Little girl showing her Dad solar panels on a model house

Solar Energy – let the sun shine!

When considering a new build or renovation, families across Toowoomba and the Darling Downs are looking to Solar Energy as an alternative to traditional energy sources such as gas or electricity. This can be due to a myriad of reasons, including environmental sustainability, safety, and cost-efficiency.

So, what is Solar Energy? Simply put, it is energy that is harnessed from the power of the sun.

This energy is captured using photovoltaic panels (commonly known as “solar panels”) and then converted into unusable electricity. Sounds great doesn’t it! The idea of using a free resource – sunshine – and turning it into power is very attractive… but is it really as simple as it seems?

While the concept is simple, the installation is certainly not and must be carried out by a licensed and qualified installer. Solar panels produce a direct current (DC) which can be deadly if mishandled. Your household electricity requires alternating current (AC), therefore you will require an inverter which converts the DC energy to AC energy, suitable for household use. Your solar set-up MUST be properly installed by a qualified Solar provider, in order to achieve:

  • ELECTRICAL SAFETY – incorrect installation can lead to exposed wires, and electrocution resulting in extreme injury or death
  • FIRE SAFETY – incorrect installation can cause a high fire risk, and
  • WARRANTY SAFETY – DIY installation will void the warranty on your solar energy system.

Using Solar Energy is a large financial investment, and homeowners often try to reduce the cost by sourcing second hand panels. However this is not recommended as they may not meet current Australian Standards, and therefore contractors are not legally able to install these panels. Additionally, as the standards change and technology improves, you may find yourself with a product with reduced output that will not work as effectively as its newer counterpart. There is also the additional concern regarding installation warranties, as installers will not supply a warranty on their workmanship for these second hand items, often performing the install “off-the-books” due to the nature of the rules being broken to install them.

If you’re looking for ways to harness natural energy in your renovation or new home build, be sure to talk to Carl. He’d love to find a way to make your home greener and more environmentally sustainable.

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