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Rooftop solar is now the time to buy

Published Date
24/04/2019
News Topic
Workshops, Seminars & Classes, Sustainability & Environment

Did you know Australia has more rooftop solar per capita than any other country in the world? One in four Australian households have installed rooftop solar panels – and over 2,600 are here in Randwick. So what is causing this solar revolution, and more importantly, how can you join in?

The huge increase in solar we have seen in Randwick (and all across Australia) has been caused by a combination of a few things all happening simultaneously. Energy prices have increased; the price of solar has fallen; and people are more eager than ever to take action on climate change. All of these have made ‘perfect storm’ for installing rooftop solar.

To help you decide if solar is right for your home, we have put together the top three most asked solar questions we receive from residents of Randwick City.

  1. What is the payback time for rooftop solar?

    Due to the rise in power prices and decreased cost of solar technologies, the average payback time for rooftop solar in Sydney is now less than 5 years. You can further reduce your payback time by setting your washing machines, dishwashers and other electrical appliances to run during the day when the sun is shining. By aligning your electricity use with the times when your solar panels are generating power, you decrease the amount of electricity you have to purchase from the grid, hence saving you more money than if you sold the energy back to the grid (for about a third of the cost).

  2. Do I need Council approval to install solar?

    You may need a planning permit if you live in a heritage overlay area, particularly if the solar panels are visible from the street. If you do not live in a heritage overlay area, you do not need Council approval. If you are unsure if you live in a heritage area, you can Randwick Council’s Heritage Planner on 9093 6978.

  3. Do solar panels have to face north?Facing due north is the ideal orientation, as it gets the majority of daytime sun throughout the year. However panels facing more east or west can still provide a high percentage of available power (perhaps 10–15% reduction).  East facing panels get morning sun and west facing panels get the afternoon sun (particularly in the seasons with longer days), so in some cases matching the position of the panels to generate when you're home means an East/West orientation is more desirable.

Want to find out more? See our solar panels website page for a full list of FAQs, or come along to our free solar and batteries information session at 6:30pm on 21 May, 2019 at Lionel Bowen Library, Maroubra.

Council has joined the Our Energy Future initiative to make going solar easier than ever. As part of the initiative you can access council-backed solar suppliers, quality systems at fair prices, and free advice and support from energy experts. To get an obligation-free quote visit www.ourenergyfuture.org.au or call 1300 339 915.

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