Quick guide to buying a house with solar
Congratulations on purchasing a home powered by free, renewable energy from the sun. To help you get your head around the idea of using a solar PV system for the first time we've put together some tips on what to ask, how to get set up, and what to look out for.
What to ask the previous owner
Try to gain as much information from the home's previous owner as you can. Consider asking:
- Who installed the solar system? This is very important to know who the solar installer was if you encounter issues later on, or you discover components are faulty or subject to a recall (like the Avanco isolator switch).
- When was the solar PV system installed? The age of the system can give an indication as to when different components could need an upgrade or replacement. For instance, the solar inverter can need to be replaced every 7 to 10 years.
- Is the system still under any warranties? Are they transferable?
- Request any paperwork they have about the system such as instruction manuals for different components, warranties, service records, as well as copies of original receipts if possible.
- What the usual kW generation is or how much they save on their power bill each quarter?
- Any issues they've had with the system?
- Are they on or is the system set up for a feed in tariff?
Get a checkup and service
If you get a chance during due diligence have an electrician who specialises in solar power to check over the system to uncover any faults or work which may need doing.
If you're past that point we still recommend getting a thorough service of the system by a solar electrician before you start using it. The electrician can also show you how to run it correctly, including safe shut down and start up procedures, how to get the most from the setup, as well as how to monitor your power generation.
Shop around for the right electricity retailer
Take some time to shop around for a good deal from an electricity provider you could save hundreds each year. Consider factors such as:
- feed in tariff rate
- discounts offered
- contract duration - How long do you have to sign up for?
Take a look at some of the online energy comparison sites such as:
- Energy Made Easy
- Compare the Market
For more tips on choosing an electricity retailer, visit the QLD Department of Energy and Water Supply