverter, panels and fixing system that make up your overall system. As part of our customer consultation process PiE ensure you are fully up to speed with the specific warranties associated with your system. In addition, we provide a 5-year warranty on our own installation and workmanship – this is in line with requirements set out by the Clean Energy Council.