Globally, Australia has the highest uptake of solar panels for homes, which is not surprising given our climate and the number of hours of sunshine we experience in the country (Melbourne has an average of 2,200 hours every year). If you want to join the 2.77 million small-scale power systems that have been installed across the country, this begs the question – how to choose the best residential solar system for your home.

Before you buy a solar system for home use, you need to do your research. What size of solar system do I need, how much money can I save and what is involved in the buying, installation and use of solar panels?



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A typical home is estimated to use about 20kWh of energy a day and therefore a 5kW solar system would meet the daytime power needs of that home. Solar panels produce much more power when they are north-facing and get direct sunlight – i.e. they are not shaded by other larger buildings or trees – and your typical Geelong solar company will calculate the ‘peak sun hours’ when they visit your home to assess it.

The more peak sun hours, the more electricity will be produced.

In Australia, it takes between two to seven years for that solar panel system to pay for itself. When you buy a solar power system in the Geelong area, you can expect payback within about five years.

For households that use less energy during the day – i.e. people who are out during weekdays – the export of solar power to the grid is typically 75 percent, whereas if residents are at home during the day, this is more likely to be 50%.

What’s involved when you buy a solar system for your home?

The normal process is for people to look at the companies that design and install solar systems (and always use ones that are Clean Energy Council-accredited) and arrange for the company to visit them, so that the company can advise on the system that will suit and will provide a no-obligation quote.

Solar systems usually consist of solar panels, an inverter and a metering system. A grid-connect solar photovoltaic (PV) system is put in place that acts as a mini power station on your roof. This feeds power to your home, and surplus power goes back to the National Electricity Grid – a network of electric cables and transformers that links power generating stations to your home.

What is a good checklist for when you buy solar panels for the home?

  • Assess what energy you currently use and the system capacity you need (and can afford).
  • Find out what local council approval is needed for solar installation in Melbourne and the wider Geelong area. As the switch to green energy has become much more common with householders keen to get on board, increasingly local councils have employed staff to help people make the best decisions on that solar panel systems they need.
  • An essential part of the system is the inverter. This converts DC power from the panels to AC power for your home. Make sure the company you employ uses only the highest quality solar inverters.
  • If you’re considering adding a solar power storage battery, this needs to be easy to install, affordable, reliable and, above all, safe. At Vortex Electrical, we use Enphase AC batteries as an affordable and effective solar power storage option, which can be installed as a single unit or multiple units to increase storage and capacity.
  • Ensure your installer is CEC-accredited.


Ready to buy a solar system for your home?

Solar energy is a truly renewable energy source, so it’s no wonder so many of us want to use it rather than oil and gas. It doesn’t produce greenhouse gases, it doesn’t pollute water systems and its production doesn’t create any noise. Solar energy also improves the security of the national grid because it spreads out the energy production centres thus making the grid less vulnerable to blackouts and it’s good for the local community because its installation contributes to job creation.

We provide solar installation to The Greater Geelong Areas and we’re always happy to provide advice and recommendations to anyone looking to buy a solar system for the home. Why not book us in to visit you for a discussion about your options and a no-obligation quote? And to sweeten the deal (literally!) we’ll even throw in a free coffee and a muffin.

You can chat to us now via Messenger here.

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