Recommended Solar Installers in Central Coast

Here are the solar installers that are in the SolarQuotes network and serve the Central Coast region of New South Wales.

To get free quotes from 3 of these quality installers, simply pop your postcode in the box up the top and press the big red button.

Or if you want to learn everything you need to know about installing solar in the Central Coast (and I mean everything) simply scroll below the table.

The Central Coast Region

The NSW Central Coast extends north of Sydney from the Hawkesbury River to south of Lake Macquarie and is bounded to the west by the Watagan Mountains. It has a total population of around 330,000.

The Central Coast Climate

The Central Coast’s climate is quite pleasant. Summers are warm with an average high of 25.8° in January, while winters are mild with an average low of 9.7° in July.

Central Coast Solar Potential

Solar panels on a typical north facing roof in the Central Coast will receive an average amount of sunlight energy equal to about 4.9 hours of full noon sunshine a day. This puts the Central Coast a little ahead of Sydney.

A new 5 kilowatt solar system on a north facing roof could be expected to produce an average of around 19.6 kilowatt-hours a day or 7,160 kilowatt-hours a year.

Solar Feed-In Tariffs In The Central Coast

Feed-in tariffs are a payment for surplus electricity produced by rooftop solar that isn’t used by the household but is instead sent into the grid. In NSW feed-in tariffs available depend on what is offered by electricity retailers.

Just which is the best plan to use depends upon individual circumstances. Electricity retailer plans can be compared using SolarQuotes’; electricity price comparison tool which allows you to enter your previous bill’s details and predicts how much various retailers would have charged for the same usage and provides information on the feed-in tariffs they offer.

The Rooftop Solar Application Process In The Central Coast

I strongly recommend having your installer guide you through the application process for rooftop solar. In some areas network operators request that you contact them first, but that does not appear to be the case in the Central Coast.

Maximum Solar System Size In The Central Coast

Central Coast households can install up to 4.99 kilowatts of rooftop solar if they have single phase power. This maximum is determined by the size of the inverter, so it is possible for a the Central Coast home to have 5 or more kilowatts of solar panels provided their inverter is less than 5 kilowatts.

Households with 3 phase power can install up to 30 kilowatts of rooftop solar before special equipment needs to be installed, but council permission will be required to install more than 10 kilowatts.

Ten kilowatts of solar panels covers a considerable amount of roof space. If they are 20% efficient they will take up 50 square meters. While solar panels don’t necessarily have to all be located together, many people will still have difficulty finding enough room on their roof for 10 or more kilowatts.

Central Coast Electricity Usage

A Central Coast household of 3 people without a gas connection will use an average of around 6,940 kilowatt-hours a year. The average Central Coast home uses 34% more electricity in winter than summer.

Central Coast Electricity Prices

The Central Coast’s electricity prices are moderate to low by Australian standards. Including GST, grid electricity averages around 22 cents a kilowatt-hour with a typical daily supply charge of around 72 cents. A household without rooftop solar that uses 6,940 kilowatt-hours and has a plan that gives them a 10% discount will pay around $1,610 a year.

Savings From Rooftop Solar

A Central Coast family that installs three kilowatts of north facing rooftop solar and self consumes half of the electricity it produces, has a 6 cent feed-in tariff, and a retail electricity plan that gives them a 10% discount, can expect to reduce their electricity bills by around $560 a year. All else equal, with a 10 cent feed-in tariff they could expect to save around $640. Note however, as electricity plans differ in their details, all else may not be equal.

Central Coast Roofs And Solar Panel Tilt

The best angle to install solar panels is the angle your roof is already at. While it is possible to use frames that alter the tilt of the panels, unless there are special circumstances, these are not worth it these days, as it is generally cheaper and easier to just install extra panels.

The majority of roofs in Australia have a pitch of either 15 or 22.5 degrees. But there are also homes in the Central Coast with steeper roofs of 30 degrees or more. There is very little difference in output over a year between a shallow 15 degree roof and a steep 45 degree roof. Shallow roofs provide a mild advantage to households that have high summer air conditioning demand, while steeper roofs provide a mild advantage to those who use more electricity on winter days. Compared to panels on a shallow 15 degree roof, those on a steep 45 degree roof will produce around 18% less electricity in January and 22% more in July.

How Solar Panel Direction Affects Output In the Central Coast

North facing solar panels will produce the most electricity, but placing panels facing east or west can certainly be worthwhile, especially if they increase a household’s self consumption of solar electricity.

Panels facing directly east or west will produce almost 20% less electricity than north facing panels over a year. East facing panels will produce more electricity in the morning, while west facing ones produce more in the afternoon. East facing panels will produce slightly more electricity than west facing ones because mornings are cooler than afternoons and heat reduces the efficiency at which solar panels operate.

Panels facing north-east or north-west will produce about 5% less electricity than north facing panels.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Rooftop Solar

For households with higher electricity demand in the mornings and afternoons than the middle of the day, an east-west split of rooftop solar panels can be an effective way to increase self consumption of solar electricity.

From around the 16th of December to the 30th of January, thanks to daylight savings time, the sun doesn’t set until after 8:00 pm in the Central Coast. This is useful for powering air conditioners in the late afternoon with solar electricity, especially when using west or north-west facing panels.

The Central Coast has many leafy locations where trees will shade roofs for a portion of the day, especially in winter when shadows are longer. The use of microinverters or DC optimisers can help limit the loss of solar panel output caused by shading.

Getting The Most Out Of What Is Often Called The Solar Rebate

Many households and business can benefit from solar installations where the solar panels have a total capacity greater than that of their inverter. This will result in some loss of output from the solar panels when the sky is clear and the sun is high in the sky, but will cause greater output when the sun is low or skies are overcast. This results in a smoother production of solar electricity through the day which can help increase a household’s self consumption, which is very useful for improving the economic payback of rooftop solar.

A rooftop solar system’s total panel capacity can be up to one third larger than the size of its inverter and still receive the full amount of STCs which lower the cost of installing solar. This reduction is often referred to as the solar rebate. Technically it’s not a rebate, but many people don’t care and call it that anyway. The solar rebate will be reduced on the first of January each year until it ends in 2030, so the earlier a system is installed, the greater the rebate that will be received.

In the Central Coast, the maximum system size allowed is determined by size of the inverter which must be less than 5 kilowatts for a home with single phase power. However, the total capacity of the solar panels can exceed this and be 5 kilowatts or greater. So a home with single phase power could install a 4.2 kilowatt inverter with 5.6 kilowatts of solar panels.

Upgrading Electricity Meters For Solar Power

An import/export electricity meter will need to be installed when rooftop solar is added to a home. Most reputable installers will handle this themselves and include its cost, along with that of any required upgrading of your switchboard in their quote. However, some installers do not change meters, so be sure to check whether or not this is covered.

If you have an older switchboard with fuses rather than circuit breakers this will need to be upgraded. This could potentially cost $1,400 or more.

Rooftop Solar And Emissions

Solar electricity generated in the Central Coast will mostly displace black coal generation in NSW, along with a smaller amount of natural gas generation. This makes rooftop solar there very effective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Electricity Grid In the Central Coast

The high voltage, long distance transmission lines that deliver grid electricity to the Central Coast are managed by Transgrid, which is currently leased for a 99 year period by a consortium called NSW Electricity Networks.

The low voltage distribution of grid electricity to homes and businesses in the Central Coast is performed by the network operator, Ausgrid.

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