Your roof-mounted solar panels contain photovoltaic cells, also known as solar cells. When sunlight falls on the cells they convert the sun’s energy into DC (direct current) power.
Connected by a cable to the solar panels, the inverter converts the DC power to 240V AC (alternating current), the type of electricity used in your home. On some inverters, the digital display provides statistics on how much power is being generated throughout the day.
This is a measurement device calculating the power you use and the power sent back to the grid. The power you don’t use can sometimes be sold back to the grid. This is called the feed-in tariff, a rebate depending on your electricity retailer and state.
The poles and wires that connect residential and commercial properties, to traditional, centralised generation (power stations) are sometimes referred to as the “electricity grid”. Any surplus energy your home generates is fed back into the electricity grid. When you need additional power, the electricity grid provides this, too.
A solar system can only produce electricity if there is sunlight. That means solar can produce electricity on cloudy days when small amounts of sunlight are still shining down onto a rooftop. However, at night time, when there is no sun light, your solar system will not generate any electricity.
It will exported to the electricity grid where, depending on your retailer and tariff, you may be given a credit towards your electricity bill.
This is the rate at which you are paid for exporting excess electricity generation back to the grid and is retailer dependent.
Our Solar Home Bundle product might be ideal for you. Solar Home Bundle makes solar simple and affordable – you get solar and a battery installed and managed with no upfront cost on a 7 year plan. And for the price of an electricity plan with a fixed rate usage charge, the system is yours to own after 7 years. Solar Home Bundle is currently available for eligible NSW residential customers only. If the Solar Home Bundle product is terminated early, in certain circumstances you may be required to pay a System Exit Fee and other fees relating to the System. Further conditions and charges apply. Learn more about Solar Home Bundle.
Small Scale Technology Certificates (STC) are still available for most households. These certificates help reduce the cost of solar to you. Most solar providers, including EnergyAustralia, advertise solar pricing with the STCs already removed from the price. This is because you can sign over the STC rebates to the solar provider and therefore reduce the cost of the system.
That depends on what meter you currently have. A bi-directional smart meter is needed to support solar. These are very common in Victoria but less common in other states and therefore a new meter will need to be installed as part of your solar installation. In most cases, EnergyAustralia can organise this for you.
You must have your landlord’s approval to install a solar system on the roof of rented premises, as only the property owner has the right to assign STCs (see below) to a third party such as EnergyAustralia.
Talk to us about payment options which can include upfront, or third-party finance.
There are two types of federal government subsidies for solar – Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) and Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs). STCs are issued for solar systems <99.9kW and are traded through the wholesale market. Their value is largely determined by supply and demand and wholesale prices can fluctuate considerably. STCs are being phased out by 2030 and the number of STCs created from an installed system reduces on 1 January each year. There is no indication that federal subsidies will continue after 2030.
In August 2018, the Victorian Government launched the Solar Homes subsidy program. The new Victorian solar rebate offers homeowners a subsidy of 50% off the cost of their solar system, up to a maximum of $1,400. For more information and to determine your eligibility for the subsidy, head to the Solar Victoria website.
For our customised solar and battery solutions, we provide a minimum five-year installation warranty. Our work is in accordance with required industry codes of conduct, building codes and local government and legislative requirements. All supplied systems, components and equipment comply with Australian Standards and come with the following express warranties:
- 5 years installation warranty
- 5–10 year manufacturer inverter warranty
- 12–25 year manufacturer panel warranty (varies by panel model number)
- 10 year manufacturer battery performance warranty
- 25-year manufacturer panel performance warranty
For details on Solar Home Bundle warranties, please refer to the Solar Home Bundle FAQs.
The installer will prep your roof to ensure that the roof shingles and/or tiles are properly attached and secure. They will then begin the process of setting up the electrical wiring that will connect your panels to the general power system. The installer may need to come into the home for wiring. Once wiring is complete, the racking to support your panels will be attached to the roof. The racking will be the only element that will be physically attached to the roof, and once these racks are levelled and safely attached, solar panels will be placed on to the racks. The final step is to connect the inverter(s) to the panels so they can convert the DC energy generated by the panels to AC energy which is used to power home appliances. Timeline for installation can vary from one to three days, depending on the size of the system you are installing.
We have a high standard of OH&S policies and procedures in place and a dedicated OH&S Manager to oversee all OH&S considerations. Our Clean Energy Council Accredited Installers undertake training in our Workplace Safety Management Systems program and competency-based safety training in Working at Heights as part of our quality assurance and guarantee. They are provided with required safe PPE kits necessary for performing their duties and are made available for site orientation. Work method statements can also be supplied on request.
The installation of solar and batteries require adherence to Occupational Health and Safety legislation, applicable Compliance Codes including Prevention of Falls and our OH&S Management System. We require our workforce to undertake regular training on applicable safe systems of work, including Work Safely at Heights.
Our risk-based approach adopts safety in design principles prior to works progressing, requiring an assessment to be undertaken during the pre-installation phase to identify and assess risk controls so far as is reasonably practicable. This includes an assessment of controls against the ‘hierarchy of controls for falls’.
Edge protection is set up for all work undertaken within two metres of a live edge to ensure the safety of all on site. There will be likely no-go areas during the installation where homeowners, children and pets will need to avoid for safety reasons.
We’re ISO 9001, ISO 45001 and ISO 14001 certified and work to principles of strong customer focus and continual improvement.
Echo Group are a wholly owned subsidiaries of EnergyAustralia. EnergyAustralia purchased Echo Group in 2020, consistent with our commitment to offering customers solar energy solutions.
In the event of a loss of electricity to your property (a blackout), the solar system will turn off. This is in line with Australian Standard AS4777 – anti-islanding to protect people repairing the line from electric shocks. Certain battery systems we install are eligible for limited backup supply - please ask your energy solutions consultant for further information.
Echo Group Corporation Pty Ltd ABN 34 158 561 927, is part of the EnergyAustralia group and supplies and installs solar, battery and related products to customers.