This book will give you bulletproof confidence when buying solar power that you are getting the right size, right brand, and a great installer at a fair price. After the install, you'll rest easy in the knowledge that your new system will reliably deliver low bills for decades.
Finn Peacock, Chartered Electrical Engineer, Ex-CSIRO
The Good Solar Guide demystifies the solar buying process in Australia showing you how many panels you need, which panel brands to buy, which to avoid, and how to find a great installer.
The seven-step process revealed in this book, developed over 10 years in the industry, will walk you through understanding, evaluating, buying, installing and using solar power to deliver on its promise of tiny bills.
Finn is a Chartered Electrical Engineer and lives in a straw house in Adelaide.
Having been involved in the solar energy industry first with the CSIRO, then founding his own enormously successful, independent solar energy website, SolarQuotes®, Finn has helped over 350 000 Australian homes get quotes for solar power since 2009. This makes Finn uniquely placed to guide Australian homeowners through the maze of buying and installing a solar power system .
In fact Finn walks the talk. His most recent electricity bill for a family of 5, a small business and his beloved Finnish sauna was a credit of $128.
Finn is a registered professional engineer. His first book was a highly technical guide to tuning industrial control systems. It has been used by thousands of engineers worldwide in applications from power stations to chocolate factories. Yum!
Finn's business, SolarQuotes®, employs 10 people and has over 200 solar installer clients. It operates one of the most popular solar energy websites in Australia and has helped over 1-in-30 Aussie homes learn about and get quotes for solar power.
Finn used to help coal companies get coal out of the ground more efficiently. In 2007 he decided to get into this new-fangled solar thing and joined the CSIRO in Newcastle. In 2009 he started his own solar company that is still growing.
"Solid advice you can trust. Anyone who has read Finn's articles knows that they are receiving quality information and advice from an industry expert. … Choosing the right solar system for your needs and budget isn't straightforward but Finn makes the process much easier."
"I had no idea what I was looking for and just from reading your tips has made me feel like I know everything about solar that I need to know, also providing me with a list of questions to ask the companies was so good! And pretty much got all of them to extend all their warranties and give me a better price then what they originally offered".
"An amazing resource that just led me through the whole process very clearly and succinctly. I learnt so much more about the technical side to solar, than I ever thought I would (or wanted to!), but in the end very glad that i did, because i can now conceptualise (very basically) how my system will work, what the various options are, as well as common traps/scams. … Thanks again Finn.
Understand these fundamental solar basics first.
Solar energy vs solar power;
Solar rebate vs solar feed-in tariffs;
The different types of solar system;
Solar Exports, Self-Consumption and Your Bill
How your roof affects your solar energy
The high cost of cheap solar
Australian consumer law and 25 year solar warranties.
How To Benchmark your gross daily usage
How to quickly measure energy use by day and by night
Should you scrap your existing hot water system?
Your options for solar hot water
Sizing your system
The different approaches to buying solar
The costs of buying solar
The financial returns from solar panels
Do batteries make solar payback even better?
Your first decision: Panel level optimisation or not?
The most important decision: which solar inverter
Batteries, inverters and surviving the zombie apocalypse
Choosing solar panels
Don't forget a monitoring system for your solar
How to find a reputable solar installer (or three)
Site inspections and when to get one
What should be in a comprehensive quote
Terms and conditions to watch out for
Checking your installation
How to shift loads to save even more money
Checking your bills. Don't get screwed.