Frequently asked questions

Solar Installation FAQs

  1. No obligation phone call
    Our solar advisor will evaluate your home’s potential for solar. They’ll use advanced imagery and discuss your electricity. This will all be over in less than 10 minutes.

  2. Custom solar system design
    After the call, our solar advisor will work to deliver you a tailor-made system. They will ensure you get the best possible return on your investment.

  3. Expert solution and design
    Our solar consultant will then review the design and put together a proposal that highlights the costing, energy production and system specifications

  4. Final design selection
    You will receive a proposal from a leading residential solar installer (that’s us). Customer satisfaction is our NUMBER ONE priority. If you require any tweaks or changes to our proposed design, say no more!

  5. Solar System Installation
    Once the system and proposal designs are finalized, we organize a time that works for you to install your system*.

  6. Lifetime of support and system care
    We provide you a lifetime of ongoing care and support. We will work tirelessly to ensure your system is always working to maximum capacity.

*Once we have completed the install, we will submit the required form to the relevant authority to have your system connected to the grid. This can take up to 48 working days in the case of Energex now. As demand settles, the time will eventually return to the normal 10 working day time frame.

A standard installation comprises;

  • Roof pitch between 20 and 30 degrees
  • Single-storey residence
  • Clear unobstructed, preferably North facing roof area, free of shade, hazards, and large enough to accommodate the solar array
  • Continuous solar array installed in multiples of 6 (1kW) or 9 (1.5kW) panels on a single roof
  • Wiring distance from PV panels to inverter to switchboard-meter is less than 20m
  • Meter-box and wiring conforms to Australian Standards and requires no modifications.
  • Travel (delivery and installation) within Metropolitan areas
  • Client assists with installation documentation under direction of accredited installer

A recent electricity bill will help us understand your current energy usage and work with you to determine what size system is best suited to meet your requirements for savings on bills, electricity generation or minimising payback periods.

Where possible, yes. We will endeavour to provide an accurate quote during the site visit; however, this may not always be possible if there are complexities to be considered such as a renovation yet to be completed or when significant electrical upgrades are required as well as skylights need to be relocated.

No, we do not condone high pressure selling. We give you relevant information and leave it with you to make an educated decision about your installation.

No, it is totally free of charge.

You can either fill out our online quote or contact us by telephone. We will organise a site evaluation at a time that is convenient for you.

Omega Solar+Batteries only employs CEC accredited installation personnel in line with Australian Government Solar Credits approval conditions and regulations. We ensure our installers are well-presented and treat your home with care during installation. The installers we use are all fully qualified and experienced in the solar industry. All installations are finalised by our senior electrical engineers to ensure everything is correct, neat and tidy.

Omega Solar+Batteries offers a market leading 10 year limited written Product Warranty and a minimum performance guarantee of 25 years. The performance guarantee is 90% of initial output after 10 years, and 80% after 25 years. The expected lifetime of photovoltaic panels is in the range of 30 – 40 years.

Omega Solar+Batteries warrants all other materials and installation workmanship for 5 years. We align ourselves with the Clean Energy Council as an Approved CEC Solar Retailer and provide installation protection for our customers.

In most cases, yes. If you have a traditional accumulation meter (with a spinning disk), this will need to be replaced with an interval or smart meter. This is because an accumulation meter does not record the energy you export to the grid or the electricity you import from the grid. An interval meter or a smart meter provide half hourly readings of the electricity you consume and the surplus electricity you generate (Source: Clean Energy Council).

No. It may have capacity to measure the import and export of electricity, but it will not be programmed accordingly. A callout by your energy retailer is required to come and program the meter to perform these functions.

This will depend upon the State in which you live, the area you live in and which electricity distributor/retailer covers that area. Typically, the charges for a new meter, its installation or a callout for reprogramming will cost between $100 and $300. This charge and service is outside of the scope of Gold Coast Energy quotation and scope of works.

Once your system is fully installed with a bidirectional meter, your electricity retailer may contact you and offer their feed-in tariff. Otherwise, please contact your retailer and request their Premium Feed-in Tariff Contract and Schedule of Tariff Rates. Please note that electricity retailers offer a variety of packages and rates which you may need to review.

Yes, they would be covered by your home insurance policy, but you may need to inform your insurance company about your solar PV installation. The value, for insurance purposes, should be the total on the quote prior to the rebate being applied.

Solar System Information

Omega Solar + Batteries
Solar Photovoltaic panels generate electricity directly from sunlight, not from heat. They capture the sun’s energy to generate electricity cleanly and quietly. Light energy is converted directly into electricity by transferring sunlight photon energy into electrical energy. This conversion takes place within cells of specially fabricated semiconductor crystals. While it might be true that solar cannot generate electricity all the time, it does generate electricity when it is needed most. This is during the day and on hot sunny days when electricity demand is at its peak driven by air-conditioners. Importantly, electricity is generated at the point of demand. It’s where people live and work which means there is no need to transfer the energy at long distances across expensive infrastructure.

There has never been a more affordable time to install a solar electricity system on your home. The Solar Credits Scheme provides significant discounts at the time of purchase. A solar energy system has a typical lifespan of greater than 25 years and represents an excellent investment to save on your future electricity bills and improve the value of your home.

 

There are several reasons warranting the installation of a Solar Energy System:

  • Solar Photovoltaic Energy or Solar Electricity is a renewable energy technology capable of providing your household with emissions free electricity. This also assists in climate change mitigation and environmental sustainability efforts as well as alleviates today’s and the future’s high cost of electricity.
  • Solar Credits is a mechanism within the RET scheme that boosts support to households, businesses and community groups that install small-scale solar PV by providing a capital subsidy at the time of purchase. Depending on the value of the solar electricity system, the REC’s and the location in Australia, this discount could be as high as 70% for a 1.5kWp system. The level of discount diminishes as system sizes increase.
  • A feed-in tariff (FiT) is a premium rate paid for electricity fed back into the electricity grid from a designated renewable electricity generation source. In Australia, FiTs have been introduced or are under consideration in all States and Territories and come in two forms; a gross FiT or a net FiT. Although the FiT schemes differ from State to State they all have the capacity to greatly offset the cost of electricity usage during the evening when peak tariffs apply. This provides incentive for additional energy efficiency measures in the household.

Omega Solar+Batteries provides high quality solar energy systems at competitive prices, installed by CEC Accredited Installers and backed up by high quality technical support. We offer a range of systems that can be customized to meet your needs.

Why choose Omega Solar+Batteries? We are a family operated, well-established solar energy company with over 10 years of experience in designing and installing solar energy systems. We have helped over 6000+ families slash their energy bills. Our experience and knowledge also apply to our commercial solar projects. We have over 200+ commercial solar clients and have been involved in many major commercial projects. Where we separate from our competitors is our commitment to maintaining your system for its lifetime. We offer a comprehensive service program to all customers, which ensures your system is always performing at its peak. We also offer LED lighting solutions, battery storage solutions and solar air-conditioning (coming soon).

Generally, by far, the biggest reduction in output is created by full or partial shading of the PV panels. Systems that are in the shade for more than 2-3 hours between 1 hour after sunrise and 1 hour before sunset should not be installed. Solutions are available for customers if shading is an issue, at around a 20% additional cost to the system.

All you need is a pitched roof with a predominantly northerly aspect, an inclination between 20° and 30°, a useable rectangular area of at least 12m2 that is ideally free of any obstructions and is free of shade throughout the day. If you are unsure, please ask our friendly staff to help you assess the suitability of your roof. Generally, this can be determined from a simple telephone interview and using Internet tools such as Google Earth to view your roof. Depending on the complexity of house’s design, a site inspection maybe necessary and this will be organized to suit your availability.

 

The panels are rectangular; which must be kept in mind when estimating the usable area of your roof. It is not permissible to have panels overhanging the roof. For tiled roofs, the edges of the array must be at least 150-200mm from the closest ridge tile. As a guide a 6 panel or 1kW array has the nominal dimensions of 5.1m x 1.6m.

 

Typical roof area required by system size (based on 275w panels):

System Size

No. of Panels

Area Required (m2)

1.5kW

6

15

2.0kW

8

15

3.0kW

11

20

4.0kW

15

30

5.0kW

19

40

Your roof does not need to be facing due north to be suitable for a solar energy system. At 45 degrees off north, the loss is a very reasonable 7%. Even at 90 degrees, i.e. an east-west roof, the loss is only approximately 12-16%

For those roofs with a flat or very-low-pitched roof (below 10 degrees), it is recommended to have a frame installed to elevate the panels to approximately 30 degrees pitch. The extra expense is offset by the improved performance of the system inclined to the optimal tilt angle.

It is important to understand the legislation requirements around single and three-phase power before choosing a system size. Houses on single-phase power are limited to solar energy systems no larger than 5kW. Houses that use three-phase power have no restrictions on the size of system they can get.

The size of the system chosen depends on a range of key factors including:

  • Roof area available for system installation
  • Budget and individual energy needs
  • Whether to offset all or a percentage of the current electricity usage
  • System capacity limits imposed by the respective State and retailer feed-in tariff schemes

Omega Solar+Batteries will calculate your potential savings across an appropriate range of solar system sizes. We consider all relevant factors when providing a system estimate to our customers.

All inverters supplied by Omega Solar+Batteries are weatherproof IP65 rated. They can hang on any external wall that is preferably sheltered from rain and direct sunlight. Extreme temperatures effect the internal operating components and may shorten their operating life. The inverters may be installed internally provided there is adequate air ventilation.

We only provide our customers with CEC Approved Tier 1 solar panels. We offer a range of panels depending on budget and all our panels have a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty. Contact us to see a full list of products we can source for your solar system.

Yes, it is possible to upgrade/expand your solar system at any stage by adding more PV panels and a larger capacity inverter. Should you do this from the outset? Generally, yes. Future expansions will incur an additional installation charge.

Omega Solar+Batteries can aid in determining whether an upgrade or expansion is possible. We also recommend that before proceeding, you should inquire with the previous supplier/installer whether contracting another system provider for the upgrade would void the warranty on the existing installation.

Solar is a long-term investment. Like a car, in order to get the best return from your investment, it needs to be maintained. This ensures you are getting the optimum output from your system. Regular cleaning of the panels is essential in ensuring this happens. As part of the deal with the Australian Government, solar panels must produce a minimum level of 80% for the first 10 years after installation or you are entitled to have them replaced under warranty at no cost to you.

No. Regulations stipulate this is not permissible and the system must shut down. (It protects the linesmen from being electrocuted.)

All technologies get superseded. However, it is forecast to be quite a while before significantly better solar cell technologies, such as the sliver cells, are commercially available at these prices.

Financial Information

The Government’s RET scheme is designed to ensure that 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. The new RET laws include the Solar Credits (STCs) mechanism to boost support to Australian households and businesses installing small scale solar systems.

The STC mechanism works by allowing eligible households, businesses and community groups at the time of installation to create STCs equivalent to the output of up to 15 years operation; and for the first 1.5kW of capacity installed, multiply their number. The scheme is designed to allow the system owner to transfer the right of STC creation to their system provider in return for a discount on the system price. This provides an upfront capital subsidy to the householder. The householder if they choose may create the STCs themselves.

STCs are available for eligible systems installed on or after 9 June 2009. STCs apply to the first 1.5 kilowatts (kW) of capacity installed. Generation from capacity above 1.5 kW is only eligible for the standard 1:1 rate of STCs creation.

STCs are a tradeable form of currency equivalent to 1 Megawatt hour of electrical energy produced. Many renewable energy devices or installations, including residential solar photovoltaic systems that reduce carbon emissions have a STC value attached to them. STCs can be traded for money or “surrendered” / “retired” (removed from trading circulation) to ensure additional renewable energy capacity is added.

 

The STCs are a tradable commodity and; thus, are subject to price volatility. As the STC price increases, so does the level of the Solar Credits discount. Omega Solar+Batteries, on its quotation, will specify the STC price it is currently offering and the level of Solar Credits discount available at this price. If you choose to sell your REC’s to Omega Solar+Batteries, the balance payable for the solar electricity system will be determined as well.

To be eligible, the following conditions must be met;

  • Systems must be installed between 9th June 2009 and 30 June 2015
  • Only applies to the first 1.5kW of installed capacity at the eligible premises (after which standard STC creation applies).
  • No previous Government rebate was received or have been applied for any PV system on eligible premises. This means that the Solar Credits scheme cannot be applied to system upgrades. They are only eligible for single value STCs
  • Must be installed on eligible premises, these include;
    • a house (including the land on which the house is located and any outbuildings on the land)
    • a townhouse
    • a residential apartment
    • a shop (including the land on which the shop is located and any outbuildings on the land); and
    • Other premises located at an address

Omega Solar+Batteries installation area from Brisbane to the North, Beaudesert to the West and Ballina to the South is in ZONE 3.

Yes. The Solar Credits scheme is scheduled to be phased out by 2015-2016. The multiplier which determines how many extra STCs are received will gradually reduce during this period. The multiplier reduction schedule is shown in the table below.

Yes. Omega Solar+Batteries delivers a final quotation that is inclusive of the supply, delivery and installation of the system. It does NOT include the meter installation charges, nor the application for the Premium Feed-in Tariff.

“Non-Standard Installations” typically incur additional costs due to the need to make provisions for specific safety considerations, additional labour, additional components and possible freight of the system to regions outside of metropolitan areas.

Property evaluations are used to understand the specific circumstances of each resident’s house, switchboard and meter-box. This will also help us determine whether there will be a variation to our advertised pricing as well as whether electrical upgrade work is required prior to installation.

Description of non-standard installation surcharges

Price (inc GST)

Steep roof pitch > 30° (per kW)

$150

Terracotta tile installation

$220

Multiple storey installation

$220

Lifting and access equipment (when safe access to roof is unavailable)

POA

Splitting of PV Array – different roofs or splitting 6 panel modules (per split)

$220

Tilt Frame – flat roofs or east or west facing roofs when a northerly orientation is sort (per kW)

$440

Cathedral ceiling or limited roof cavity

$300

Excessive wiring distance / underground cabling / additional surface conduit & ducting

POA

Freight to Regional Centre

POA

Installer & Electrical Inspector travel charge outside of serviced regions

POA

 

POA = Price on application

The quoted price includes the Solar Credits discount and represents what you pay to Omega Solar+Batteries. Once the system is fully installed and works approved by the electrical safety inspector, the solar credits is claimed by Omega Solar+Batteries (on your behalf) and paid directly from the government to us. This payment schedule is designed to minimize your financial exposure and limit payments to the out of pocket expense. The quoted price by Omega Solar+Batteries does not include the bi-directional meter. This will be charged by your retailer and will be added to your next quarterly bill after the meter is installed. This meter is required to ensure you are credited for any excess energy you produce and send back to the electricity grid.

Payment of a 10% deposit is required upon order confirmation. The balance of the invoice is to be paid on the day of installation. Payment can be made by credit card, direct deposit or bank cheque.

Take Victoria as an example where the State is split into Zone 3 and 4, the solar irradiance is low in winter but extremely high in summer (exceeds Sydney and Brisbane). This coincides with extremely high electrical cooling demand.

The Victorian average household uses about 16-18 kWh (kilowatt-hours) per day. A 1.5kWp system will produce approximately 6 kWh of electrical energy per day on average. This could be as high as 10-12kWh per day in summer and as low as 2 kWh per day in winter.

Assuming that 4kWhr/day are fed into the grid and 2kWhr/day are used in the household from the Solar Electricity system, the saving calculated is as follows;

 

4 kWh @ 66cents/kWh (Origin Energy)

= $2.64

2 kWh @ 20cents/kWh

= $0.40

Total

= $3.00/day

Equivalent kWh based on saving is $3.00/$0.20 = 16.6 kWh. This is in excess of average daily usage of 16 kWh.

Based on this analysis, with approximate annual savings of $800-$900 from a 1.5kWp solar electricity system, a Zone 4 customer with a final balance payable of $3,500 will yield an approximate 25% return on investment. The system will be paying for itself in approximately 4 years. If the balance payable for customers in Zone 3 is $2,500, then the return on investment is approximately 35%. The system will pay for itself in 3 years.

Both. Panels and inverters have been tested in-situ as well as in laboratory situations. Estimated forecasts of performance are based on these tests and standard meteorological data for the region.

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