Answer: All solar energy solutions provided by ZEN can have energy storage added to them at a later stage. This means you can make an investment in solar panels and start saving on your bills today, with complete confidence that you’ll be able to update to energy storage down the track if you want to.
Answer: The ability to add more panels or energy storage to your existing solar energy system will depend on a few factors, such as receiving the appropriate approvals from your distributor, on suitable solar panels still being available (if you are looking to add more panels), and on any upgrades meeting current Australian Standards. If you are just looking to add panels to your existing system, nowadays the most cost-effective option is often just to add a second solar energy system to your property that sits side-by-side with your current system.
Please be aware that upgrading your system with more panels or energy storage may also result in losing your current feed-in tariff, and the requirements for adding panels or energy storage may differ from state to state. A ZEN Energy consultant will be able to take you through these requirements and guide you down the best path.
Answer: In most circumstances, there will need to be some alteration to your existing electricity meter as part of a solar or energy storage installation. The exact type of alteration will depend on a range of factors, but will typically be anything from a simple reprogramming for newer meters through to a full meter replacement and upgraded for older meters. ZEN will submit all the necessary paperwork on your behalf. Unless your retailer tries to contact you regarding your account with them, you will not need to do anything through this process. ZEN arranges the necessary meter work on your behalf, and we will advise you of the date it will all happen once we have been advised.
Answer: The time it takes to have your solution installed and up and running will depend on a few factors like the size of your system, and how long your energy provider takes to arrange any necessary meter alterations and your grid connection. ZEN Energy will help you with all necessary paperwork and arrange the required applications for your solution, but unfortunately we cannot control how long your energy provider takes to carry out their work and have you up and running. We will however keep you in the loop regarding the progress of your solution and any holdups along the way. The ZEN installation itself will typically take up to one day for a residential size system.
Answer: The cost of your solution will depend on factors such as the size you need, whether it includes energy storage, what needs to be done to have it safely and well installed on your property, and the quality of the components that you want to have installed. However in many circumstances, a well-designed and appropriately sized solution could pay itself back in around 7 to 10 years if it includes energy storage, and as quick as 3 to 5 years for a standard solar energy system. Your ZEN Energy consultant will be the best person to advise you on the price of your solution and how quickly you should expect it to pay itself back.
Answer: The amount of money you could save on power bills by installing solar or energy storage will be influenced by a number of factors, such as:
- Your electricity usage and the size of your solar or energy storage system – if you use more power than your system is capable of producing or storing, your savings will be reduced. This can be avoided by choosing the right-sized solution for your needs.
- Your feed-in tariff – the amount your electricity retailer pays you (typically in cents per kilowatt hours) for any excess energy your solar panels generate.
- Your usage patterns – solar panels can only generate electricity while the sun is shining. This means that if your solution doesn’t include energy storage, a property that use a lot of energy during the day may see greater savings than those that consume most of their energy at night. However if you include energy storage in your solution, the times of day or night that you use energy become less important as you’ll be able to use solar energy both day and night.
- Where you live – some areas of Australia receive a lot more sunlight than others, and therefore the same size system will produce different amounts of energy depending on where in the country it is installed. For example, a solar energy system in sunny Brisbane will usually create more energy over a year than the same one in down in Hobart.
ZEN Energy takes all of these factors into account when we present the benefits of your solution to you, and your ZEN Energy Consultant will be able to take you through how we do it.
And beware of other companies that might suggest their systems can give you much higher savings than the same system from ZEN. In many circumstances you might find the other company hasn’t considered all the factors we have, or may have made some guesses or assumptions that don’t actually fit with your situation. If you see a large difference between what ZEN suggests your system will do compared to what another company is saying, speak to your ZEN Energy Consultant to see if they can explain the differences for you.
Answer: In most circumstances, a property will be suitable for solar energy and it will just be a case of determining how the solution is best installed on your property and the benefits it will provide. Determining these details will depend on several factors, such as the orientation and space available for solar panels, any shading on the space available, the state and age of your switchboard, and your current electricity usage.
Situations where ZEN Energy may recommend that your property is not suitable for solar may include if you have very little available area for panels, you have a lot of consistent shading on the available areas, or your switchboard needs significant work to safely accommodate a solar energy or energy storage solution. However even in these cases, your ZEN Energy consultant will talk you through the restrictions with your property before helping you decide whether or not to proceed with solar at your property.
Answer: We use only proven, reliable products that we are happy to put our name to and would be happy to have on our own properties. We also make sure that every product we offer is backed by strong warranties direct from the manufacturers. At the time of your quotation, your ZEN Energy consultant will outline which panels and inverters we have chosen for your solution, and their warranties.
Answer: LGCs are available for solar energy systems that are above 100kW in size. In a similar way to STCs, LGCs are a government incentive for installing solar energy systems, however the way in which the incentive is applied to the system is different to STCs. The main difference is that they cannot be deemed upfront like STCs can.
As a guide, one LGC is equal to one megawatt hour of eligible renewable electricity. Once created and validated, these certificates act as a form of currency and can be sold and transferred to other individuals and businesses at a negotiated price. LGCs are usually sold to electricity retailers, who are required to surrender a set number of certificates to the Clean Energy Regulator each year.
For more detailed information on LGCs, visit the Clean Energy Regulator website.