If you're curious about getting solar, but not sure what is involved, here's a step-by-step run through of the process.
Stage 1 - Quote and Inspection
1. Quote required – the first step to getting you on your way to harnessing the energy from the sun is to arrange a personalised quote. This can be done either over the phone or an on-site appointment can be organised. To provide a detailed quote suited to your needs we need to know your energy consumption and approximate power bills, building details - such as whether your roof is metal or tiled, whether you run high energy appliances (think air conditioners and pool pumps), and how much you are looking to spend on your solar power system.
2. Quote provided – once this information has been collated, a quote will be generated. It will include key information regarding the recommended solar panels and inverter, data sheets for these products, a Solar Proposal - this will outline your expected Return on Investment and how much you can expect to save on your power bills – and an Array layout of the optimal layout and location of the panels on your roof space.
3. Quote acceptance – once you have accepted your quote, the installation will be booked in. Depending on the time of the year, the lead times can fluctuate as demand is higher during the summer months when homeowners start to use more energy. If not already done, a site inspection may be necessary to confirm layout and orientation of the panels, ideal location of the inverter, inspection of the meter panel and switchboards, and what sort of site access there is.
Stage 2 - Pre-Installation Prior to your solar installation, there are a few things we will do.
4. Complete Ergon Connect Application – this notifies Ergon you are having solar power installed and begins the process for you to begin receiving Solar credits for unused energy you may generate that is fed back to the grid. You will receive an automated email from Ergon notifying of this application. If the application is required to be evaluated and a negotiated contract is offered, there may be fees applicable by you. For further information on the fees, please call Ergon on 13 10 46.
5. Organise materials required for the install – this is done when you approve your quote with the aim to have all materials in stock for your scheduled installation date. In the event of a delay of materials, your install may be pushed later to accommodate but you will be contacted.
6. Confirm installation booking and access – we require access to your home on the day of your installation. This means you may need to restrain any pets you have in your yard. You will be contacted the week prior to your installation to confirm this and any other details necessary.
Stage 3 - Installation Day
On the day of your installation, you can expect the following to happen.
7. The solar installation team will arrive on site early in the morning – this time will have already been advised. Most installations only take one day, however unexpected complications may arise and cause the install to take longer. In this case, you will be contacted with the next available date to complete the install.
8. Panels – your panels will be installed on your roof as per the array layout provided in your quote. This layout may be altered on the day if the roof space does not allow for it, but the panels will be placed in the best position available; taking into account any existing roof structures and shading.
9. Inverter – your inverter will be installed in a position where is it protected from the weather and close to your meter panel.
10. Wifi connection – most inverters have a monitoring system where you can access data online to see how your system is producing. If you have a stable Wifi connection - and it’s in range of your inverter - the install team will connect the two to give you access. You will then receive an email with further log in details.
11. Power outage – during your install, the power will be turned off for a period of time during the day. This is usually while doing roof/cable works to ensure the safety of those involved and also to connect the system to the grid.
Stage 4 - Post Installation
12. Once your install is complete you will be issued with the following: an itemised invoice to pay for the works, an Owner’s Manual which has information on your system, warranty and emergency shut down procedure andlog in details for the appropriate inverter monitoring program (these come directly from the inverter manufacturer so keep an eye out for that in your emails)
13. STC Rebate Claim – if installing a full system, you will have been provided a point of sale discount on your system when quoted. This is the current government rebate. As we have provided it to you, we will then claim it back through an STC assignment. You will receive a text and/or email requesting you sign the document to confirm the installation.
14. Ergon Electrical Work Request – we will submit another Ergon application to advise we have completed the works. Ergon will then be in contact with you to arrange a time for them to attend to switch your meters over to digital meters. Once they have attended for this appointment, you will start to accrue solar credits on your power bill from unused solar power being sent back to the grid. Please note that if you have received a negotiated offer from Ergon there may be limits around how much power you can export. If you are on a SWER line, you will not be approved for any export limit.
15. Service Reminders – we recommend servicing your solar power system every 2 years. You will receive reminders when your service is due.