Solar panels from ZEN Energy make powering your home easy and affordable
Solar panels capture the abundant power of the sun and convert it to electricity to meet your energy needs.
Harnessing the sun to power your home with solar panels will:
- significantly reduce your electricity bills
- make you less reliant on energy retailers and the grid
- help you to live sustainably
- contribute significant benefits to our environment
Solar energy is abundant – if we could use solar power to harness all of the sunlight shining on the earth for just one hour, we could use the energy to power the entire world for a whole year. And you won’t be alone in moving to solar. Australia has some of the best solar resources in the world, and around one in three households in South Australia already have solar panels.
A ZEN Energy solar system combines high-quality solar panels with market leading inverters and only the highest class of installation and after-sales customer support to generate clean, reliable, and economic solar energy for years to come.
Solar battery storage: can I store the energy produced by solar panels?
Yes – adding solar battery storage to your solar system is a great way to reduce your power bills, live sustainably and reduce your reliance on energy retailers.
If you’re generating more solar energy than you can use, or generating energy while you’re not home during the day, this surplus electricity is sent back to the grid – you might receive a rebate from your electricity provider in return for this surplus. While this rebate is a great benefit of generating extra energy, you’ll then need to rely on the grid at night for your electricity needs.
Battery storage enables you to store this excess energy, ready to use when the sun isn’t shining. This means you’ll be making the most of your solar panels and, with the right system, you could be one of the few households in your suburb with power in a blackout!
How much do solar panels cost?
Electricity prices keep going up, but solar panel costs keep coming down, and now is better than ever to find out how much solar panels for your home will cost.
This cost of your system will depend on what you want to achieve, how many solar panels you need to achieve it, and what needs to be done to make sure the panels are installed safely at your home.
When you’re deciding which solar panel provider to choose, make sure you consider not just the upfront cost but also the long-term value, and be aware of the value of Australian based customer support, and the hidden costs of cheap solar panel providers.
Your ZEN Energy consultant will help you work out what you want, how many solar panels you need to do it, and how quickly your system will pay itself back.
Find out more about the cost of solar panels in our blog post Investing in solar panels? Consider these three areas first, which includes guidance on what to look for and a cost guide for a standard metropolitan installation.
How long does it take to pay back solar panels?
In most parts of Australia, a solar panel system matched to your daytime energy needs can pay itself back in 3 to 5 years, and save you thousands in energy costs over it’s life.
Payback periods on solar energy systems vary widely, according to a number of contributing factors:
- When you use energy
Solar panels generate electricity while the sun is shining. This means if you have panels without battery storage, you’ll get a faster payback on your solar system if you use most of your energy during the day instead of at night. However, if you include battery storage in your system, the times that you use energy become less important as you’ll be able to use solar energy both day and night, either from your solar panels or from your battery.
- Your electricity usage and the size of your system
If you use more power than your solar panels are capable of producing or your battery is able to store, your savings might be lower than what they could be. This can be avoided by choosing the right-sized solution for your needs.
- Your feed-in tariff
This is the amount your electricity retailer pays you (typically in cents per kilowatt hours) for any excess energy your solar panels generate. While feed-in tariffs are lower now than in the early days of solar, solar panel prices have come down even quicker and to the point now where paybacks today with the lower feed-in tariffs are actually better than what they were under the high feed-in tariffs. Even so, these tariffs change from retailer to retailer, so it pays to shop around and get the best deal.
- Where you live
Some areas of Australia receive a lot more sunlight than others, and therefore the same number of solar panels will produce different amounts of energy depending on where in the country they are installed. For example, a solar energy system in sunny Adelaide will usually create more energy over a year than the same one in down in Hobart.
ZEN Energy takes all these factors into account when we present the benefits of your solar system to you, and your ZEN Energy consultant will be able to show how we design your solution for the best possible outcome.
Beware of other companies that 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 with what another company is saying, speak to your ZEN Energy consultant to explore and understand the differences.
Are solar panels worth it?
Yes. With some of the best solar resources in the world, ongoing Government incentives, and solar panel prices cheaper than they have ever been, powering your home with solar is one of the easiest decisions you can make.
At today’s standard energy rates, most Australian households should expect to save at least $20,000 on their energy bills over the life of the system, if not more.
And as a general rule, the higher your energy bill, the more savings there are to be made. Putting that into context, that means that a solar panel system from ZEN Energy can save you thousands on your energy bills, pay itself back in as little as 3 years, and leave you less reliant on the grid and energy retailers.
These are just some of the reasons more and more Australians are turning to solar for their energy needs. Last year, figures from the Clean Energy Regulator revealed more than 20 per cent of Australia’s homes have solar installations, with an average of 9,500 solar panels installed every day, smashing the previous record set in 2012.
And in South Australia it’s even more, with an estimated one in three homes having solar panels already installed. According to CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia, it’s also predicted that between 30 and 45 percent of Australia’s future energy generation will be local and customer-owned – meaning solar panels and batteries powering most homes and commercial buildings.
Solar panel size
The number of solar panels you need should be informed by your energy usage patterns and what you want to achieve.
Get started by using our savings calculator to find out how much you could be saving on your bills, and the system size required to reach this.
Solar system sizes are measured in kilowatts and, depending on where you are and which direction your roof faces, each kilowatt of your solar panel system will produce between 3 and 5 kWh of clean, renewable energy per day. Typically, around 3 to 4 solar panels are needed to make up 1 kilowatt.
Keep this in mind when you see the result in our calculator to understand what your recommended system size means in number of panels. Find out more about calculating how many solar panels you need in our blog post, How Many Solar Panels Do I Need.
Solar panel Installation with ZEN Energy
ZEN Energy is proudly Australian, and has been since our beginnings in 2004.
Solar & storage experts
With over 10 years experience, we’re specialists in our field and we know solar & battery storage back to front.
A solution designed specifically for you
We find out how much energy you use, when you use it and what you pay, then design a system specifically to suit your needs.
Most ZEN solar panel installations will take place over a single day.
ZEN qualified installers will arrive at your site at the agreed time, take you through what they will be doing, run final checks on your roof, meterboard and your switchboard. They’ll then get to work on fitting the solar panels to your roof, installing your inverter to your wall, and safely wiring everything together and connecting it to your switchboard to complete your solar system.
Once your system installation is complete, the installers will take you through the use of your system and how you can access your online monitoring report. The online monitoring allows you to see your energy generation and the overall performance of your system over time, from any internet enabled device.
Once your solar panels and system are installed, it requires only minimal maintenance from you other than ensuring your panels remain clean during the warmer, rain-free months.
In the unlikely event that something does go wrong with your solar panels, battery, or system, the Australian-based ZEN Customer Support Team is always available to assist you. They can be contacted on 1300 936 466 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember that Australian based customer support adds significant value to your solar panel investment.
Solar panel placement: is north facing best?
The answer to this really depends on how and when you use energy.
Thanks to falls in solar panel prices, the days of having to have all of your solar panels north-facing to make sure you produced enough energy to justify the cost of your system are gone, and it’s now more important to make sure your panels match your energy usage.
Having solar panels on your east-facing roof is perfect for those that use a lot of energy in the morning; these panels will capture the morning sun and give you electricity when you need at most. Conversely, having solar panels on your west-facing roof is perfect if you use a lot of energy in the afternoon or early evening; this works well in summer to cool down your house at the end of a long, hot day.
A mix of east, west, and north facing panels is often a good mix to provide you with clean and green solar energy throughout the day. If you include an energy storage solution, then this mix also helps give your battery a nice consistent stream of energy to collect throughout the day.
This is why we ask the questions that some other companies might not, to understand your specific needs and select a solution to suit. As always, your ZEN Energy consultant will be the best person to recommend how your solar panels should be placed.
Frequently asked questions
In most circumstances, a well installed solar panel system will last for up to 25 years. With our long history in solar, ZEN Energy is one of the few companies in Australia that can point to systems that are still performing well years and years after their installation.
Notwithstanding, its important to still understand what manufacturer’s warranties come with your solar panels. Solar panels come with a materials and workmanship warranty and a performance warranty
The solar panel materials and workmanship warranty is to cover poor materials or workmanship in the manufacture of the panel itself. Generally, these warranties are between five and ten years, meaning the solar panels are expected to be free of any material or workmanship defects for at least the warranty period.
In addition to this, the solar panel performance warranty is typically for 25 years, in line with the expected lifespan of the panel. This warranty sets the minimum performance expected from the panel for every year of its operation. To be conservative, ZEN Energy assumes that this minimum performance is what your panels will achieve, but in many cases, the actual performance can be higher.
To determine the warranties that apply to your solar panels, review the manufacturers’ warranty in our knowledge centre.
Solar panel systems are very low maintenance. However, your ZEN Energy system’s energy output may be reduced if the solar panels become dirty.
Natural rainfall will often wash the panels and sufficiently remove accumulated dust and dirt, however, you may want to consider proactively cleaning your solar panels to optimise system performance or to account for areas where you experience higher than normal exposure to dust, dirt, or other debris. The best time to clean the panels would be late spring and late autumn.
For instructions to clean your solar panels and important information to prepare, read our fact sheet on how to clean your solar panels.
If you are just looking to add solar 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.
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.
Are you ready to learn more about investing in solar panels for your home?