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We’re often asked how solar panels work, what they offer in terms of energy savings, and what green loan and Government financial incentives options are available. Below you’ll find a list of our most commonly asked questions.

How does solar work?

Sunlight contains UV rays which hit a solar panel and make electricity. This electricity is DC power like the electricity in your car battery. This DC power supplies an inverter which turns it into AC power, which is what your house uses.

What is 100% self consumption?

This is the dream of every person with solar. 100% self consumption is the ability to provide all of your energy needs through solar and not need the grid at all. From optimising your system, helping load shift, create new habits and manage excess with battery storage, Proven Energy can help you achieve this.

How long does solar panel installation take?

Residential solar panel installation can usually be completed within a day. The power is usually not turned off for more than two hours, although switchboard upgrades may require power be turned off for up to half a day.

Commercial solar panel installation can vary based on the number of panels, the height of the building and other factors. Generally, commercial installation can take from 3 days up to a week.

Can I fit batteries to my system?

Yes, additional batteries can be fitted to the system at a later date if required. This is true for all systems as these days there are batteries that work with any system.

How does solar monitoring work?

Your inverter sends data to a branded platform which allows you to track information about your electricity usage, your solar output and other data. This information is available online, or by using the app that comes with your system, such as Fronius Solarweb. Another option is Solar Analytics, which is an independent monitoring platform that integrates with all solar systems. 

Various brands provide different personalised monitoring systems either in the form of an app or website. Some models of metering devices even measure, record and display how much power you are using at any time of day.

How many solar panels do I need?

For residential properties, we generally recommend 1kw of solar panels per $100 on your power bill. 

Solar for business is incredibly beneficial financially, as most businesses only operate during daylight hours when the system will be most efficient. This means it is so much easier to get closer to 100% self consumption.

Can I increase the size of my system at a later date?

Yes, your system size can be increased at a later date. If you plan to add more panels, we recommend you purchase a larger inverter than you need during the initial installation. This will make future panel upgrades more cost effective. 

Within 15 years, electric cars are also expected to become the most used type of vehicle, so preparing for future upgrades is a smart way of future proofing your home or business. 

Do Ergon or Energex cover the meter replacement charge?

As of late 2018, Ergon and Energex both cover the meter replacement charge, which means extra savings if you’re located in an older building. 

What product or workmanship warranty do my solar panels have?

Most solar panels have a minimum of ten year warranty but the majority of the panels we install have a warranty of between 25 to 30 years. Proven Energy only sell inverters offering a 10 year or longer warranty.

How does solar impact my insurance premiums and property value?

Solar panels can add to your property value by up to $10,000, so they’re a great investment if you want to save money but plan to sell your property in the future.

As a permanent attachment, solar systems are generally covered by standard insurance coverage, but this can vary by insurance company, so we recommend you check the fine print on your contract. Some property owners may need to increase the amount of coverage, which can lead to higher premiums. Some insurance policies may also exclude damage from certain weather events, such as storm damage or falling trees. Check with your company to be sure.

What finance options are available for solar systems?

We offer a range of finance options, including zero percent interest payment plans, or green loans with a subsidised rate and the ability to pay them off early and save on interest.

How long will it take to pay off my solar system?

On average, most solar systems will provide enough savings to cover the cost of the system within a period of three and a half to four years.

What are the Government financial incentives and how do they work?

Every solar panel installed creates a digital value based on its expected output over a set amount of time. This value is represented by small scale technology certificates (STC’s) which are traded on an open market, similar to shares. You can calculate the value of your STC’s on the Clean Energy Regulator website.

This financial incentive decreases by 8% each January, so there’s no better time to invest in your own system and the savings it brings.

When do I receive my Government financial incentive?

The Government makes a payment to the solar system installer, in a similar way to how first home buyer grants are paid directly to loan providers. 

The purchase price will include the STC’s as a pre-calculated discount from your retailer or installer. 

When Proven Energy provides a quote for your solar system, the total price will include the discount provided by the Government STC’s. 

Some companies final prices change according to the actual price they sell the STC’s for. At Proven Energy the quoted STC value is final, so you don’t need to worry about the quoted price changing. We believe in a firm quote and so we’re willing to take risk on for our customers.