1. Why choose solar panels?

Aside from the impact of cutting your household's carbon footprint by tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, solar units can drastically reduce your electricity bill in two distinct ways. Firstly, by generating your own electricity from the solar panels you reduce the electricity you need to buy from your power provider. Secondly, any excess "Green" electricity your system produces is sold back to the power provider - and at a higher rate then what you pay for standard electricity. These two benefits mean many households will be able to reduce their electricity bill by up to 100%.

Another often overlooked benefit is that the solar units increase both the energy rating and value of your house.

2. What is a grid connect solar panel system?

Grid connect solar panel systems are connected to the electricity supply grid. An inverter converts DC low voltage power generated by the solar panels to 240V AC household supply. The inverter also manages how much electricity is drawn from or fed back into the grid. When excess "Green" electricity is fed into the grid, the meter ticks backwards, so the household only pays the difference between what is fed and drawn.

3. Are there other benefits from having solar panels?

Yes, by reducing Australia's dependency on electricity generated from coal, we not only reduce CO2 emissions, we also reduce the demand on water that power companies require to generate this electricity. Currently 130 billion litres of drinking water is used just to generate coal-based electricity.
Furthermore, if more Australians installed solar panel systems it will reduce the stress on our electricity grid. This in turn will minimise the number of blackouts occurring during times of peak electricity use.

4. How much will this cost me?

Thanks to the Government's Solar Credits scheme the cost to the customer is greatly reduced.

5. How much roof space is required?

The amount of roof space required depends on the size of the system installed. For example, a 1.5Kw system requires about 12m² of roof space. This should be on an un-shaded and preferably a north-facing part of the roof. The system is modular and can therefore be arranged in a way that best suits the roof.

6. Is there a warranty provided with the solar panel unit?

Yes, Diamond Solar Plus provides a 5 year warranty on the inverter, a 25 year performance warranty on the solar panels and a 10 year warranty on all other parts (e.g. wiring).

7. What do I do if my Unit is damaged or vandalised?

Contact Diamond Solar Plus immediately.

8. Have the solar panels and inverters been tested for quality to both Australian and international standards?

Yes, the panels are tested to and meet the standard IEC61215 and IEC61730 and the inverter complies with standard AS/NZ4777, all panels and inverters are listed as CEC accredited.

9. Will the electrician installing the product be qualified?

Yes, all installers are licensed electricians and are accredited in Design and Installation of Photovoltaic systems by the Clean Energy Council.

10. Are solar systems as effective in winter?

Solar Photovoltaic systems rely on sunlight and ultra violet rays, not heat. So while there may be fewer hours of sunlight in winter, the actual conversion of power is unaffected by the change in season. However, you will benefit from extended hours of sunlight in the summer.

11. Do the Diamond Solar Plus Systems come with a battery?

There is no battery as the system is completely grid interactive. Battery systems are normally used with RAP (Remote Area Power) systems that have no grid connectivity.

12. In event of a supply failure or blackout does the unit take over supply of the house?

No. For safety reasons, when the normal supply of electricity is interrupted the solar units are also shut down.

13. What is a STC?

When you install solar power, you are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This entitles you to create environmental credits called Small-Scale Technology Certificates or STCs for short. "Renewable Energy Certificates" (RECs) was the original term, which was replaced by "STCs" in January 2011; however it is still an umbrella term covering both Small-scale and Large-scale certificates.

Like other commodities, the price of STCs is not fixed and varies with supply and demand. Prior to January 1st 2011 the price of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) would fluctuate daily. Now these commodities have been renamed Small-scale Technology Certificates and regulation has been put in place to stabilise their price. One STC equals 1MWh of generation from a renewable source and is part of the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target. This target is an industry development mechanism created by the Government in 2001. The government is going to be revising the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme in early July this year; therefore it is most important to have your system installed before prices go up.

14. How do STC's benefit us as customers?

Under the new RET (Renewable Energy Target); STCs may be traded to an electricity supplier for a point of sale discount on their renewable generation unit. Saving themselves is the value of the STCs generated. The new Solar Credits Scheme has been in operation since 2009 and households are entitled to claim five times the normal amount of STCs for the first 1.5Kw worth of supply.

STCs are based on zones that are set by the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator. There are 4 zones based on how much sun a specific suburb gets - with zone 1 being the sunniest down to zone 4.

15. How do I go about getting a Solar System installed in my home?

There are 3 easy steps to solar:

1. Phone us for a free quotation

2. Place an order

3. Installation

16. How long does an average installation take?

3 to 4 hours, larger system takes more time.

17. Does the orientation of the roof affect whether or not a home can successfully install a solar product?

Although it is optimal to install solar products on the north-facing side of a roof, it is also possible to install a solar PV system on the east or west facing side of a roof, as long as there is sufficient space. However, this will not produce the same results as a north-facing installation.

18. How long will it take for my installation to take place after making my booking?

3-4 weeks for metro areas. 5-6 weeks for country areas.

19. What is the payment period?

Prior to installation.

20. Is it possible to increase the size of a solar PV system in the future?

This depends on your roof space and the size of the inverter. If you have sufficient roof space and additional capacity in the inverter you could increase the size of your system. Or you could add a second system to your roof. Please note: At this time, the solar feed-in tariffs in each state have limits on the system size which to they apply. Increasing the size of an existing solar power system could affect your eligibility for a feed-in tariff. Please call us on 13-SOLAR for further information.

21. Do I need to be there while the system is installed?


22. What will happen during a blackout?

For safety reasons, in the event of a blackout, your solar PV system will stop producing electricity. This safety measure is mandatory and has been put in place to protect anyone working on the blacked-out grid system. As soon as the grid is back online, your solar PV system's ability to generate will be restored.

23. What happens at night?

As solar PV systems only produce electricity when they are exposed to sunlight, they do not produce electricity at night. At night you will need another source, such as electricity from the grid.

24. How effective is a solar system in terms of value for money?

Australia is world famous for its sunny climate however we do not always best use our abundance of sunlight. Sunlight is a natural clean energy resource and once you pay the initial outlay for the solar system to be installed all the electricity you collect is absolutely free. Your solar system lifespan is over 25 years so imagine how much it could reduce your household running costs over this time.

25. What if I have a flat roof?

Tilt mounting systems can be installed to angle your solar panels at an adequately slanted position so that they can still collect the maximum electricity from the sun.