How Ned From SolarQuotes Ensures The Integrity Of Our Solar Reviews

SolarQuotes' Ned Holland screening reviews

SolarQuotes’ Ned Holland hard at work fighting review spam.

What happens on SolarQuotes’ review pages is clearly part of the beating heart of this business, and anyone who has experience with open forums will know what it’s like. There are trolls, people with a grudge (both fair and unfair), honest mistakes, and occasionally dishonest reviews. [Read more…]

How Monitoring Solved A Savvy Solar Owner’s High Voltage Problem

Solar monitoring helps solve high voltage issue

Good solar monitoring has a long list of benefits. Now we can add ‘solving high voltage problems’ to that list.

The phrase “the power of data” is already a cliche, but only because it’s true. This week, we recount the story of how Solar Analytics’ R&D head Jonathon Dore used his company’s monitoring data to dramatically reduce curtailment of output from the solar power system at his Blue Mountains home. [Read more…]

How To Evaluate Solar When Your House Is Nestled Among Trees

solar panels amongst trees - shading

There’s nothing better than a house surrounded by lush green trees. But will those trees make solar panels pointless, or will the shade they cast be manageable? Here’s how to find out.

Max from Sydney emailed this question to the support inbox last week:

“Hi, We have 3 large gums on a small property in Sydney. We are planning to build a 2nd floor and are hoping that gives us enough height to put solar on. Can you help us figure out if we can?”

Here are the drawings he sent through: [Read more…]

DIY Shadow Analysis: Learn How To Quantify Any Shade Cast On Solar Panels

How to do solar panel shading analysis When I came to Australia from the UK in 2002, I was struck by how rare double storey houses were over here. Fast forward 18 years and, as medium density living becomes the new norm in the suburbs, double storey houses are popping up everywhere.

[Read more…]

Voltage Rise & Solar Shutdowns. Why It Happens & How To Fix It.

Grid voltage rise and solar energy systems

Your grid voltage should average 230V. But it probably doesn’t.

This time last week I was at the 2019 All Energy Conference and Exhibition in Melbourne.  Or — if I have been lazy getting this article out — it was this time last week plus or minus one day.  Mostly plus.

I attended a group presentation on grid over voltage. It’s a growing problem.  When grid voltage rises too high, rooftop solar either reduces output or shuts down.  This not only costs solar households money but costs the country lives, as clean solar energy going to waste means more fossil fuel is burned, resulting in more pollution and environmental damage. [Read more…]

What Licences Are Needed To Sell Solar in Australia?

Licenses needed to sell solar in Australia

Is your company licensed to sell solar power in all the states & territories it operates in? Are you sure?

Note: When I say ‘selling solar’ I mean selling residential solar systems including installation. 

At SolarQuotes, we constantly get applications from solar companies across Australia hoping to join our network.

Today we received a promising application from New South Wales. It was a 3 month-old company, founded by two experienced installers. The installers had been operating as sole traders for many years and had decided to take the next step: forming a company. They had a website up and running and were out selling and installing solar, trading as the new company. They appeared to have lots of happy customers.

But I quickly spotted a showstopper of a problem with their application… [Read more…]

Victoria’s AusNet Forces New Solar Homes On Time-Of-Use Tariff For 12 Months

AusNet - solar power and time of use tariff

Power Of No Choice. AusNet are making the most of their monopoly.

Update 16th January 2020: Yesterday we were sent a screenshot of what a home owner in the Ausnet area were told by Ausnet customer support.  It states that Ausnet never allows solar homes to have a standard tariff in their area.  This is different from what they told me on the phone.  Here is the letter they sent: [Read more…]

How An Oddly Placed Switchboard Spoiled A Tasmanian Solar Install

Solar power and electricity meters in Tasmania

When you get solar power installed you often need a new meter. The rules governing this meter are made by the local network. The electricity retailer organises installation and readings, then a third party company installs the meter. This can cause frustration when there is a metering issue – as Margie in Tasmania found out recently.

In this week’s post, we’re hoping we can help resolve a problem for a customer named Margie, who found herself falling between the cracks after installing new solar panels in Tasmania. [Read more…]

How Big A Deposit Should You Pay Your Solar Installer?

Solar power system installation deposits information

What are the rules about deposits when buying solar power systems?

This post is going to be light on words, but the topic is worth covering. It arose from a couple of questions SolarQuotes founder Finn Peacock asked me to research: what’s a “normal” start-work deposit to offer a solar PV installer, and is there deposit protection for consumers? [Read more…]

Solar inverter cyber-security: listen carefully, and you’ll hear the time-bomb tick

Solar power system security

On a Friday afternoon early in July, I was pleased to hear the ABC’s current affairs radio program PM cover cyber-security in the small business sector. It’s impossible for a four-minute radio spot to be comprehensive, but building awareness is a slow process. [Read more…]