Information, guides and resources to help make powering your home more affordable.
Capture the abundant power of the sun and convert it to electricity to meet your energy needs.
Harnessing the sun to power your home can:
- 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 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.
How do solar panels work?
A standard solar energy system consists of photovoltaic (PV) panels mounted to your roof, with the panels connected to an inverter (or inverters) on your wall.
This inverter is connected to your home’s switchboard, forming a controlled link between the panels on your roof and the electricity requirements of your home.
Read more on our blog How do solar panels work?
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As the market continues to grow, so do your options for solar and battery storage – but it can be overwhelming.
- Why should you install solar panels?
- What effect will they have on your power bills?
- What kind of system do you need?
- How do you know which retailer to trust?
This free guide is designed to help you find your perfect solar energy solution.
Browse our guides
Solar panels from ZEN Energy
Protect yourself from soaring power prices with ZEN Saver. This system is designed to provide you with one of the most cost-effective solutions on the market, without scrimping on quality.
- Simple, reliable and affordable
- Online monitoring as standard
- Clean Energy Council Approved
Create and use your own renewable energy with ZEN Premium. Quality panels and a European designed and manufactured inverter give you peace of mind that you’ve made a premium choice.
- European designed and manufactured
- Tier 1 panels
- Clean Energy Council Approved
ZEN Energy provides high-quality solar panels with market-leading inverters, professional installation and dedicated after-sales customer support to generate clean, reliable, and economic energy for years to come.
What is the payback period?
In most parts of Australia, a system matched to your daytime energy needs can pay itself back in 3 to 5 years, and save you thousands in energy costs over its life.
Adelaide has some of the best solar resources in the world – and we’ve only tapped into a fraction of the total potential. Adelaide and the majority of South Australia receives an average of at least 7 hours of sunshine per day. Payback periods vary widely, according to a number of contributing factors:
- When you use energy
Solar panels generate electricity while the sun is shining. If you have a system without battery storage, you’ll get a faster payback 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 electricity become less important as you’ll be able to use your green electricity both day and night, either directly from your panels or from your battery reserves.
- Your electricity usage and the size of your system
If you use more power than your system is capable of producing, or more than your battery is able to store, your savings may be lower than what they could be. You can avoid this by choosing the right-sized system 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 power your system generates. While feed-in tariffs are falling, solar panel prices have come down even quicker – even with the lower feed-in tariffs, paybacks 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, so the same size system will produce different amounts of energy in different areas. For example, solar panels in Adelaide will usually generate more energy over a year than the same setup down in Hobart.
ZEN Energy takes all these factors into account when we present the benefits of your system to you, and our consultants 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 our consultants to explore and understand the differences.
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We are an Adelaide-based company, and have been since our beginnings in 2004.
Experts in our field
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 will design a system specifically to suit your needs.
Most 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, and run final checks on your roof, meter board, and your switchboard. They’ll then get to work on fitting the panels to your roof, installing your inverter, and safely wiring everything together and connecting it to your switchboard.
Once 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 electricity generation and the overall performance of your system over time, from any internet-enabled device.
Once your system is 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 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 investment.
Frequently asked questions
The answer to this really depends on how and when you use electricity.
Thanks to falling prices, the days of having all of your solar panels facing north to make sure you produced enough energy to justify the cost of your system are gone. It’s now more important to make sure your panels match your electricity usage.
Having solar panels on your east-facing roof is perfect for those that use a lot of power in the morning; these will capture the morning sun and give you electricity when you need it most. Conversely, installing solar panels on your west-facing roof is perfect if you use a lot of power in the afternoon or early evening. This setup works well in summer to cool down your house at the end of a long, hot day.
In most circumstances, well-installed solar panels will last for up to 25 years. With our long history, 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.
It’s important to understand the warranties that come with your solar panels. Solar panels come with a materials and workmanship warranty, and a performance warranty.
The 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 this assumes that the 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 panels, review the manufacturers’ warranty in our knowledge centre.
Solar systems are very low maintenance. However, the output of your system may be reduced if the 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 panels to optimise their performance or to account for areas where you experience higher than normal exposure to dust, dirt or other debris.
Read our guide on how to clean your solar panels.
If you are looking to add more solar panels to your existing system, nowadays the most cost-effective option is often just to add a second system to your property that sits side-by-side with your current system.
Be aware that upgrading your system with more panels or battery storage may also result in losing your current feed-in tariff, and the requirements for adding panels or battery storage may differ from state to state. Our consultants will be able to take you through these requirements and guide you down the best path.
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.
In most circumstances, a property will be suitable for a solar system – it will just be a case of determining how it 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 on your roof, any shading on the space available, the state and age of your switchboard, and your electricity usage patterns.
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 the system.
However, even in these more complex 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.